New Technologies Are Met With Fear and Wild Rumors


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….

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2 comments

  1. I think this has a LONG way to go before it reaches viability on a consumer level. WTF is a Bitcoin? Most consumers (myself included) have no idea what a Bitcoin is, and have no idea where they come from. My perception, without any real research into it, is that a Bitcoin is a made up piece of code that someone, somewhere, decided existed but could only be found through some sort of magical ‘mining’ on the interwebz. And, generally, I think I’m a pretty smart guy. So, the average Joe who reads about Bitcoins? They’re clueless and probably skeptical. This won’t ever catch on if they can’t rectify this problem, which is larger than even the regulatory issues, IMO.

    1. Completely agree with your mainstream argument. I’m talking 20 years plus to mainstream acceptance. But I’m more coming from the angle that people will figure out the kinks of digital currencies. All necessary technology stumbles right out of the gates.

      And digital currency in itself is a necessity. Someone is always getting screwed when paying with PayPal or a credit card, usually the retailer, roughly 3%. A frictionless transaction experience is due, and a survey shows that millennials are the most displeased with banking options today… Ripe for disruption

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