Blockchain Technology Is "Underrated": Ex-Google CEO

Billionaire Eric Schmidt described Ethereum as a “powerful platform” and complained that Blockchain technology remained “underrated.”

Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of technology giant Google and executive chairman at Alphabet, has recently participated in a live event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global, where he expressed his optimistic view on the prospects of blockchain technology and, particularly, Ethereum, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market cap. He referred to Ethereum as a “powerful platform” with revolutionary but yet untapped potential.

The private event sponsored by Village Global took place in San Francisco in September, but its details remained mostly undisclosed until Village Global decided this week to upload to YouTube a video recording of a conversation between a well-known economist, Tyler Cowen, and Eric Schmidt who was characterized in the description to the video as “one of the most influential technology executives in the world.”

During the conversation they discussed a variety of topics, from Antarctica to human life expectancy, and also Schmidt made a number of interesting remarks on blockchain technology.

When asked about his opinion on the blockchain, the billionaire investor said that there was no simple answer to the question of whether blockchain was overrated or underrated.

 “In the public format, overrated. In its technical use, underrated,” Schmidt explained and illustrated this with examples of problems that distributed ledger technology was able to solve. Also, “blockchain is a great platform for bitcoin and other currencies. And it’s a great platform for private banking transactions where people don’t trust each other.”

He also made specific mention of Ethereum by telling Cowen that this blockchain project seemed to be the most interesting and promising. Schmidt believes that Ethereum can be a “powerful platform” potentially able to upend both current business practices and the entire society.

While commenting on its major potential, Schmidt said,

“I think the most interesting stuff that’s going on are the beginning of execution on top of blockchain — the most obvious example being the capability of ethereum. And if ethereum can manage to figure out a way to do global synchronization of that activity, that’s a pretty powerful platform. That’s a really new invention.”

It’s worth mentioning that Schmidt was an early Bitcoin enthusiast. Back in 2014, he referred to Bitcoin as an amazing advancement and remarkable cryptographic achievement, while he had turned to bitcoins even earlier, in 2011, following the advice of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.

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