The blockchain development space is attracting some big names. Gary Cohn has Goldman Sachs on his resume, and more recently he worked at the White House, as an economic aide for the Trump administration. Now he is joining the board of advisers at Spring Labs, a Los Angles-based blockchain company.
Mr. Cohn has been lying low since March of this year, when he decided to cut his relationship with Trump’s White House off. He had been opposed to President Trumps opening salvo in the ongoing global trade war, which looks good for him in retrospect. Spring Labs is working on blockchain-based solutions for consumer credit, which could be a massive market.
Spring Labs already has a number of prominent advisers, including Nigel Morris, who is the co-founder Capital One bank, and Sheila Bair, the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC). Consumer credit is a staple of the US economy, and if Spring Labs is able to add value to the industry, it could be a great move for Gary Cohn.
Cohn served as the 11th Director of the U.S. National Economic Council and as the chief economic advisor to the President of the United States. Cohn previously served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Goldman Sachs, where he worked for more than 25 years and held a variety of leadership positions in the firm’s Securities Division, including Global Co-Head of the Equities and Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Divisions.
Gary Cohn Probably Sees the Writing on the Wall
Gary Cohn seems to be amped about his new position, and the blockchain space. He said that, “I have been very interested in blockchain technology for a number of years, and Spring Labs is developing a network that could have profound implications for the financial services sector, among others,” and, “I am excited to actively support the Spring Labs team in the development of this important business and network,” via a press release.
Spring Labs secured almost $15 million USD in financing earlier in 2018. The company sees blockchain’s ability to offer an extra level of data security as a huge benefit to the consumer credit market, which has been subject to numerous hacking attempts.
Equifax is a similar company, minus the blockchain angle. They lost the data of nearly 150 million people last year, in a major hack that has been the source of controversy. Consumer credit information is incredibly valuable to hackers, and companies like Equifax are clearly unable to defend sensitive data from bad actors. Blockchain would give banks and credit providers a direct link with consumer credit information, and remove companies like Equifax from the equation.
Blockchain is Still Taking Flack
Despite the fact that people like Gary Cohn, Nigel Morris and Sheila Bair, among many others, see value in blockchain, there is still a vocal opposition to the technology. Nouriel Roubini was on the warpath again last week, this time during an informal hearing that was organized by US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs.
The opinions that Mr. Roubini expressed haven’t changed much, and he still feels very negative on anything having to do with blockchain or cryptocurrency. He told the hearing that Bitcoin is, “the mother of all scams” and that blockchain is, “the most hyped technology ever.” There is no doubt a substantial amount of hype surrounding blockchain, which is totally normal for an innovative technology that could make major changes happen at many levels.
Whenever a new technology comes along that shows great potential, no matter if it is a railroad, an automobile, or the internet, some amount of speculative fervor seems to grip the markets. Bubbles tend to occur, and many people back platforms and companies that simply won’t make it. Evidence of a speculative frenzy is actually proof of blockchain’s potential, and numerous people understand that it could be a new way to store data, regardless of the kind of blockchain architecture in question.
Some of the biggest companies in the world are using blockchain, which is another indication of its future in global business. IBM and Walmart will be implementing a blockchain-based food tracking system over the next year, and many banks are patenting settlement systems that use blockchain. Major Asian banks are working with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) to switch over the a blockchain powered trade finance platform, which was designed by Ping-An, and is in use currently in China.