Blockchain needs a reason to exist, Boris Johnson tells roomful of blockchain pros

Former British prime minister BoJo has used one of his first speaking engagements since losing that job to appear at a blockchain conference in Singapore, where his expert opinion on the subject boiled down to a belief the public needs to be convinced there's a reason for it to exist.

Appearing in his trademark rumpled style at the International Symposium on Blockchain Advancements (ISBA) in Singapore on Friday, the former PM and current member of Parliament rambled about a whole host of subjects including vaccines, the war on Ukraine, how Michelin star critics are similar to North Korean dictators, and air ballooning technology.

He eventually proved that either he or his speechwriter had at least been briefed on what blockchain was by calling the technology's pioneers "people who are at the cutting edge of a new and still infant technology whose possibilities the whole world is now struggling to assess."

"Given the huge controversy that already surrounds some use cases, and given all the delicacies and sensitivities, I will do my best to tiptoe through the minefield this afternoon, with the tact for which I am famous," said Johnson, referring to the current state of the cryptocurrency industry.

Johnson eventually touched on his theory that new technologies undergo four stages of innovation. Those stages include fear, skepticism about use cases, speculative mania followed by the bursting of a giant bubble, with the final stage, progress, rising from the debris.

It became clear where Johnson felt blockchain currently sits in the cycle as he later told a moderator who repeatedly attempted to bring him back on topic "You have to be able to convince people use cases are real."

He did concede that blockchain seems to have "a lot of possibilities" and he could see that it "could somehow help companies."

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