Banking

Bank of America’s Cathy Bessant speaks cautiously of blockchain

March 27, 2019, 7:04AM EDT

Bank of America has the most patents for blockchain technology, a total of 82 blockchain-related patents, CNBC writes. It’s more than other financial payment companies have; in comparison, JP Morgan, which is planning to launch its own JPM Coin, has just six patent applications. However, Cathy Bessant, BofA’s tech and operations chief, remains doubtful over blockchain.

“What I am is open-minded,” said Bessant. “In my private scoreboard, in the closet, I am bearish.”

Bessant has been working for BofA since 1982, and she’s held the position of the tech and operations chief for almost ten years. While she believes in future-proofing BofA in case blockchain use becomes more widespread—the bank will be ready for such eventuality. While she believes private blockchain could “at some point” prove useful to financial institutions and help clients save up money.

Her problem with blockchain is that even though she wants blockchain to work and “make us better, faster, cheaper, more transparent,” she does not see any use case for blockchain.

Bessant claimed, “I haven’t seen one [use case] that even scales beyond an individual or a small set of transactions. All of the big tech companies will come and say ‘blockchain, blockchain, blockchain.’ I say, ‘Show me the use case. You bring me the use case and I’ll try it’.”

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