Yesterday Wired published a harsh takedown of blockchain tech and its potential, titled “There’s No Good Reason To Trust Blockchain.” Dismissals of bitcoin and blockchain are a dime a dozen, and few of them show truly deep understanding of the technology itself, much less its real potentials or real problems. But this particular attack was written by Bruce Schneier, one of the most respected digital security and cryptography experts in the world. He’s the author, along with several mass-market books about computers and society, of 1993’s Applied Cryptography, a widely-used textbook in the field. He has even previously written about the need for workable digital currency.
You would expect Schneier, then, to be enthusiastic about blockchain’s potential, or at least cautiously hopeful. But from its headline on down, his piece asks to be read as a full-on declaration that blockchain tech is pointless and, implicitly, not worth devoting more resources to developing. On Twitter, reaction has included words like “scathing”.