FireEye Founder: Bitcoin Could Secure Our Global Payments Infrastructure
In a new interview, PeerNova investor and FireEye founder Ashar Aziz discusses bitcoin, cryptography and digital infrastructure.
The promise of digital currency technology and its potential applications has drawn a number of investors to the ecosystem, each with unique backgrounds and expertise.
For example, bitcoin mining company PeerNova announced in July that it had received funding from Ashar Aziz, a cybersecurity entrepreneur and founder of noted malware protection solutions provider FireEye. Aziz explained in a new interview with CoinDesk that the strengths of bitcoin are most obvious when you look at the infrastructure of today’s mainstream payment systems.
This infrastructure, which he labeled primitive, reflects the evolution of 20th century styles of payment. For this reason, Aziz argued, a new approach has to be taken, and that bitcoin may be the key to unlocking this future.
Aziz told CoinDesk:
Beyond payments, the actual procedural aspects of bitcoin could be applied to other types of digital infrastructure, Aziz said.
To Aziz, bitcoin payments are the first application of what may become a litany of additional use cases that fortify the Web’s security for the long term.
Legacy systems out of date
Aziz believes that the various elements of today’s payments infrastructure don’t work fluidly enough to handle the needs of a global economy. He called credit card systems archaic and unfit for the digital age, saying that the technological holes make it easy for cybercriminals to acquire sensitive data and subsequently commit fraud.
When asked how digitized payment systems will evolve in the years ahead, Aziz called the situation amorphous, owing to the many companies involved and the complexities in the infrastructure itself.
From a security perspective, however, he said that change will have to take place as the stark realities of securing payment networks becomes more apparent, explaining:
Migration slow but steady
Notably, Aziz said that the companies in the payments space are in a period of research and fact-finding. He described conversations between PeerNova and representatives from the payments ecosystem about today’s legacy systems as positive and engaging, adding:
Beyond businesses, Aziz sees consumers – many of whom don’t know too much about bitcoin, much less understand its transaction process – warming to the technology as it gets easier to use. Given the security problems dogging legacy payment systems, he said that those making payments will come to see the benefits that a digital currency-based system would offer.
Yet, at the same time, legacy payments systems aren’t going away anytime soon. Given the vast level of investment into modern payment infrastructure, bitcoin won’t have a direct impact overnight. What is more likely, Aziz argued, is that the nature of digital currency will spark a conversation abou how people transact with one another on the Internet.
Image via Skydeck/ UC Berkeley, Shutterstock
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.