RSA’s CTO: Bullish on Security, Bearish on Blockchain

There’s no question that distributed ledger technology, known as “blockchain”, is a hot topic. Originally conceived as a means of securing transactions using cryptographic currencies like Bitcoin, blockchain has been embraced by a wide range of academics, technologists and assorted boosters as the future of trust and identity online.

So great is the hype surrounding blockchain, in fact, that companies have turned to it as a kind of magic elixir. Kodak -once among the most esteemed companies in the U.S. – name dropped the technology and saw their stock price jump.

But RSA Chief Technology Officer Dr. Zulfikar Ramzan notes that the hype around blockchain’s potential shouldn’t obscure the reality of the technology and its limitations. In a video conversation I had with Zulfikar on the sidelines of the 2018 RSA Conference, he said that blockchain is well suited to its original purpose: securing crypto currency transactions, where decentralization, privacy and immutability are top concerns. However, that combination of priorities isn’t common to other context.

And that means blockchain’s success in securing Bitcoin and other online currencies doesn’t make it a good fit for solving other technology problems, Ramzan said.

For example, blockchain transactions are notoriously slow. The distributed nature of the blockchain means it can take anywhere from minutes to days to settle and clear a Bitcoin transaction. That’s not a good fit for – say – e-commerce, Ramzan notes.

“If you buy a book online, you’re not going to wait for four days to validate the (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from RSA Blog authored by Paul Roberts. Read the original post at: http://www.rsa.com/en-us/blog/2018-06/rsa-cto-bullish-on-security-bearish-on-blockchain.html