Former US Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers took part in a fireside chat at Consensus 2016 today, in which he spoke in depth about emerging financial technologies such as blockchain and bitcoin and the impact such inventions could have both separately and together.
Moderated by Alan Murray of Fortune Magazine, the session found Summers bringing the dialogue of the bitcoin and blockchain worlds closer together, as he framed the ideas less as competitors, but possible outcomes of a larger change in economic processes enabled by technology.
Summers projected that there would likely be three outcomes from this evolution: That blockchains will co-exist with traditional fiat currencies; that blockchains will be enabled by bitcoin; that blockchains will eventually interact with digital currencies, but not bitcoin.
While Summers remains open-minded about the possibility that a digital asset could serve as a global currency or store of value, he predicts that the underlying technology is likely to be more impactful.
Summers told the audience:
“Is the blockchain technology going to be fundamental? I think the answer is overwhelmingly likely to be yes. Is bitcoin going to be a valuable store of value, the same way as people use gold?