CEOs of Mastercard and Wells Fargo Agree on Blockchain’s Long Term Potential

The CEOs of Mastercard and Wells Fargo agree that blockchain has long-term potential that has yet not been realized. This news comes via a CNBC report published earlier today.

Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Banga and Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan share the opinion that the hype of blockchain has outpaced results to date, but that the potential of blockchain is real. The executives made their remarks to CNBC at the Fintech Ideas Festival yesterday.

Said Sloan to CNBC:

“Blockchain has been way oversold. I think the fundamental technology is very interesting, but it’s been very slow to roll out.”

Sloan cited a pilot the U.S. bank did with Commonwealth Bank in Australia using blockchain for trade transactions, as well as other “consortiums and pilots” that have yet to gain real adoption. Specifically, he noted, the Commonwealth Bank pilot resulted in just one transaction.

“If you turned the clock back a few years ago,” Sloan went on, “It should have completely changed the industry — that’s just not the way it works. Over time, I think it’ll have an impact.”

For his part, Banga said he thinks “there are interesting possibilities with blockchain and “to ignore them would be a bad idea,” but “we don’t know the business model yet,” and that “a lot of this has to improve and change over time.”

However, Banga did point out that Mastercard is “deeply invested” in a few blockchain concepts; indeed, Mastercard owns the third most blockchain patents of any company in the world.

In October of last year, CEO of Visa Al Kelly said that Mastercard — a Visa competitor — needed to “try harder” in terms of employing blockchain technology, since it is a smaller company than Visa.

And it seems Mastercard took their advice — in February, global management consulting and professional services company Accenture announced a partnership with Mastercard to roll out a blockchain-based circular supply chain.