Recently, the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs held a hearing to discuss the various aspects of the cryptocurrency ecosystem and blockchain technology.
Peter Van Valkenburgh, the Director of Research at CoinCente, spoke about Bitcoin [BTC] and the need for the adoption of blockchain technology in various industries.
He stated that Bitcoin was the world’s first digital asset to be globally accepted as a virtual currency. He added:
“Its not perfect, neither was email when it was invented in 1972”
According to Valkenburgh, Bitcoin was neither the best form of money nor was it accepted across the world, it was not used to quote prices and did not have a stable store of value. However, the Director stated that Bitcoin was still an important form of value as it is working without the intervention of trusted intermediaries, which was a significant breakthrough in the field of computer science.
The Director further added:
“It’s just the beginning, if we can replace private payments infrastructure, we can replace other private chokepoints to human interaction as well”
He also spoke about the importance of embracing blockchain over corporations, the need to build a public infrastructure and the inefficiencies of such corporations.
Valkenburgh opined that a few corporate intermediaries were providing their privately owned infrastructure which was increasingly inefficient and was becoming larger and more powerful. He added that about 143 million Americans, roughly half of the countries population were affected because of their Social Security numbers being exposed to hackers due to a security breach at Equifax, a consumer credit reporting agency.
He went on to say that corrupt “low-level” employees from Indian Bank and Punjab National Bank had fraudulently certified SWIFT messages. This resulted in one of the biggest electronic thefts in history where the accused had reportedly stolen funds worth $1.8 billion.
The Director also stated that physical machines which were connected to the internet to augment their capabilities were connected to the servers of trusted private intermediaries. In such cases, there were high chances of encountering vulnerabilities which were inherent in systems with single points of failure. He added:
“It doesn’t matter if the point of failure is a corporation or the government, there shouldn’t be a single point of failure”
According to Peter, such “chokepoints” existed even before the arrival of the Internet. However, the Internet managed to remove single points of failure in the communications infrastructure. Similarly, the blockchain technology could remove the middleman from payments and IoT infrastructure. He added:
“The technology is completely ready to answer all of the problems but it is our best hope, and as with the Internet in the 90s, we need a light-touch pro-innovation policy to ensure that these innovations flourish in America for the benefit and security of all Americans”
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