The blockchain/crypto week in quotes

Here are the comments and tweets that caught our eye this week

“95% of the more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies being traded today will die a painful and deserved death.” Matt Hougan, Global Head of Research, Bitwise Asset Management

“For those looking to run a distributed ledger, blockchains are no longer the most elegant or suited type of database. In fact, the idea of using a blockchain to distribute a database is probably the most crude one conceptually – giving every node a full copy of the entire database is old-fashioned. We’ve already started to see innovations at the core DLT level of the tech and we will continue to see more.

In reality, the technology isn’t mature enough yet for us to know what the key uses are – for example, when mobile phones were first developed, very few people would have predicted that social networking, listening to music and calling an Uber would be common uses for the mobile phone.

DLT has the potential to be the most important technology since the invention of the internet. Most of history can be described through incentives and incentive structures in determining human action. Distributed ledgers could represent a mammoth shift in the way we design incentive structures and as a consequence could completely change the way we think about transacting and allocating resources.” ZIhao Xu, Head of Future of Money, Octopus Ventures

“Much has been written about blockchains and how they displace, reshape, or eliminate trust. But when you analyse both blockchain and trust, you quickly realise that there is much more hype than value. Blockchain solutions are often much worse than what they replace.” Bruce Schneier, a security technologist who teaches at the Harvard Kennedy School

“The stability that we are seeing right now in the cryptocurrency market is setting the stage for more participation by institutional investors in the future.” J.P. Morgan analyst Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou

“Events like the QuadrigaCX saga show that many in the crypto industry are still naive when it comes to setting up their security systems. It all comes down to common sense. While cold wallets are certainly the best option for protecting customer assets, the fund withdrawal process also needs to be taken into account.

There is a lot to learn from traditional banking here. Crypto exchanges are just as capable of setting up a process where withdrawing funds requires multiple parties to sign a transaction, and passwords are stored in secure offline locations. This means spreading risk throughout an organisation – preventing the actions (or the loss) of one person from compromising an entire business.” Gavin Smith, CEO, Panxora 

“The impact of major players such as Facebook, Amazon, and Pfizer entering the blockchain space completely depends on their perception as to why blockchains exist in the first place. We have learned that the players who are building open markets and open data ecosystems that enable all possible stakeholders to contribute to collective success, are the ones who are well placed to leverage blockchain.

We have seen demand for blockchain-based jobs skyrocket, however the question is not whether the supply of talent meets the needs of the industry, but whether the industry is able to ask the right questions of the market in order to draw the right talent.

Of course, big salaries attract ambitious talent, but we have learned that the most ambitious and best quality talent in this space wants to change the way we organise our society and economy. They want to work on challenges that are not solvable by one organisation, but only through enabling many different stakeholders to collaborate through open digital public infrastructure. This infrastructure can’t be owned by government or a corporation as this lacks the trust needed to drive adoption.

Organisational challenges are a walk in the park compared to engineering the complex systems supported by these new types of protocols. The best talent don’t want to increase the level of surveillance capitalism, they want to create a better alternative that enables everybody to contribute and collaborate.” Rutger van Zuidam, Founder and CEO, Odyssey 

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