“We need to be having some harder conversations [about bitcoin and blockchain],” said Abigail Johnson, chairwoman and CEO at Fidelity Investments. These “harder conversations” were at the crux of her address to attendees this morning at Coinbase, a bitcoin and blockchain conference held in New York City.
To a certain extent, Johnson’s point about such conversations is true. Bitcoin burst into the public consciousness back in 2012. Five years later, it has yet to gain mainstream traction. Even as the digital currency reaches new highs, it is still relegated to the fringes of the existing financial services system. Blockchain, the underlying technology beneath bitcoin, is still in testing phase as far as banks are concerned. (See also: Yet Another Record High for Bitcoin.)
Johnson outlined four problems present in the digital currency ecosystem that are preventing widespread adoption of the technology.
First, unresolved problems related to the technology constitute the Technology problem. For example, bitcoin ledgers have been hacked, resulting in losses of wealth. According to Johnson, privacy could also become a serious stumbling block to widespread bitcoin adoption. (See also: North Korea May Be Responsible for Recent Spate of Bitcoin Attacks.)