Bitcoin QA: How long until mainstream adoption? How long mainstream adoption? Well, lets look at the previous revolutions in money. In the 16th century, there was this radical proposition to replace gold with gold certificates, written on paper.
If you think people find bitcoin weird, imagine the time when gold is no longer the money bits of paper are. They, Youve got to be kidding me. That idea was so radical, it took four hundred years until it became broadly deployed in mainstream society.
The next one, in the 1950s was credit cards. With credit cards, people were now told the pieces of paper that have the government seal on them are now pieces of plastic… that have a company number on them. And thats it. But dont worry, youll get paid eventually. It took almost 50 years for that to become mainstream.
You really started seeing it around the middle of the 1980s. I remember, as recently as the early 90s, in most places in Europe you couldnt pay with a credit card anywhere. I remember coming back from the United Kingdom as a student, visiting Greece, Italy, and Spain with my brandnew Visa debit card.
Boy, was that a disaster! Because I couldnt use it anywhere. So 400 years for the first, 50 years for the second one. I think we can do in less than 15, maybe 20 . Were going to see broad adoption of a form of digital money that will be based on a shared, open, borderless, cryptographic ledger.
Whether its called Bitcoin or something else, I dont know. But it will be broadly based on those ideas. Were in a race.
The reason were in a race is because governments around the world are trying to ban cash, and take us into a different digital currency system a digital currency system with complete surveillance, where the governments and the banks are completely in control. Where, when you go to the wrong protest or participate in the wrong political party, they flip one bit in the database and you no longer exist as a person. You are outside the economic community.
Byebye. Cant feed yourself? Good luck!
I dont want that future, so wed better get our asses in gear and build some bitcoin solutions faster. But in 15 years, I think we can do it. The good news is, we dont need to build out the infrastructure.
The internet is already there. Yes, okay. So to be really popular and to be successful in the mainstream, it has to rise in value to match the capitalisation of fiat. Thats not a cause, thats an effect.
It gets adopted, it rises in value. It doesnt get adopted because it has risen in value. It rises in value because it is adopted.
Yes, I do expect that Bitcoin will be unbalanced. The question was, do you think its going to be unbalanced? Bitcoin particularly good Gini coefficient what that means is that the equality of ownership is not quite as diverse as it should be, or it could be. I think thats primarily because of the way it grew.
Any solutions? Im not going to pass judgement. The idea here is that you have a system of wealth, where people took enormous risk on a completely untested technology because they saw the vision that this technology created. They may well become rich, which is a far better basis than my grandfather killed a hell of a lot more people than your grandfather, which is the basis of wealth we have in much of our society today.
That is the truth. If bitcoin goes to zero, are you going to bail out the people who have a lot of bitcoin? I didnt think so.
So they still run the risk . All of us do who are invested. Anybody who has invested in bitcoin is running an enormous risk that they will lose their entire investment, and whatever time weve invested into these technologies could go away tomorrow. Thats part of the risk. No risk?
No reward. Nobodys coming to bail out bitcoin. From that perspective, I think thats earned wealth in a way that is much more true than many other aspects of society. Do I think its the most equal system? No.
But I dont think Bitcoin is going to be the only system we create. Bitcoin is a testbed. Yes, lots of people may become rich on bitcoin, but there will be other cryptocurrencies. There will be other decentralized ledgers. Broad adoption doesnt mean just bitcoin.
It could be a completely different system thats built from scratch and much more equally distributed. In fact, if you think this is a big problem, start writing the blockchain that will be more equally distributed. Bring it to the world.
Bitcoin already gives you the recipe.