Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Google and executive chairman of Alphabet recently took part in a live event which was organised by Village Global, a venture capital company. There, he said he was optimistic about the prospects of blockchain technology and Ethereum in particular. Ethereum is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. He called Ethereum a “powerful platform” with game changing and still untapped potential.
The event was sponsored by Village Capital and happened in San Francisco in September. However, the details of the event remained for the most part, undisclosed until Village Global made the decision this week to upload a video recording of a discussion between Tyler Cowen, a famous economist and Eric Schmidt who was characterised in the description to the video as “one of the most influential technology executives in the world.” During the discussion, they talked about many things ranging from Antarctica to human life expectancy. Schmidt also made many intriguing comments about blockchain technology.
When asked for his view on blockchain, Schmidt said that it was hard to say whether blockchain was overrated or underrated.
“In the public format, overrated. In its technical use, underrated,” Schmidt said and articulated this with examples of problems that blockchain was able to solve. Also, “blockchain is a great platform for bitcoin and other currencies. And it’s a great platform for private banking transactions where people don’t trust each other.”
He specifically mentioned Ethereum by saying to Cowen that this project seemed to be the most intriguing and packed with potential. He believes that Ethereum can be a “powerful platform” with the potential to upend both existing business practices and society as a whole.
While commenting on its major potential, Schmidt said,
“I think the most interesting stuff that’s going on are the beginning of execution on top of blockchain — the most obvious example being the capability of ethereum. And if ethereum can manage to figure out a way to do global synchronization of that activity, that’s a pretty powerful platform. That’s a really new invention.”
It is important to note that Schmidt was an early enthusiast of Bitcoin. Five years ago, he said that Bitcoin was an amazing advancement and a remarkable cryptographic achievement. He had turned to Bitcoin as early as 2011 on the back of advice from Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks.