back to article Blockchain needs a reason to exist, Boris Johnson tells roomful of blockchain pros

Former British prime minister BoJo has used one of his first speaking engagements since losing that job to appear at a blockchain conference in Singapore, where his expert opinion on the subject boiled down to a belief the public needs to be convinced there's a reason for it to exist. Appearing in his trademark rumpled style …

  1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

    Disguised employee

    As it seems Boris delivers the service personally, so I wonder if he is ensuring he pays tax "like an employee" meaning giving up over half of his invoice to the tax man, or is that rule only for little people?

    1. Spazturtle Silver badge

      Re: Disguised employee

      "or is that rule only for little people"

      It's not a rule for the little people either. If you are paying the higher tax bands then you are not one of the little people.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: Disguised employee

        The higher tax bands already catch little people, but that was not my point.

        If he has set up a business as a vehicle for his speeches, I wonder if he declares himself in scope of IR35, as these speeches are personal service. Which means his company must be taxed on revenue, if he has one. That's what happens to little people and not giants like Infosys, for instance.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Trollface

          Re: Disguised employee

          Don't worry, his company is located in the EU, so not subject to pesky UK laws...

        2. MatthewSt

          Re: Disguised employee

          Not sure you've understood IR35 correctly here (unless I've misunderstood your complaint): He spoke as a one off at an event. He may have been paid a ridiculous amount of money for it, but I don't think anyone could argue that means he is an employee of International Symposium on Blockchain Advancements (or whoever was running the conference).

          If he has a personal services company, and he goes around doing a lot of one off talks for a load of different companies, then that is actually contracting and doesn't go anywhere near IR35. If one company decided they needed him to do daily/weekly speeches in their offices (perhaps they're trying to get rid of some staff) then he'll need to be declared within the scope of it.

          1. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Disguised employee

            He will have a company which sends this symposium a bill which will be paid if they were quick enough. They can pay him a salary on which he pays income tax. They pay his cost, the rest is profit on which the company pays 19% corporation tax, 25% next year. From the remaining money the company can pay him a dividend, taxed at 8.75% up to about 50,000 and over 33% above that. And he can declare his future ex-wife to be an employee or shareholder which might be dubious. That’s what he can do legally. Anything illegal he might want to do would be found out.

            1. captain veg Silver badge

              Anything illegal he might want to do would be found out.

              That never seems to come with any kind of consequence for de Spaffel Johnson.

              -A.

            2. MatthewSt

              Re: Disguised employee

              Correct, aside from the fact that his salary as an MP puts him straight into the 33% rate for dividends.

            3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              he can declare his future ex-wife to be an employee or shareholder

              Haha, Why would he do that? If she's soon to be his ex, why would he let her have the chance to squirrel away some of his hard earned money?

          2. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Re: Disguised employee

            Well if you are correct it looks like the politicians understand it well. But then they designed it...

  2. Binraider Silver badge

    Hiring Boris the Liar to deliver a speech about blockchain seems about right. Has anyone came up with a legitimate use case for it besides "marketing" hyperbole yet?

    Thought not.

    1. LionelB Silver badge

      Has anyone came up with a legitimate use case for Boris?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        My 0.0000011767BTC (2 cents)

        Blockhead talks about Blockchain.

        Seems about right.

        1. b0llchit Silver badge
          Devil

          Re: My 0.0000011767BTC (2 cents)

          Too late, it is no longer worth 2 cents.

          You need to hype a bit more to create a better valuation of your comment.

      2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Define legitimate. Bojo has proven himself to be very useful. Just not to the people he's supposed to represent.

        But he's an idiot. Blockchain is essential in our rush to digitise everything. So some secure (enough) method to handle security, authentication, audit/accountability, custody and non-repudiation. To my mind, the issue is standardisation, implementation, which transactions it should apply to, and the computational cost of doing so.

        But then it's also nothing really new. I'm a fan of X.500 because it included this stuff. A long while ago, we implemented an X-based network that transacted with an IP-based partner. There was a disupute, but we could prove we'd delivered messages to the partner thanks to non-repudiation built into the protocol(s). For the partner, it just disappeared into their IP 'cloud'.

        1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
          Meh

          Maybe Boris is reckoning that if he boosts the Btc promotion then the price will fall since everyone (even the Tories) are saying that he's an idiot. So if the price falls and he buys a bunch under the table and shuts up, maybe the Btc price will jump again in a few months, resulting in Boris making a few million again.

