I continue to be amazed at the fear and sheer denial around new technologies. Crypto-currencies (like Bitcoin) seem to intentionally get bad press that only fosters a unified misunderstanding and hope for failure of said technology.
(Side note: Narrative Science does, from time to time, get bad press as well. People think our mission is to replace white-collar jobs, which isn’t the case. If anything, we’re taking the tedious and monotonous parts of their jobs out of the equation. That fear and bad press are things that I have to address on sales calls sometimes. Instead of attempting to understand how the technology can change their business, workflow, or operations, they let these preconceived notions blind their ability to make optimal decisions.)
Sorry, I digress. Back to why fear and rumors only inhibit progress/innovation.
Granted Bitcoin has seen a few rough patches of late, instilling fear in the masses, but I’m 99% sure it will work out in the long term. Over the next few years, some standard or regulation needs to be put in place. Just like standard protocols were eventually established for basic things like e-mails, HTML pages, and RSS feeds, there will be a protocol for every facet of Bitcoin. These standards will prevent Bitcoin exchanges to fail, lower mining costs, etc, etc. The biggest failure of the internet was it wasn’t invented with economics built into it. That’s another reason why payment companies have thrived (Paypal, Square), somehow inventing slightly more convenient ways to make payments anywhere, at anytime via the internet/e-mail. Then they charge ~2-3% of your transaction. Bitcoin is an apparent solution to make frictionless transactions, but the fear, rumors, and general misinformation push the masses away from embracing it. The longer the masses refuse to embrace it, the longer it will take to work out the kinks, and remove the initial bad taste in people’s mouths.
As the old startup saying goes,”It’s better to ask for forgiveness, than ask for permission.” In other words, regulation doesn’t keep up with advances in technology, unless technology forces regulation’s hand….