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Why PwC’s John Garvey is wrong about the impact of Blockchain

Why PwC’s John Garvey is wrong about the impact of Blockchain

John Garvey may look back in some years time and eat his words: “I am not a believer that blockchain is going to change the world.” We are already seeing the impact of blockchain, and to think that the trend won’t continue is wishful thinking.

As PwC’s global financial services (FS) advisory leader, Garvey has a formidable background in finance. His words carry weight, which makes his conclusion about blockchain all the more surprising.

Speaking to SiliconRepublic, Garvey looks to related industries to explain his conclusion: “[S]urely the fintechs must be all over blockchain because it’s the new, greatest thing? But, when I look at hot, young companies like Encino and InvestCloud, all of these guys – none of them have blockchain.” He continues, saying: “The only thing that is driving bitcoin is what the next person will pay for the bitcoin.”

The value of world currency in contrast to Bitcoin etc., he argues, derives its value from the health of the economy. However, we only have property market to make a strong comparison. Many nations’ economies are reliant on a strong property market; many nations whose property value is high also has a strong economy. The health of the property market is largely defined by how much the buyer is willing to spend to get the property in the location they want. And while, sure, there are some crashes in property, ultimately it always comes back stronger.

Figures such as Garvey are a part of the status quo who are, arguably, intent on maintaining that. They often confuse value and currency, forgetting that our dollars and pounds are a simulacrum for the products that used to be traded or the gold with which our ancestors bought and sold before. Blockchain, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies disrupt the finance sectors, of which he and PwC are a part.

The impact of blockhain is already being felt and – while Garvey may be right about the ‘hot, young companies’ that he knows about – there are plenty of businesses adopting the tech. Read about the blood diamond industry being scuppered by Blockchain, and how it is changing real estate.