          Yes, I can say that he's an idiot, but clearly he's not totally stupid, he's just a politician that keeps getting richer, let's just watch this go on.

      3. oiseau
        WTF?

        ... a legitimate use case for Boris?

        Hmm ...

        He has proven, beyond doubt, that there is no such thing.

        As for illegitimate uses (past and present), there's quite a bit that can be said about that ...

        But Here's The Thing ® : just why does the buffoon still get any press at all?

        O.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > why does the buffoon still get any press at all?

          Ask that again when he's back in Nº 10 in 2 years time.

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            No chance

            He's going to have lost his seat. His majority has long gone, and he may even have been deselected - nominally because he's not bothered to turn up since July 7th.

            The party know that he's a liability now, even though he is still popular with a vocal group of members. That's why they let Sunak be crowned. To some extent, they're trying to blame all the current badness on him (instead of the previous decade of Tory rule) in an effort to keep a few seats. That might even work.

            And he won't care, because there will still be plenty of groups around the world willing to pay him six figure sums to fly in first class and bloviate at them for an hour or two.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Tories in number 10 in 2 years time? Not impossible. Johnson in No. 10? No way.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Personally, I wouldn't bet against him.

          3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

            Apparently he got 102 votes in the last leadership contest and so he could have stood against dishy Rishi and would undoubtedly have won. But he was advised by one of the polling gurus that because his magic spell was now exposed he would not be the magician he was in 2019 and his post PM earning potential would collapse. So he's chosen the fill yer boots path instead.

        2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
          Devil

          not even his pants get a good press

      4. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Klaus Schwab thought he has. But Boris was unable to deliver his Great Reset so WEF started a coup. You can't buy Conservative membership, so WEF had to short the pound and run the story that Truss crashed the economy and then they could finally ignore the members vote and put trusty Sunak on the throne.

        It's a matter of time we will all own nothing and eat ze bugs.

        1. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

          You can't buy Conservative membership ?

          I am pretty sure you can by a Conservative Lordship, just ask Russians...

      5. iron Silver badge

        > Has anyone came up with a legitimate use case for Boris?

        Impregnating females who have had a lapse of reason?

        1. oiseau
          Coat

          Impregnating females who have had a lapse of reason?

          I take personal exception to both the text and the tone in your post.

          Impregnating a female who has had a lapse of reason is basically rape.

          O.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Also not very legitimate IMHO.

            That said, I think the poster didn't set out to be offensive but thanks for picking up on this.

            1. oiseau
              Facepalm

              ... think the poster didn't set out to be offensive ...

              Of course he didn't. 8^*

              What the holy fuck is going on at ElReg these days?

              It is Friday and I was attempting (albeit not very successfully) to be preposterously facetious.

              No matter ...

              In my ledger, BJ is a total waste of good breathable air.

              Air that could otherwise be put to good use.

              O.

          2. Smeagolberg

            "Impregnating a female who has had a lapse of reason is basically rape."

            "Is"?

            So that's your definition of rape?

            No force?

            No coercion?

            No deception?

            Etc.

            Just dependent on the victim being a "female who has had a lapse of reason?

            Interesting definition, and one which many might take exception to.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge

              Not just mine, ask a judge. For example, lapse of reason due to mental illness, alcohol or other drugs does make it rape.

              If either party isn't able to freely consent for any reason, it's rape. That is indeed the legal definition.

              1. LionelB Silver badge

                Not sure "lapse of reason" (is that even a legal term?) per se necessarily qualifies: I suspect it's more along the lines of inability to grant legitimate consent due to mental illness, alcohol, drugs, etc.

                Whatever, "catastrophic lapse of taste" covers it pretty well.

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Has anyone came up with a legitimate use case for Boris?

        Reply of the week, hahaha.

      7. captain veg Silver badge

        legitimate use case for Boris?

        He made Theresa May look competent in comparison, which is some achievement.

        Of course, she had made David Cameron look competent in comparison, which was some achievement.

        Then Liz Truss repaid the complement.

        It's not looking great for Rishi Sunak so far. Who's next?

        My (non-crypto) money's on Matt Hancock. Or Chris Grayling.

