Vitalik Buterin, the acclaimed co-founder of Ethereum and noted cryptocurrency enthusiast, recently spoke out against misapplication of blockchain technology. He said that it can lead to "wasted time." Buterin was a speaker at the recent Devcon4 blockchain conference, and he spoke on the sidelines of it as well. While he praised companies that are trying to raise their standards by using blockchain technology, he also made it clear that he does not think that the technology can be applied to every industry. Buterin mentioned that sometimes companies use blockchain technology simply as marketing hype. Other times he says people try to align their current profession with what personally interests them. He went on to say that while he understands the motivation behind this latter group of people, he thinks that their aspirations are misguided. He believes that there are just a few industries that are well suited for blockchain technology. This includes both digital currencies and international payments. He further believes that other ideas, such as digital identification systems, need to be developed much further, in order to ascertain whether they can properly scale. He added that blockchain technology — in spite of its perception — does not guarantee anything, especially things that exist in the real world. Buterin, though, saved his harshest criticism for corporate blockchain solutions, such as those being developed by IBM. He talked specifically about the company's food tracking solution, which uses blockchain technology to confirm where a food product originated. He said that while such a system could be useful, he doubts that IBM is capable of delivering it. But Buterin does not dislike all non-financial blockchain applications. He mentioned a system being developed in Singapore that he likes, which authenticates college degrees. It also allows universities to issue diplomas on the blockchain as well. A similar system is being developed in neighboring Malaysia. Earlier this month, the country's Ministry of Education created a consortium to fight what is known as "degree fraud" using blockchain technology. The system will both issue and verify college degrees. The consortium further hopes to continue developing its use of the technology in other ways, too.
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