Vitalik Buterin on Enterprise Blockchains: “Totally Not the Point”

Avi Rosten

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin is not a fan of enterprise blockchains.

Talking to Quartz at Devcon recently, the 24-year old cryptocurrency pioneer offered his two satoshis on several topics, expressing his particular disdain for the more centralized variants of the tech he helped promote.

Asked what he thinks has been particularly “wasteful” in the blockchain spehere, Buterin responded:

A lot of the big corporate blockchain stuff. I read this CoinDesk article about some IBM blockchain thing. I don’t understand this deeply, but the detail that jumped out at me is they’re saying “Hey, we own all the IP and this is basically our platform and you’re getting on it.” And like, that’s… totally not the point…

Buterin does believe that there is potential for blockchain beyond cryptocurrencies, but that it needs more time:

Cryptocurrencies and making international payments easier. All of the other ideas—whether we’re talking about products or the self-sovereign identity stuff—that’s clearly something that still needs much more time to be worked out before we can see [whether it] makes sense at scale.

 

Adding: "I feel like actual utilities in the space are going to start getting closer to things that are more purely digital."

Talking specifically about IBM’s blockchain platform for the food supply chain - IBM Food Trust - Buterin was somewhat sceptical - remarking that “there’s definitely something there, but whether or not any of the actors there are doing it remotely correctly, I’m much less sure.”

Blockchain Vs. Crypto

As CryptoGlobe recently reported, blockchain as a distinct sector seems to be gaining some traction. Data from Google Trends show that in July of this year there were more searches for “blockchain” than for “cryptocurrency.”

While this finding is perhaps less surprising than it may appear - as most users likely search for specific crypto-assets such as “bitcoin” or “ether”, rather than the umbrella term - it does seem to capture a general warming to blockchain and DLT technology in the business sector.

A notable example of this trend came in October when Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, said that he believes blockchain to have “huge potential” and sees the tech as essential to his organization’s goals.

 

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