        -A.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Blockchain use cases

      Here is a long list of the biggest successes. If you are not entirely convinced that some of them are successes that is because you are looking at it from the wrong direction. A report of someone coming second implies someone else came first.

    3. Dr Dan Holdsworth
      Joke

      Comedy?

      Seriously, blockchain currencies bring very little to the table that new with currencies. They're not as anonymous as, say, hacksilver or gold is and they're not as convenient as paper fiat money or credit cards are. The administration consumes lots of power for no actual gain, and really the only use is in slowly and amusingly teaching a lot of highly intelligent people who really should know better that con-men still exist and are still extremely capable of fleecing the marks.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

        1. Insert sadsack pun here

          I don't know where you are, but for years my international transfers have all been cheap and same/next day, and my domestic transfers have all been free and instant. That's nothing to do with blockchain or crypto, and all to do with migrants and small businesses pushing payments providers, and they in turn identified a use case that regulators allowed them to run with under a light touch regime.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Not sure how this fares now post Brexit, but quite a few British banks are also members of the EU SEPA instant transfer scheme where participants are obliged to credit an account within 10 seconds from transmission. Yes, that is seconds.

            That said, go above the max international transaction value of GBP 100k and God help if HMRC gets involved because that can easily set you back for half a year or more (dealing with a case right now and frankly, I get the impression that these uncivil servants just piss about with people because they're bored - there's no rhyme or reason to it, nor is it easy for people to hold that lot accountable).

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You didn't understood the guy, International transfers are supposed to be between the USA and the Bahamas...

            So done mostly using heap of cash...

          3. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Snake Silver badge

          Said this before, several times

          It is NOT "cryptocurrency", at least not based on the current way it is treated and traded.

          You do NOT trade and invest in "currency" and expect said "currency" to increase in value...just because.

          Crypto is currently an ASSET. It will NEVER *be* a "currency" unless and until the jokers investing and trading it as an asset actually start treating it as a real currency - stable, of known value, with little inherent profit from simply acquiring it and trading it, in an of itself.

          The vast, vast majority of transactions in crypto "currency" is currently trading it for its own value. Sorry, currency arbitrage is not only a specialized area but classically makes little money per transaction, existing solely on volume. The clowns who think they buy at $16K and sell at $40K, because crypto, are only dooming this to being the pyramid scheme that we have all see it to be.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          where international transfers take up to a week and cost a ridiculous amount of money

          This may help, I actually decide which banks to use for my business based on this. The "Inst" register contains all the banks who participate in the instant banking scheme, which mandates transactions to take place within 10 seconds.

          Max transaction value is €100k, but yes, it removes the transaction in limbo element. That said, that's EUR transactions only - I agree that international transactions can take longer if there's a currency exchange involved.

          I find XE to offer reasonable rates and actually work very quickly when you use a member of the SEPA Inst scheme to pay in (not had a recipient yet in the Inst scheme, given how quickly the transaction appears in a non-member bank account I suspect it would go very fast indeed), whereas I actually have a criminal action running against Wise where CHF 200 vanished after shenanigans (I had a letter a few weeks ago from the court that they've taken up the case).

          However, there is no way on Earth that the use of blockchain would speed this up as it all relies on international agreements - the very element that blockchain proponents seek to bypass (and thus the main reason criminals love it so much). In addition, the time it takes to validate a transaction lies several factors below the speed it needs to have to feasibly handle the current volume of "standard" transactions, not to mention the vast and climate unfriendly energy consumption associated with it. So no, blockchain doesn't solve anything here either..

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Has anyone came up with a legitimate use case for it besides "marketing" hyperbole yet?

      I rather think that was the point Boris was making.

    5. TVU Silver badge

      The thing is third rate grifters and spivs like Johnson and Hancock don't really know anything about bitcoin, blockchain, cryptography, etc, and they very probably don't care much either. They are only there to read out a pre-prepared endorsement script in exchange for a large wad of cash.

  3. Calum Morrison

    Imagine actually paying to hear that guff - it was bad enough reading the soundbites. I wonder if his fee was in bitcoin?

    1. Michael Strorm Silver badge

      Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

      Even if (for some reason) you actually liked Johnson, why on earth would anyone pay him money- quite likely a *lot* of money- to hear someone who isn't remotely associated with tech expertise deliver a talk on blockchain? Especially as the audience of "pros" can be assumed to have known a lot more than he did in the first place.

