Blockchain: Payments Execs Unpack The Hope From The Hype

You know blockchain is about more than bitcoin, but what else do you know? We queried some of the most notable names in payments to get the lay of the land, with a focus on where blockchain has been, where it’s going and what the real world might demand of the digital ledger.

Remember when blockchain was the new technology buzzword on the … block?

Still buzzy, if not so new in the nomenclature. Now blockchain is on everyone’s lips, and has been for a while. Where once the concept of the digital ledger was linked to bitcoin, now blockchain stands on its own, as a conduit to any number of transactions across cryptocurrencies and other vessels of exchange, including data.

The debate over blockchain, however, in terms of utility, rages on. The key questions swirl around disruption and whether blockchain will truly change the way we pay, or whether this is more evolution than revolution.

The fact remains that commerce is seeing, and will see, some transformation through blockchain and the use of smart contracts. Transparency is good, speed is good and security is good.

But how to get that all into place? How to separate hype from hope, and tackle the tech?

The buzz may exceed the use cases, at least for now. The fact remains that financial services, healthcare and logistics – in fact, all manner of verticals – are mining the possibilities of blockchain. Investment of research and development proceeds at a dizzying pace.

Our goal in these virtual pages is to see if this is indeed technology in search of a reason to be used, or whether the potential to change the way business is done is truly in the cards.

The answers here, given by a host of experts, stakeholders and industry veterans across payments, offer up food for thought. View blockchain from a variety of angles – across technicalities and excitement, skepticism and even some caution – and you might get a clearer picture of what lies ahead.

Read on.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.