An executive at bank of America recently made comments that go against the growing adoption from crypto and blockchain in 2019.
A March 26 CNBC report indicated that Bank of America’s tech and operations Chief, Cathy Bessant said that she was privately bearish on the outlook of blockchain and its potential impact in aiding financial technology.
Her comments seem quit odd since according to the report; the bank of America has 82 blockchain-related patents, which is more than any other bank or financial firm which includes both PayPal and MasterCard.
In an interview, the bank’s Chief of tech and operations made her doubts known on the impact of blockchain in the near future, while also giving her personal opinion that blockchain technology will fail to live up to the expectations that most of its industry proponents think it will;
“What I am is open-minded. In my private scoreboard, in the closet, I am bearish.” She said.
Bessant’s private opinions on the technology have evidently in no way stopped the bank from making progressive steps over the last several years, in a way that positions it adapt to the winds of change in the form of blockchain, and digital assets.
On the bank of America’s efforts to prepare itself for a financial world in the age of digital assets and blockchain technology, CNBC writes;
“For half a decade, Bank of America has quietly been preparing for a future in which the world of finance migrates to the blockchain. Under tech and operations Chief Cathy Bessant, the giant bank has accumulated the most patents for the technology of any financial services company, for inventions ranging from blockchain-powered ATMs to storage for crypto-currency keys.”
Blockchain enthusiasts have argued that the technology is still to develop fully, and is in need of more time; with adoption being a gradual and sure process according to them. Bessant has however argued that it’s more a case of the blockchain looking for a viable use case as opposed to the technology being an obvious source of improvement.
She went to say that she is focused on supporting technology that will help finance and boost existing methods. She articulated her reservations against the blockchain by saying;
“I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions. All of the big tech companies will come and say ‘blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.’ I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it’.”
She went on to say;
“I want it to work. Spiritually, I want it to make us better, faster, cheaper, more transparent, more, you know, all of those things.”
In regards to Bank of America’s stockpiling of blockchain-based patents, which Bessant has overseen since starting her position in 2010, the executive views it as a method of future proofing. Rather than allowing Bank of America to be caught sitting on their hands in case the technology proves to be a success. So despite her personal reservations she is actively preparing the bank in case the blockchain goes on to hit it big.