      At best we can assume he'd simply be delivering a speech written by someone who *was* an expert in the area.

      1. Calum Morrison

        Re: Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

        My thoughts entirely - is he there to inject a bit of glamour to the proceedings? Stardust? It's weird because an audience of blockchain shysters are surely the audience least susceptible to the pish he hawks.

      2. NightFox

        Re: Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

        Sometimes there's value in hearing the view from outside the bubble. I've wasted more days than I care to count listening to experts tell a specialist audience what they already know, and to great applause, but the real value I've taken away has often been the perspective of speakers one step removed from the industry.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Johnson on the post-PM lectures circuit gravy train, yes, but...

          "one step removed from the industry."

          Yes we need no experts!

  4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Photo

      Yeah, I've heard that incident (i.e. getting stuck on the zip wire) was deliberately set up and I can quite believe that.

      Johnson was someone whose "bumbling posh man with rumpled hair" persona was a deliberately contrived put-on to make him less threatening and more "likeable", and he exploited that English like of upperclass eccentrics to the full.

      Don't believe me? Broadcaster Jeremy Vine once told the story of how he happened to see Johnson deliver the same lecture twice.... complete with the exact same "funny" gaffes at the exact same points the second time round.

      Ha ha, funny Boris.

      1. Peter2 Silver badge

        Re: Photo

        Don't believe me? Broadcaster Jeremy Vine once told the story of how he happened to see Johnson deliver the same lecture twice.... complete with the exact same "funny" gaffes at the exact same points the second time round.

        You appear in some way surprised.

        When I was 16 and involved in running an event I was given a pack that contained a copy of the announcers script, including all of the scripted jokes. The same script was used both days of the event. Since then, i've come to realise that many people tend to reuse the same speeches etc to different audiences.

        I'm surprised that anybody is surprised that scripts exist and that people giving reheased speeches tend to reuse them whereever they think that the audiences won't overlap.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Photo

          You've missed the point. It wasn't the fact he gave a repeat of the same speech on two different occasions or even that the clearly-intended jokes were scripted.

          It was the fact that even the *apparent* bumbling "gaffes" and "mistakes" in the delivery of that speech (including the messing-up of a punchline that got a bigger laugh than the otherwise overused joke would likely have received anyway)- the kind of things that define the "Bumbling Boris" persona- were *also* the same.

          In other words, "Bumbling Boris" is, and always was, a put-on.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Photo

            Of course, have you only just realised that now?

            Even the hairdo is part of it, he'll be impeccably dressed in a business meeting, but on his way out to meet the press he will ruffle his hair and rumple his shirt to keep the persona intact.

            He's a clever man pretending to be stupid, which is much more dangerous than the reverse.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Photo

              > Of course, have you only just realised that now?

              No, it was obvious long before even before the Jeremy Vine story as far as I was concerned.

              > Even the hairdo is part of it

              I'm aware of that too; I'm the one who- every time someone says "why doesn't he do something with his hair"- mentions that *is* the point, that it's part of the "Boris" persona, and that if you watch cases where he genuinely needs to be serious (e.g. times of tragedy when *no-one* would tolerate "funny" Boris) he's quite capable of having it look neat and respectable.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Photo

                Also, while he's neither as stupid as some people assume, he's not the 4D-Chess genius some people who spotted *that* seem to overcompensate in assuming either.

                He has a lot of- what many people take as- signifiers for (privately) "educated", i.e. school Latin, use of historical references et al, but his main skill lies in promoting himself and his own self-interest.

                1. gnasher729 Silver badge

                  Re: Photo

                  I heard him being called “Britain’s largest unused brain”. Heaven knows what he is thinking with.

          2. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: Photo

            To quote, we have to "distinguish between him pretending to be stupid just to get people off their guard, pretending to be stupid because he couldn't be bothered to think and wanted someone else to do it for him, pretending to be outrageously stupid to hide the fact that he actually didn’t understand what was going on, and really being genuinely stupid. He was renowned for being amazingly clever and quite clearly was so—but not all the time, which obviously worried him, hence, the act. He preferred people to be puzzled rather than contemptuous."

            -A.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Photo

      More photos with comments from the photographers... - including the knocking over a child one

      https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2022/aug/31/photographers-best-shot-boris-johnson

  5. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    It's probably not a great idea to tell a room full of people working in an industry that their industry needs a reason to exist, but I think in a way, he is right.

