Steve Chiavarone, VP of financial services company Federated Investors, is a fan of blockchain. He recently called them an “economic growth driver” and one of five pivotal technologies that will “drive this next industrial revolution.” Based on how quickly the blockchain space has been evolving, there’s little doubt that he’s correct.
Chiavarone made his comments during an interview with CNBC last week. When asked if blockchains will drive economic growth, he replied, “When you think about it from an enterprise perspective, it has the ability to replace reconciliation—which is expensive and requires back office, and time, and paperwork—with more instantaneous verification.” He then added, “Companies can have more efficient supply chains and can cut their back and middle office costs.” According to Chiavarone, this “will allow business to flow more efficiently, and will allow costs to be cut and that saving to be passed along.”
The portfolio manager calls blockchain one of five “key technologies,” along with artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, that will be responsible for the next industrial revolution. He supported his position by pointing out how some of the largest financial institutions in the United States have already begun to embrace the technology and are making substantial investments toward its future. Bank of America, he explained, is already making great strides and has filed patents for 45 different crypto-related products.
Chiavarone isn’t the only one to feel this way. Fred Wilson, who co-founded Union Square Capital with Brad Burnham in 2003, said this week, “They [cryptocurrencies] are the fuel that powers a new form of technology infrastructure that is being built on top of the foundational internet protocols.” He was responding to comments attributed to Warren Buffett, who has called cryptocurrency “rat poison squared” and said that it won’t amount to anything. Wilson added that smart contracts offered by blockchains are “the most important innovation we have yet seen in crypto.”
Of course, Buffett isn’t always correct in his predictions. Years ago, he balked at two companies, saying that neither offered a bright future. Fortunately, not everyone listened and Google and Amazon are now thriving as multi-billion-dollar organizations.