At the recent Bitcoin & the Blockchain Summit in San Francisco, leading Bitcoin advocate and technology expert Andreas Antonopoulos did not compromise on his outlook for cryptocurrency.
He slammed what he framed as the media refining its message about Bitcoin, i.e. the currency being a joke “but the technology — I don’t know, maybe there’s something there.” Rather, he declared, “Bitcoin is a currency, bitcoin is a network, bitcoin is a technology and you can’t separate these things. A consensus network that bases its value on the currency does not work without the currency.”
He also contrasted the path to innovation through Bitcoin versus that performed by, for example, a bank. The latter is built around smart networks to deliver applications to dumb end points, and only with the bank’s sole interests in mind.
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Bitcoin, however, is a “dumb” network supporting smart devices, whose open source nature is designed to benefit all of humanity.
As to claims of 2014 being Bitcoin’s worst year, which may have been motivated by its price decline, Andreas countered that two important new technologies were deployed: multi-sig and hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallets. He explained:
“The companies that invented and deployed those two features did so in 2012 and we reap the benefits today. And in 2014, during ‘the worst year of bitcoin,’ 500 startups received $500 million in investment generating tens of thousands of jobs — and none of that innovation has come back yet, because they just started. Give us two years. Now what happens when you throw 500 companies and 10,000 developers at the problem? Give (it) two years and you will see some pretty amazing things in bitcoin.”
He ended by predicting that the open, decentralized system of Bitcoin will “crush” its centralized counterpart.