- The CEOs of Mastercard and Wells Fargo have said that blockchain has yet to reach its full potential
- An example was cited of a pilot that only yielded one transaction
- At the same time, the companies are building a catalogue of patents in the space
There are few emerging technologies that are quite as busy as blockchain. It has found its way into finance, supply chain, hospitality and so on. Despite all that promise, of course, as an investment the sector may have run its course. This is at least the opinion of the CEOs for Mastercard and Wells Fargo who stated this during the Fintech Ideas Festival this week.
In a statement, both Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan and Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Banga agreed that blockchain has potential but that it hasn’t quite come to fruition yet.
Not Yet There
Tim Sloan explained that the potential of blockchain has, so far, been slow to carry out and gave an example of a project that Wells Fargo embarked on in 2016. The project in question was a pilot case that was done with the Commonwealth Bank in Australia. According to him, it was promising but in the end, only yielded one transaction.
He is not, however, completely writing off blockchain as he says that it can have its impact in due time:
“If you turned the clock back a few years ago, it should have completely changed the industry — that’s just not the way it works.”
While this might be disappointing to hear, there is some truth to Sloan’s statement. There are hundreds of blockchain pilots that are being launched every year but not all quite reach their potential. At the same time. This can be said of any emerging technology and isn’t a sign of blockchain being all hype.
Loading up on patents
MasterCard’s CEO said that while there is still some work to be done, it would be unwise to ignore the potential of blockchain in itself as it has many interesting possibilities. An example of this is its use in the supply chain and the prevention of counterfeit goods.
Despite this, he has said that his company is still interested but that the business model hasn’t yet been proven.
“There are interesting possibilities with blockchain and to ignore that would be a bad idea,” he said. “We’re just saying we don’t know the business model yet.”
This is rather interesting considering MasterCard hold many blockchain patents.