The UK Parliament’s Finance Ministers’ Committee held a hearing on Tuesday to discuss the various views on crypto currencies and blockchain. Ripple, the “bank crypto currency”, which aims to work with banks and governments, was particularly criticised for its confusing functionality.
Blockchain is just a fad
Moreso, Martin Walker, a director of the Center for Evidence-Based Management, called Blockchain nothing more than a fad in finance and rejected its use. It was primarily Walker who argued against the Blockchain technology, which is odd since the director was once a former product developer in the Blockchain R3 consortium. Walker claimed that the technologies would hardly solve inefficiencies in the financial sector, and criticized in particular Ripple’s current products.
Ripple’s defense included Director of Regulatory Relations Ryan Zagone, Dr Grammateia Kotsialou, Postdoc at King’s College London and Chris Taylor, Chief Operating Officer at Blockchain Startup Everledger.
Zagone said that Ripple’s main advantage is the fact that you can track money transfers. Walker replied, however, that the company’s model offered no more than the existing SWIFT messaging system. Walker not only had a problem with Ripple, but also targeted the idea of the blockchain in finance:
“THERE’S A BIG PROBLEM IN THE BLOCKCHAIN WORLD WITH CONFUSING ‘COULD’ INSTEAD OF ‘IS’ STATEMENTS,” HE SAID AND ADDED: “ALL IT TAKES TO TURN A CREDIBLE IDEA INTO A FAD IS FOR PEOPLE TO JUST TURN OFF THEIR BRAINS AND STOP THINKING. OVER 20 YEARS IN AND AROUND BANKING, BLOCKCHAIN IS A FASHION PHENOMENON AND I HAVE SEEN MANY FASHION PHENOMENA IN MY CAREER.”
Hard prospects in the UK
The United Kingdom is not currently against crypto currencies, but it seems difficult to apply appropriate and fair regulations. The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has already called Bitcoin a failed currency, and this recent presentation to Parliament does not bode well for the position of the British Government.
At the beginning of this hearing, however, it was stated that the intention was not to stifle the technology. Nick Morgan, the chairman of the committee, highlighted the importance of a healthy balance: