Renowned Professor and Author Ahmed Banafa on Recent Changes to the Bitcoin and Blockchain Landscape

El Salvador provides a legitimization road map for Blockchain and Bitcoin
Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 12:01 PM EDT

FREMONT, Calif., Oct. 19, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) professor Ahmed Banafa, author of Blockchain Technology and Applications, gave his thoughts recently on the Blockchain global landscape.

(PRNewsfoto/Northwestern Polytechnic University)
(PRNewsfoto/Northwestern Polytechnic University)

What do you view as the primary hurdles to more mainstream adoption of Bitcoin (or other cryptocurrencies) as a form of payment?

The top four challenges facing Blockchain Technology are:

  1. Regulations: There are currently no clear guidelines or laws that govern it – the main governmental concerns are anti-money laundering and consumer protection issues and solutions to prevent abuse of cryptocurrency by illegal organizations.
  2. Public Perception: The public can view cryptocurrency as a risky or shady way of investment or payment. There is also a negative stigma surrounding cryptocurrency because many cybersecurity experts believe it "gave the kiss of life to ransomware attacks."
  3. Understanding: A barrier to using cryptocurrency is that much of the public does not understand "digital money" and there is a fear of using it. I offered multiple seminars and workshops at Northwestern Polytechnic University to educate the public about Blockchain applications including cryptocurrency, in addition to the classes of Blockchain we teach at NPU. It is one of the few universities in the nation that offers such classes in a new technology like Blockchain.
  4. Volatility: The wild swings of prices of cryptocurrency are too much for an average person to tolerate and incorporate into their daily life.

If someone were interested in learning about, starting to invest in, and/or utilizing cryptocurrency, is there any advice you have? Should people who would like to get started now feel intimidated by the current value of Bitcoin?
I am not in any position to recommend investments, but I want interested individuals to know that it's very risky and can defy logic when it comes to the ups and downs of the value of Bitcoin. We only can create 21 million Bitcoin because of the way it was invented, and we already have around 18.8 million in the market so you can see why we have this wild swing of Bitcoin price. To me, Bitcoin is "Vegas Money" – don't get mad if you lose it and if you are successful, it's extra cash.

What are other applications of Blockchain that are being discussed? What implications might they have on a global scale?

Information is immutable with Blockchain.

Technically speaking, if you need security and trust, then use Blockchain.

A few relevant applications include:

  • Supply Chain Management
  • Authentication of Documents
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Fighting COVID-19
  • Quantum Computing
  • ID Verification
  • Degree Verification
  • Real Estate

Much like El Salvador, several nations have considered adopting Bitcoin as their national currency. Given the volatility of cryptocurrency, do you consider this a good idea?
Digital money is the future. The El Salvador idea was good but the execution was bad as the app used to save Bitcoin crashed many times under demand. Once El Salvador and other countries can solve that issue, digital money can be a powerful tool for them.

The European Central Bank has discussed a "digital euro" – does this defeat the original intended purpose of cryptocurrency?
There are three types of digital money, Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), Stable Coins, and Cryptocurrency. The European Central Bank is creating their own digital currency which will be under their control as another form of payment. For example, this approach is very similar to a gift card with points at a large company such as Amazon.

Founded in 1984, Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) is a WASC-accredited non-profit private university in Fremont, California that awards bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science, engineering, technology, and management programs. Learn more at

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