After a few months of bombing, we finally made money and did a podcast on “Freakonomics Radio” with bitcoin. The episode is called ‘Why People Who Don’t Hate Bitcoin Love It. ” Basically – thinking about Bitcoin just as a digital currency is like thinking about the Internet just as email. The possibility of Bitcoin is much greater and more interesting.
Bitcoin is sometimes described as “virtual gold” and the entire Ponzi scheme as a haven for people to buy black market products. But what animates some people, like Silicon Valley veteran Marc Andreessen, is that bitcoin is likely to be subject to multiple events, more than a simple currency exchange.
Andreessen founded Netscape in particular and is now on the boards of companies such as Facebook and eBay. He is not interested in an observer in the Bitcoin debate: his venture capitalist Andreessen Horowitz has invested about $ 50 million in two bitcoin-related companies, such as Coinbase, and Andreessen says his company plans to invest much more to make bitcoin easier to become a major.
Stanford University’s award-winning economist Susan Athey, who has a background in information technology, is also a big supporter of technology that supports bitcoin. For Athey, managing bitcoin has to do with its simplicity: “The beauty of the new currency, which is part of the virtual currency protocol, is that what I pass from me to you is just access to a secure public ledger. so I don’t have to worry about one bank giving me an IOU and then giving that IOU and handing it over to another bank. doing the transaction over virtual currency, it’s just an entry in the general ledger. So I don’t need an intermediary. “
That, of course, is a disadvantage to the simplicity of the transaction provided by bitcoin. New York Financial Inspector Benjamin Lawsky, who is leading the prosecution for controlling the digital currency in the United States, tells Dubner that he cares about bitcoin’s freedom for criminals: very easy to do now digitally with bitcoin. “
Lawsky is motivated by the potential of technologies like bitcoin that can drop all kinds of transaction fees. This can be bad news for local banks, credit card companies, and other payment seekers. As Lawsky points out, many other people benefit from it: ‘Immediately, there are thousands and thousands of New Yorkers working every day to return money home to their families in any country. ” And now they are paying for wireless transactions per week. and it’s a lot of money for people who can’t often afford it. “
Bitcoin certainly has its haters. A group of leading economists, such as Nobel Prize winners Robert Shiller and Paul Krugman and former central bank governor Alan Greenspan, have expressed concern about the astronomical rise of the digital currency. Shiller called the virtual currency “great for a bubble, for example. “
But Andreessen argues that everyone is missing a broad thing: “Within a minute the word ‘currency’ appears, all economists are vigilant, because if one thing, economists are all professionals in that currency. And they look at it and say, ‘Oh my God, People pay $ 600 for these things, it’s just a piece of fake digital currency. People just lost their heads. “I don’t think they’re looking at causals. “
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