Ethereum received support from a surprising but welcome source this week, when it emerged that former Google CEO Eric Schmidt recently labeled the project “underrated” in its technical use. Schmidt, who stepped down from this role at Google in 2011, was discussing the future of technology at an event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global in September, and when the subject of blockchain came up he was full of praise for the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency:
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.
Schmidt Also a Bitcoin Fan
Schmidt has also been positive on Bitcoin in the past, stating in 2014 that, “The bitcoin architecture, literally the ability to have these ledgers which can’t be replicated, is an amazing advancement. Lots of people will build businesses on top of that.” Schmidt is not the only technology heavyweight to throw his hat into the cryptocurrency ring. Steve Wozniak, founder of Google’s arch-rival Apple, said in June that he agreed with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey’s desire for Bitcoin to become the world’s single currency, “Only bitcoin is pure digital gold… and I totally buy into that.” Another Silicon Valley titan, Mark Zuckerberg, has yet to officially pin his colors to the mast in regards to any specific cryptocurrencies, but he did announce his interest in the technology at the start of 2018.
Cryptocurrency’s Battle Lines
The principles of cryptocurrency have tended to polarize opinion as the subject matter has gained exposure over the years. Much like with most new technologies, it is the young who have adopted it most keenly. Wozniak, Schmidt, Zuckerberg, and Dorsey helped to create the ‘millennial’ generation with their internet-focused products, and it is no surprise that this generation is more open to cryptocurrency as a concept than their older counterparts. Those who have spent their lives working with and being exposed to more traditional forms of finance and investing are naturally more circumspect. Given recent developments, we may see stronger divisions of opinion as the space matures, before the gap can begin to close.