Last SundayRichard Branson hosted a Blockchain Summit at Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco. Attendees included the most influential technology leaders and researchers across the globe. During a panel discussion, Google Co-Founder, Sergy Brin, accepted that Google and its parent company, Alphabet, missed the boat when it came to the distributed ledger technology.
“We probably already failed to be on the bleeding edge,” he lamented. “I’ll be honest.”
Despite the early setbacks, Brin hinted that blockchain technology might be within the grasp of Google’s mysterious research division, X—and that he sees the future of the company as “taking these kinds of research-y kind of out-there ideas and making them real.”
The conference is primarily focusing on building blockchain businesses in Africa as it is seen as being an untapped market.
“The whole continent is a bit of an unknown to a lot of folks because they just don’t get much exposure to it,” said the conference founderBill Tai in an interview with Forbes. “I think getting a lot of people together who are knowledgeable, with reach and a high profile, that collectively can form a view about what are the opportunities at hand that can both serve philanthropic and commercial interests.
We all know that cryptocurrency is one of the buzziest and fascinating topics of technology throughout the world and Brin being the latest figure indicated his exuberance for cryptocurrency and blockchain. The technology and bitcoin specifically have captured the mainstream attention, celebrities and companies alike have endeavored to launch their own versions of cryptocurrencies, and countries are making reliable efforts to form new decentralized exchanges with mixed results.
Brin is also fascinated with the potential of zero-knowledge proofs — in which only the transaction value is revealed — behind Zcash, a cryptocurrency using cryptography to improve privacy for users, according to News BTC, which Google may have missed out on an early adoption of the distributed ledger technology.
The billionaire has researched into various fields in the tech industry. He said in 2012 that Google would develop autonomous cars and they’d be available to the public in five years. (Six years on, we’re getting closer.) Last year, Brin secretly built his own airship at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California.
Despite his personal interest in blockchain and the digital currencies, Brin admitted he doesn’t know “a whole lot about cryptocurrency,” but an amateur mining rig set-up with his son piqued his interest.
“A year or two ago my son insisted that we needed to get a gaming PC,” Brin said. “I told him If we get a gaming PC we have to mine cryptocurrency. So we got an ethereum miner on there and we’ve been making a few pennies and dollars since.”
Brin said, “that definitely got me interested and I started to study the technology behind it and found it to be fascinating.”