    To my technical, but admittedly not really that knowledgeable about blockchain, mind I think he is right. I know that blockchain uses the same technologies used for virtual currencies, and I know it is used for data storage, but beyond Virtual Currencies and NFTs (both things I think will need regulation long term to at least minimise scams), I'm not really sure what advantage it offers over other technologies, and what it is used for.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge

      I thought I read an article stating NFTs were dead already? Dead in the sense that nobody is buying any? Or maybe it was a comment here in a forum? And therefore needs to be substantiated.

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        NFT

        Now Futile Trash?

      2. gnasher729 Silver badge

        NFTs are not a scam. Not really. You are told exactly what you are paying for. You get exactly what you paid for. Now if you thought these NFTs are worth something, that’s your own problem.

        Wikipedia is always asking for donations. I’d say they should somehow sell articles in a way similar to NFTs. With no actual rights being sold other than the right to say “I paid for it”. And the right to sell it on. I mean that would actually be a good use.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Basically anyone who completely understands it thinks it's a useless moneypit.

      People who partially understand it usually try to make money out of it.

      People who don't understand it provide the money.

      Block chain is a distributed ledger which relies on majority consensus to validate entries.

      Cryptocurrencies claim the calculation required to validate the entries has monetary value.

      Doing that gets harder as the "chain" of entries gets longer.

      If someone (or a small group of someones) manage to "own" 51% of the blocks storing those entries they can manipulate their value.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "I will do my best to tiptoe through the minefield this afternoon, with the tact for which I am famous"

    I heard a rumble but just thought they were testing the diesel gen!

    and to paraphrase a cracker joke...

    How do you tell if Boris has been in your fridge (his favourite hiding hole)? Footprints in the butter!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "How do you tell if Boris has been in your fridge"

      The entire contents has been replaced by a suitcase-sized amount of wine bottles?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Works for me!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Boris in your fridge

      He's eaten all your cheese. He's easily distracted by cheese. That's why he said we shouldn't work from home while he was Prime Minister. And living in the flat at No 10 directly above his "office".

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Boris in your fridge

        That's... A... Disgrace!!

  7. xyz Silver badge

    Get yer finest blockchains here...

    Fresh off the back of a lorry, sweet, tender and oven ready. I'll do you a deal... 1 bitcoin each or 2 for a half. You won't get better blockchains on the market. Look at the gold one I have round my neck.. BELLLOCKCHEEAAIIINS!!

    Honest Boris Enterprises.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

      "they're not stolen, they just haven't been paid for yet"

      Bacon (Jason Statham), Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

    2. Patched Out

      Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

      Cut-Me-Own-Throat Johnson?

      1. Ken G Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

        I think you mean "Bloody Stupid" Johnson.

        1. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

          Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

          Didn't he volunteer-promise himself to be "dead in a ditch" Johnson?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

            For Heathrow's 3rd runway, as the local MP, he was going to be "laying in front of the bulldozers" Johnson

            1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: Get yer finest blockchains here...

              Can I drive the bulldozer? ... pleeeeeeeease

  8. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Has-been politician shills for has-been technology

    If you're selling worthless nonsense to fools, what could be more appropriate than to waste a ton of money to pay a worthless fool to sell it for you.

  9. JimmyPage Silver badge

    Quite ironic that the sponsor of Brexit ...

    is backing blockchain.

    Wheres the £350 million a week for the NHS Boris ?

    I guess the end of the universe would be a blockchain app about the benefits of Brexit.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Quite ironic that the sponsor of Brexit ...

      'Kangeroo Scrotum' Hancock's doing the app

  10. that one in the corner Silver badge

    Is it an oven-ready blockchain?

    (Nothing else to add)

  11. hammarbtyp

    Boris Johnson

    What stupid people think intelligent people look like

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No, even stupid people don't think he's intelligent. They may thing he's the Honeymonster though.

  12. Ken G Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Trust and some way of holding people accountable

    Thank God he means glockchain and not politics.

    I'm mildly impressed that he understood enough about the subject to know that no-one has yet found a usecase where blockchain can't be replaced at a fraction the cost by a trusted central database.

    1. Ken G Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Trust and some way of holding people accountable

      Has the gun lobby been at my spellcheck? I didn't see it soon enough to edit but I promise I mean Blockchain.

