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Barclays: crypto, blockchain need to be trusted to become truly mainstream

Friday 13 April 2018 | 10:53 AM CET

Crypto, blockchain need to overcome four “critical” challenges before mainstream acceptance, according to Barclays’ annual Equity Gilt Study for 2018.

Moreover, these initiatives, despite the fact that are “interesting” and “innovative”, still need to be proved to be actually useful, Barclays argued, as there are already solutions in place on the financial market that seem to work pretty well.

According to the report’s authors, the four challenges crypto and blockchain adoption face are:

  • Acceptance and trust — will the wider population learn to accept the use of cryptocurrencies in their day-to-day lives;

  • Sovereignty and regulation — crypto technologies also need to be adopted, or at least accepted, and regulated by governments;

  • Privacy — blockchain/distributed ledger technologies need to provide privacy of a higher level than that of existing tech;

  • Irreversibility — the fact that blockchains are irreversible is not necessarily a desirable feature in every aspect of commerce.

The bank has also analysed some of the most developed cryptocurrencies to observe how these critical challenges fit into their adoption.

The conclusions were that countries where cryptocurrencies have been so far most highly adopted for their actual purpose, rather than for simply trying to make money, are largely developing nations, where there is less trust in financial and governmental institutions. Essentially, the societies where there will be long term demand for cryptocurrencies are those where it actually solves an existing social problem — such as a lack of trust in financial institutions, Business Insider cited the Barclays’ representative.

The Equity Gilt study is a large report chronicling the bank’s thoughts on important topics in the world of global finance and economics. The 2018 edition focuses on technology, particularly crypto and artificial intelligence — two subjects that many in markets believe have the potential to cause substantial disruption.

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