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Ethereum’s Technology “Underrated”: ex-Google CEO

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The former CEO of tech giant Google, billionaire Eric Schmidt, said during a private event hosted by venture capital firm Village Global in September that Ethereum, “in its technical use” is “underrated.”

Eric Schmidt. Source: Guillaume Paumier/Wikipedia

Details from the private event have remained largely unknown until a video recording from the event was published to YouTube this week by Village Global.

In a fireside chat with Tyler Cowen, a well-known author and economist, Schmidt was asked about his opinion on a variety of subjects ranging from Antarctica, to human life expectancy, and blockchain technology.

When asked whether he thought “blockchain” was overrated or underrated, the engineer and ex-Googler explained that he believes it is overrated “in the public format.” From a technical perspective, however, he said that he believes it is “underrated.”

Cowen followed up by asking Schmidt what problems blockchain technology might solve, to which Schmidt replied that “blockchain is a great platform for bitcoin and other currencies, and it’s a great platform for private banking transactions where people don’t trust each other.”

He followed up by praising the potential of the Ethereum platform more specifically:

“I think the most interesting stuff that’s going on are the beginning of execution on top of blockchain, the most obvious example being the capability of Ethereum. And if Ethereum can manage to figure out a way to do global synchronization of that activity, that’s a pretty powerful platform. That’s a really new invention.”

In July, Speaking at a blockchain conference in Morocco, Google co-founder Sergey Brin said that Google missed its chance to be a leader in blockchain, while he has been mining Ethereum and making “a few pennies and dollars since”.

Interestingly, the cryptoverse also learned something new about the current CEO of Google, Sundar Pichai, earlier this week when it was revealed that Pichai’s 11-year-old son is mining ether on the family’s home computer.

Moreover, Pichai had to explain to his son “how paper money actually works,” while adding that “I realized he understood Ethereum better than how paper money works.”

Watch the entire conversation between Tyler Cowen and Eric Schmidt below (the blockchain discussion starts at around 26:47).