      1. LionelB Silver badge

        Re: Trust and some way of holding people accountable

        I thought you meant blockenspiel ... ah, never mind.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trust and some way of holding people accountable

        Just after the Lewinski scandal, a friend was writing an email and typed 'Clinton in the Whitehouse'... to which the spillchucker suggested he meant 'whorehouse'

        (should have been 'White House')

    2. iron Silver badge

      Re: Trust and some way of holding people accountable

      Glockchain... its more gangsta!

  13. big_D Silver badge
    Trollface

    Well...

    Even BoJo has to be right once in his life, doesn't he?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well...

      His introduction of the Northern Ireland Protocol really was of benefit to the people of that region. I trust he'll have monuments erected to his wisdom and foresight, though probably not until after re-unification.

  14. Evil Auditor Silver badge
    Coat

    ...BoJo...where his expert opinion on the subject...

    After reading this I had to check the headline again, expecting to find «wanker» or «pathological lying». Didn't find either but then again, maybe it's not that far off.

  15. Packet

    Despite his prior misstep, he's right about the cryptocurrency aspect real world scenario...

    I enjoyed reading this article, and as usual, was fascinated by the comments.

    Blockchain and "cryptocurrency" have both shown themselves to be solutions in search of a problem.

    Refreshing to see the former PM of the UK (despite his prior missteps) point out the obvious - \what's the real use case?' and the need for regulation - I was to a lesser degree intrigued by his off topic meandering into Twitter etc.

    I imagine he's not getting invited back there any time soon, even though he said it far more politely than I would have (This Friday, I'm leaning towards something alone the lines of 'I extend to you ungracious greetings, you bunch of charlatans' or some other Shakespearean sounding rubbish)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Despite his prior misstep, he's right about the cryptocurrency aspect real world scenario...

      Crypto currencies main uses seem to be crime and fleecing idiots.

      "Greetings squire, would you like to use some of your actual real money to buy some of this currency I just invented out of thin air? What is behind it? Why, blockchain of course! No, you can't really use it for buying anything as transactions take too long. No, there isn't an economy or anything of any real value supporting it. No, of course we are not regulated, we want to stick it to the man! What can you do with it? Weeeeell, you hold onto it for a bit, hope the value goes up then sell it to someone else."

  16. Roger Kynaston

    Pointless human being blathers about pointless technology

    Very apt as others have observed.

    We need a vomit icon.

  17. Grunchy Silver badge

    Blockchain already being used to great effect

    I learned all about ledgers when I took accounting in high school. Blockchain is already being used in countless schemes to churn up billions of dollars in scam money from people who don’t know no better.

  18. Roj Blake Silver badge

    Look, it's easy to make fun of Johnson but what you have to remember is...

    ...it's also great fun.

  19. Andy 73 Silver badge

    El Reg reporting hits a new low

    "Johnson eventually touched on his theory that new technologies undergo four stages of innovation. Those stages include fear, skepticism about use cases, speculative mania followed by the bursting of a giant bubble, with the final stage, progress, rising from the debris."

    He describes the Gartner hype cycle and you think that it's *his* theory????

    Is this reporter somehow new to technology journalism??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Gartner Hype Cycle is slightly different

      See "Gartner Hype Cycle" gartner dot com.

      Gartner is talking about actual adoption and usage.

      Judging by Boris' paraphrased words ... speculative mania followed by the bursting of a giant bubble ... Boris is talking mainly from the POV of third party hedge fund investors.

    2. JoeCool Silver badge

      Re: El Reg reporting hits a new low

      There's a difference between reporting and commentary.

      Reporting is fact based : "bojo said X".

      Commentary is (informed) opinion : " Based on the reported remarks X, clearly his speech writer updated the standard speaking notes with some extracts from a Gartner report".

      1. Andy 73 Silver badge

        Re: El Reg reporting hits a new low

        By those definitions, the article is neither reporting, nor commentary, having avoided providing facts, and demonstrating a lack of (informed) opinion.

        Opinion alone is surely gossip?

        (And as an aside, given the chaotic nature of Boris' finances, I'd be very surprised if he could afford a speech writer).

  20. steelpillow Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Give the man his due

    Blockchain is a solution waiting for a problem it can actually solve.

    Do what you fsck-ing like as long as you do not harm the First Law (or something)

    Social media is just divisive shit.

