Blythe Masters, the former JPMorgan Chase & Co. executive is stepping down as the CEO of Digital Asset Holdings. This comes three years after she joined to great fanfare with much expected of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology.
However, as 2018 has proved, last year’s crypto bubble has burst and so has that of the blockchain. At least this is the realization of many organizations that have been piloting the technology.
Masters Claims The Timing Was Right For Her To Step Down
The former banker who is credited with inventing the credit-default swap said that she had made the decision due to her personal reasons. However, in business terms, it seems the time was right given that the crypto bubble has burst. The crypto market lost over 80 percent of its value this year.
At the time of her appointment in 2015, Masters was the face of the Blockchain philosophy in which many believed there lay a technological infrastructure that could be cleaned up and be used by blue-chip firms like banks.
The rise to prominence of cryptocurrencies had more people pay attention to the underlying technology that supported them. There were huge promises that saw companies jump on the blockchain bandwagon. And it’s here that Masters played a crucial role. She helped translate the technology into a story that bankers could understand.
Some of the reasons why many companies jumped at the technology included wanting to cut their costs, improve their tech and even look hip to ensure they attracted the smart graduates who otherwise would flock to Google.
So hundreds of pilot projects and dozens of consultancies were set up. Some predicted that 10 percent of the GDP would be on the blockchain by the year 2027 while others talked of billions of dollars in transaction costs being saved.
However, as many are now realizing, the problem is not the idea, the issue is implementing the concept. Given that many banks struggle with handling simple IT upgrades, it’s naïve to expect the same institutions to lead the next tech revolution.
Already, the harsh reality has hit one entrepreneur. Speaking to Lionel Laurent of Bloomberg he said “We tried blockchain for about one day. Everything became three times slower. So we stopped.”