We will debate the pros and cons of Bitcoin for years — and that’s exactly why I think Bitcoin’s long term future is so bright. No doubt about it, Bitcoin has received huge amounts of press the past 8 months. The spike in Google Search Trend speaks for itself.
And yet, despite the press, I don’t think most of us understand the true value of Bitcoin. I’ve been researching Bitcoin for several weeks: reading articles popping up on Twitter and annoying my smarter friends for details. The litghtbulb didn’t go off until reading Marc Andreesen’s NYT article “Why Bitcoin Matters“. Here’s the crux:
Bitcoin is an Internet-wide distributed ledger. You buy into the ledger by purchasing one of a fixed number of slots, either with cash or by selling a product and service for Bitcoin. You sell out of the ledger by trading your Bitcoin to someone else who wants to buy into the ledger. Anyone in the world can buy into or sell out of the ledger any time they want – with no approval needed, and with no or very low fees. The Bitcoin “coins” themselves are simply slots in the ledger, analogous in some ways to seats on a stock exchange, except much more broadly applicable to real world transactions.
Every day, the lightbulb is going off for thousands of new people.
So while we debate Bitcoin’s value and long term prospects, more companies will accept and more people will pay with Bitcoin. When we come up for air to see who won the Bitcoin argument, the market will have already spoken.