For all the hype and excitement around distributed ledger technology (DLT), speakers at the Forex Network Chicago conference debated the real value of decentralised systems such as blockchain.
“If you’re trying to build a business you need to make it cheaper, quicker, with better customer services and hopefully allow people to have more access. Let’s be honest, blockchain fails on nearly all of those things,” asserted Adrian Patten, co-Founder and chairman of Cobalt.
Patten added that the existing system for agreeing contracts has some elements that are beneficial, such as mediation, that decentralisation doesn’t necessarily allow for. By contrast, he described some of the things that he’s witnessed in the decentralised crypto trading space as “bloody scary”, adding: “A lot of these exchanges are being run on laptops and they’re lucky if they have Excel”.
The comparison between blockchain technology and the early days of the Internet is one that is perennially made in articles and at industry conferences, but is it accurate or even helpful?
This was the question posed to Cristina Dolan, co-founder and COO of InsureX, and Adrian Patten, the co-founder and chairman of Cobalt, at the Forex Network Chicago conference.
“The Internet was a lot easier to deal with because it was a linear process: you had a database, there were users, you had a web interface and although you were still training people how to use the web interface, you could control that whole ecosystem that you put up, you just had to drive people to the page,” said Dolan.