Blockchain, the underlying ledger technology behind cryptocurrencies including bitcoin, has great promise as an agent of change, according to the CEO of Overstock.com “The underlying blockchain technology has this unbelievable promise to reshape civilization,” Patrick Byrne told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo during an interview on Thursday. “I think of bitcoin as something that may happen, may not happen, whatever. But I think the main event of all of this is blockchain.” Bitcoin once surged above $19,000, but now hovers around $8,600 – with a number of economists and notable CEOs warning that the cryptocurrency is a bubble waiting to burst.
Companies, meanwhile, have begun to embrace blockchain, a peer-to-peer transfer that excludes a third party.
JPMorgan Chase has a BlockChain Center of Excellence, which leads efforts for applications of distributed ledger technology within the bank. Starbucks CEO Howard Kurtz hinted at the possibility of an app that relies on blockchain technology. While billionaire investor and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel suggested last week that bitcoin had the potential to replace gold, he warned that he was skeptical of the underlying blockchain technology. “He’s normally a very smart guy, Peter Thiel,” Byrne said. “I didn’t think that was the smartest comment he’s made.”