Chief executive of cryptocurrency start-up Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, has spoken out at the number of companies and people using Blockchain technology more as a buzzword, rather than creating real world use cases.
The boom of ICOs has seen hundreds of new companies try and build a business on Blockchain technology, but according to Garlinghouse, many of them could be better served simply using databases.
"Blockchain is like the new big data or AI (artificial intelligence) — too many people are using it as a buzzword and not focused solving a real problem," Garlinghouse said. "We like to call them Blockchain tourists! There are many applications that are nothing more than science experiments."
Of course, Blockchain technology is the same technology that Ripple is pinned to, or for that matter, any cryptocurrency. However, Ripple can claim it has real world application, as there has been an exploration into the banking sector as Ripple focuses on banks, global payments, and digital exchange.
"Some of the uses being implemented for Blockchain could actually work better with a database," he added.
"There are examples out there that Blockchain is not most applicable for, and that is why Ripple is focused on a real world use case, solving a real (and very large) customer problem, which has converted into commercial traction that is unmatched in the enterprise Blockchain space."
What is a real world application?
There are a ton of start up style companies that have hopped on the bandwagon of cryptocurrencies, Blockchain technology, and tokenization. A lot of these have merit, but there are also many that are not worth the white paper they are written on.
The boom of ICO has irked many regulators, with the likes of China taking the hardest approach to them, with Korea, and even the SEC in the USA following similar suit.
However, there are some large and established traditional firms that are taking the power of the Blockchain forward leaps and bounds, as they utilize the powerful technology to alleviate problems.
IBM for example has not only built a Blockchain for major global banks such as Deutsche Bank and HSBC; it also developed a Blockchain-based solution for the food ecosystem that allows producers to trace food contamination in a matter of seconds.
Accounting giant EY also unveiled its own distributed ledger solution for the shipping insurance industry last month.
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