I’ll admit this may not be a trading related article, but I’ll do my best to spin it that way. Writer, investor and financial analysis celebrity James Altucherr has announced the launch of his new book, Choose Yourself, available initially only through bitcoin purchases. The book will be launched for all currencies in June when it becomes available as a Kindle download.
If you are familiar with Altucher’s work then this may not be too surprising, given his interest in adopting new technology. Specifically with books he is an advocate of self publishing, so a pre-launch with bitcoins would seem to be up his alley. However, until recently he wasn’t much of a believer in bitcoins prospects. During his weekly Twitter Q&A sessions last month, here were a few of his thoughts about bitcoin.
@rockstar_aimz bitcoin is a fad. Maybe other currencies will result. but bitcoin itself is a fad.
— James Altucher (@jaltucher) April 18, 2013
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So you get the point. His opinion reversed though after conversations he had with Naval Ravikant, Founder & CEO of Angel List. He then tweeted:
— James Altucher (@jaltucher) May 2, 2013
Providing more depth in his turn around, Altucher explained to BusinessInsider that ” after extensive conversations with a friend of mine, Naval Ravikant, the founder of AngelList, he convinced me that bitcoin is, in fact, the first “choose yourself” currency. It is not dependent on any one institution or person to bless its success.” He added that “bitcoin has many features that make it attractive not only as a potential future currency but as a replacement for all contract law. In one swoop, any economy that takes up Bitcoin as a currency will rewrite all contract law (eliminating the need for lawyers in 99% of situations), will eliminate the need for exchanges, and make international trade infinitely simpler.”
In addition to Althucher’s change of opinion, last week we posted about Howard Lindzon’s skepticism towards bitcoins. However, following the $5 million funding round of Coinbase that was led by Union Square Ventures, Lindzon commented positively on Fred Wilson’s blog post about investing in Coinbase; showing that he may be not willing to invest in using bitcoins, but he isn’t betting against them.
What’s the point of all this. The catalysts for both financial guys, Altucher and Lindzon, were tech industry influences. Specificaly, Ravikant has become one of the most respected voices in Silicon Valley. As such, while much of the debate is around whether bitcoins are worth nothing or thousands of dollar’s, the real debate should be centered around the technology it is part of. In terms of technology, bitcoins are receiving an expanding backing of influencers that believe in its disruptive properties. Therefore, as bitcoins become understood more as a technology play and not a currency play, the distinction will affect how it will be viewed by governements and established businesses. While an asset class is easier to regulate or ‘ban’, technology isn’t as easy. As such, while little announcements like a book being available only for bitcoins may not be a big deal, they are part of an increasingly larger trend of bitcoins being a technology driven product; which is BIG DEAL.