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.


Featured Image Credit: Photo by Techcrunch via Flickr; licensed under "CC BY 2.0"

Binance Acquires Crypto Debit Card Issuer for an Undisclosed Sum

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired cryptocurrency debit card issuer Swipe for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that gets the platform one step closer to issuing its Binance Card.

Finance Magnates reports the firms shared revealed the companies will “work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” by further bringing fiat and digital assets together. The deal will allow for cryptos to be used as a payment method in the traditional financial system.

Binance unveiled its plan to launch a Visa crypto debit card earlier this year, but was having difficulties implementing it. The acquisition of crypto start Swipe should help fix these difficulties and support the exchange in its “mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses.”

Per Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, off-ramps are a key component to be considered in its mission. He added:

By giving users the ability to convert and spend crypto directly, and have merchants still seamlessly accept fiat, this will make the crypto experience much better for everyone.

Binance and Swipe listed each other’s native tokens as part of the deal. Binance now has trading pairs for Swipe’s SXP token, while the Binance Coin (BNB) was added to the cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies available as a payment method on Swipe.

Swipe, it’s worth noting, converts cryptoassets into fiat currencies at the point of purchase. Users pay in a cryptoassets of their choice, which is then converted into fiat currency the merchant receives, so the latter does not have to manage cryptoassets, or accept payments in them directly.

Swipe’s cards are issued by Contis Financial Services, a visa Principal Member regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They are available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area, and support transactions in euros, pounds, U.S. dollars, Korean won, and Philippine pesos.

The firm’s CEO Joselito Lizarondo revealed partnering will Binance will “place Swipe in the position to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for millions of users worldwide.” Binance Card users will be able to get up to 4% cashback in bitcoin on their purchases, which will be available in over 50 million locations in the world.

Featured image via Pixabay.