    You have to get the ashes of the cock-up out of the way before you can move beyond it.

    Yeah, that is a fair summary of my philosophy of life. BoJo, you are in the wrong profession!

  21. nintendoeats Silver badge

    I'm really annoyed that I agree with every single quote from Boris in this article.

    In particular, the short form is infuriating. I've been trying to be a little bit politically active around firearms legistlation in Canada lately, and people keep telling me I need to make my writing shorter. Sorry guys, I can't cram a thesis, 10 coherent objections, and a conclusion into 1 page or a 60 second video. The fact that people think this is possible suggests that they are unable to identify incomplete arguments.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore

    BoJo is safe though.

    He can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.

  23. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day

    Even a stopped clock is right twice a day.

    Boris Johnson is an idiot, but I can't disagree with the public needing convincing on why blockchain exists.

    Cryptocurrency? That does rely on blockchain, and is a legitimate use for it. I'm really addressing all the OTHER uses...

    I mean, NFTs, each one goes through some single NFT site for that set of NFTs (several of these NFT sites have already closed up shop, so the blockchain just has a web address to a site that raked in millions of dollars then closed so your picture is not even there any more.) OK, the blockchain provides "proof" that you are the owner -- if you have any way to show you own a particular address on the blockchain. But since the updates to that ownership info are coming from a single site.... what's the advantage over having the site itself just keep track?

    There's companies now planning to do like trucking/shipping logistics using blockchain. This solves a problem the companies don't have -- they aren't assuming bad actors trying to falsely claim ownership of a container (which blockchain would help with). They are concerned about not having interoperable systems, the amount of paperwork and moving info from one system to another involved. Which blockchain in no way helps with. So in this oft-cited case, blockchain solves a problem that doesn't exist.

    There's various games and things that seem to use the word blockchain just to use it? They are throwing NFTs into the games so of course they'll use the term blockchain. Needless to say, this is just games that would have had in-game items purchased with in-game currency turning the "in-game items" into "Non fungiable tokens" to ride the hype train. And of course, games have had working systems to track sold items for decades before blockchain, so they may be using it but really don't have any reason to.

    Bank transfers? A blockchain could fairly be used for this, perhaps. It's a matter of if SWIFT is tampered with frequently enough for it to even be worth the upgrade, and if blockchain would prevent it or not (one prevoius SWIFT attack I read about, a bad actor waited for money to be transferred from a bank to a temporary account, which would then transfer to the target bank moments later; they pulled the money out of the temporary account into a "legitimate" account in the SWIFT system. So, throw blockchain in, if they still use the temp account etc. it may not help one bit with tampering.)

    Finally, there's a move to use blockchain for data storage, I guess? This sounds straight-up inefficient and I don't see the point of this.

    In summary, shockingly I agree with Boris on something -- I do think blockchain is extremely hyped and not really fit for many use cases it's being shoved into now. The public indeed does need convincing if blockchain should be used for these things.

  24. Ashto5

    BOJO and Daddy Pig

    Did he mention Peppa or Daddy pig ?

    If not then they didn’t get their monies worth.

  25. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "the public needs to be convinced"

    Yup. That's the basic step for every Ponzi scheme.

    I'm not surprised that BoJo is aware of that.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here's one Boris...

    An open, decentralised ledger of MP expenses.

    As a bonus. An open, decentralised ledger of public spending.

    Or how about...An open, decentralised ledger of public tax receipts.

    There are plenty of reasons for blockchain to exist, trouble is they can make a lot of murky fiddling a lot less murky and fiddly.

    I think what Boris really meant was...he's looking for a reason for it to exist to benefit the rich and chain up the poor. Blockchain isn't very good at that.

  27. NiceCuppaTea

    "I think that we are going to need some way of holding people accountable," said the floppy haired politician, adding that if cryptocurrency was going to succeed it needs trust and thusly it has "got to be regulated."

    2008 called, they want to know who was held accountable.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    He could be worse

    I'm going to stand up for Boris, he was a hell of a lot better than most recent PMs, especially May and Blair - two of the most repulsive, divisive creatures.... Don't even get me started on Liz Truss....

    He delivered Brexit which others failed to do, managed the Gov't response to the pandemic - one of the biggest crises since WWII and was in the front line supporting Ukraine.

    Sure, he was foolish in some regards but others get away with far worse.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like