Bitcoin and blockchain can ‘change the world’

The Senior Vice President at Fidelity Labs has stated that blockchain technology will ‘change the world’ and that imagining the way it will operate in future is the equivalent of imagining how Google and Facebook would work in the earliest days of the internet.

Hadley Stern is responsible for running his company’s incubator labs for Bitcoin, bitcoin and digital currency, with Stern calling the world’s most renowned form of digital currency ‘digital gold’.

Fidelity Labs announced last week that their clients were now able to view a number of cryptocurrencies on their website – Bitcoin included – making them one of the idea’s earliest adapters among larger institutions. Mr Stern was interviewed by CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’, and stated that cryptocurrency and blockchain technology allows for value to be moved purely through ‘software and software alone’ and that this represented a big ‘societal breakthrough’.

During the interview, Mr Stern did note that Bitcoin could end up being the equivalent of something like Napster, which didn’t survive long-term but still ended up being the first in a line of products that refined the initial technology, such as Spotify and Apple Music.

He also noted that it would be virtually impossible to ‘ban’ cryptocurrencies, stating that doing so would be like trying to ban the internet as a whole, or like banning open web protocols. ‘Whether governments like it or not,’ he added, ‘it’s here to stay.’ He did clarify, however, that Fidelity Labs weren’t ‘making a judgement’ on Bitcoin, and that last week’s action didn’t mean that their current clients could now use Bitcoin to fund transactions through the company.

The interview came in a week where the price of Bitcoin continued to thrive, despite the global markets continuing to be volatile. On CNBC’s ‘Fast Money’, financial investor Thomas Lee – employed by Fundstrat Global Advisors – stated his belief in the possibility that Bitcoin could potentially outperform both Gold and US stocks in the long run. Mr Lee was asked which investment he would make if he was forced to choose between US stocks and Bitcoin this year, and he confirmed he would choose to put his funds into the latter.