Bitcoin is the subject of much derision due to its volatile nature, but blockchain, the technology girding it, is rock solid and here to stay, according to a panel discussion hosted by TheStreet's Scott Gamm.
"Blockchain is a very secure, somewhat private, list of transactions. It's a big ledger that's verified by various independent sources," bitcoin and cryptocurrency commentator James Altucher told the panel, during our webcast TheStreet LIVE: Investing in Cryptocurrencies.
There is value in being a secure transaction ledger that hasn't been fully tapped into yet. One example Altucher gave was real estate. Currently, there is a lot of paperwork and double-checking needed for one person selling a home to prove that he, in fact, does own the property.
With bitcoin, every transaction is recorded in a secure manner, meaning that home-seller could prove his ownership in seconds using blockchain.
Action Alerts Plus holding JPMorgan's (JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon has been vocal about his skepticism of bitcoin, but even he says that "the blockchain is real," and Oliver Pursche, chief market strategist at Bruderman Brothers, understands why.
"Banks can be a middleman, charge less for fees and still make more money using blockchain," Pursche said. "Blockchain is essentially having a consensus-based platform."
Altucher agrees that there is an opportunity for banks to get in on blockchain, noting that financial institutions are "behind 80% to 90% of world trade. Banks are checking into how to integrate blockchain into their operations."
A bullet-proof ledger of transactions has a lot of future applications outside of tracking cryptocurrency and smart investors are positioning themselves to take advantage, regardless of bitcoin's rises and falls, according to the panel.