X Prize founder ditches gold, embraces Bitcoin

Peter H. Diamandis, founder of X Prize Foundation, has come out heavily in favor of Bitcoin in a recent Google+ post, saying

Peter H. Diamandis, founder of X Prize Foundation, has come out heavily in favor of Bitcoin in a recent Google+ post, saying that he plans on trading in a portion of his gold holdings to buy bitcoins.

Diamandis had taken a love for space since a young age. While in medical school, he founded International Space University and International Microspace Inc. He later founded Constellation Communications Inc which provided satellite-based telephony.

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He offered the first X Prize in 1996, worth $10 million, to the first team to build a 100 kg 3-passenger vehicle to fly into space within 2 weeks. Since then, X Prize has managed multiple public competitions to reward technological development.

On Bitcoin, he values its cutting out the fees, middlemen and lawyers traditionally involved in fiat. He calls it an “exponential currency” that will change the way we think about money, much the same as e-mail did to mail. “Exponential technologies” are those he teaches using his 6 D’s, all of which fit into Bitcoin:

Digitized: Every bitcoin lives in cyberspace, hopping on the exponential curve of Moore’s Law.

Deceptive: Nobody knew about during its early years (more on this below).

Disruptive: Its use will explode.

Dematerializing: It’s getting rid of physical cash, credit cards, banks and the need for lawyers.

Demonetizing: Money is cheaper to use.

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Democratizing: Capital is accessible to anyone even where there are no banks or ATM’s.

He also mentioned the 5 phases of digital currency’s evolution, as highlighted by SecondMarket CEO Barry Silbert:

(1) Experimental (deceptive) phase, where very few knew about it. Technologists and hackers started playing with the code. 2009-2011.

(2) Early adopter phase and first generation of Bitcoin companies build basic infrastructure. 2011.

(3) Venture capital phase, 2012 to mid-2014

(4) Wall Street and institutions will begin investing, trading and building products for digital currency. Fall 2014 to 2015

(5) “Mass Consumer Global Adoption” phase, where consumers feel comfortable using Bitcoin, “only 1-2 years out.”

He ends off by recommending everyone to start experimenting with Bitcoin, getting wallets, etc. to learn more about it.

News of his plans to buy Bitcoin seem not to have affected prices, which have slipped back below $600 in Monday trade.

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