Banks and governments are warming up to the possibility of leveraging the power and resiliency of the blockchain to implement smarter financial systems that permit faster and cheaper local and global transactions, permanently recorded in a tamper-proof blockchain. At the same time, financial institutions and states find some aspects of Bitcoin worrisome.
One concern is that the Bitcoin network relies on anonymous miners to validate transactions. This concern is addressed by various concepts and implementations of “permissioned blockchains” that are popping up, which would offer the advantages of digital currencies powered by public blockchains but be restricted to banks and vetted financial operators. Permissioned blockchains have been supported by Accenture and Digital Asset Holdings CEO Blythe Masters, and criticized by Jon Matonis and legendary cryptographer Nick Szabo, among others.