I’ve been watching the progress of Bitcoin with increasing interest for a year or two now and I’m a bit surprised I haven’t written about it here before. I’m writing today because the number of mainstream use cases of Bitcoin seems to have been growing recently and this morning I got an email from the Boost.vc accelerator saying they were reserving five of 15 slots in their next programme for Bitcoin companies. (Disclosure: Boost.vc is affliated with the Draper family and invested in Bitcoin startup Coinlab last year.)
As this is my first post about Bitcoin I’m going to start with a definition. From Investopedia:
Definition of ‘Bitcoin’
A decentralized digital currency that enables low-cost payments without the need for central authorities and issuers. Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer (P2P) currency system created in open source C++ programming code. Bitcoins can be accessed from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Once a user has Bitcoins, they are stored in a digital wallet. Bitcoins can then be sent to anyone else who has a Bitcoin address. Bitcoin was developed in 2009 and based on the works of an individual or group of individuals known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
- fees to buy stuff over the web can be much less than the 2-3% taken by credit cards, and
- it removes the need for foreign currency exchange altogether.
- There are now $400m worth of Bitcoin in circulation
- The number of transactions per day has doubled since November to 60-70k per day
- It’s getting easier to buy Bitcoins locally around the world (when I bought some a year or so ago I had to transfer money to a Japanese bank acount…)
- There is an ever increasing list of places you can spend Bitcoins
I’m not ready to predict that Bitcoin will cross the chasm, in fact I still think that is a long odds bet, but if the current momentum continues I’m starting to think that it might become a bet worth taking.