Bitcoin is not the ‘panacea’ people thought


Bitcoin is not the “panacea” to solve the problems that people thought it would, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of blockchain start-up Ripple, told CNBC in an interview that aired Tuesday.

Ripple is a San Francisco-based company that is developing a network for faster global financial payments. XRP is the digital token that financial institutions on the network can use to transact quickly. The currency and the company were founded by the same people.

XRP is traded on cryotocurrency exchanges and one is currently worth 65 cents. Garlinghouse, who emphasized that Ripple is independent of the XRP token, said bitcoin will have a role in the future, but not one that will see it solve major problems, such as becoming a global currency.

“I think it’s (bitcoin) not going to be the panacea that people once thought it would be, where it would solve all of these different kind of problems… Instead, you’re seeing specializations of different kind of ledgers, different kinds of blockchains,” Garlinghouse told CNBC at the Money 20/20 fintech conference in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

He explained that the bitcoin blockchain, the technology that underpins the cryptocurrency, is “quite slow,” whereas XRP transactions are “a thousand times faster.”

The average transaction time for bitcoin was 42 minutes as of Tuesday, according to data tracked by Blockchain.info. XRP has a transaction time of four seconds, according to Ripple’s website.

While many see XRP as a rival to bitcoin, Garlinghouse said it’s not necessarily a case of one digital coin versus another.

“Well, I don’t really think about it as one versus the other. I mean, it’s actually unfortunate, I think, that there’s some people in this, the crypto space, the blockchain space — for them, it’s almost a holy war of one versus the other. I don’t look at that at all.”

“I think that what we’re seeing is the overall growth of this space and there will be many winners,” he added.

Bitcoin is the world’s largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization. In another recent interview with CNBC, Garlinghouse said that cryptocurrency prices are influenced by bitcoin, but that could soon change as people realize the differences between different digital coins.



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