LeWeb : Is Bitcoin the future of currency?

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

The Bitcoin Panel

A panel discussion moderated by Martin Bryant, Managing Editor, The Next Web


  • Anthony Gallippi, Co-Founder & CEO, BitPay
  • Shakil Khan, Head of Special Projects, Spotify
  • Roger Ver, Founder & CEO, MemoryDealers.com

Shakil: Investor in Bitpay, and just over two months ago there was a huge wave of interest in Bicoin. He realised that there was an information gap – so they launched Coindesk.com. People come for price, research and press releases. LArge scale finance houses are starting to take is seriously as an asset clews.

Roger: It’s the most important invention in the world. You business should be using it. It will change the planet. BItcoin is the first time anyone on the pant can exchange currency with anyone else in the world. It’s impossible for anyone else to interfere or freeze you account. This has never existed before.

Tony: Bitcoin works with public/private cryptography. If you lose that key, you lose your money. If someone steals it, they can spend your Bitcoins. The security is about understanding how encryption works. It’s a bit more difficult – that’s why businesses are adopting first. It’s like living in glass houses – you have to put some clothes on to maintain privacy. if you expose your Bitcoin address, anyone can find out your currency flows.

Shakil: I mentioned that I’m a huge believer in digital currency, and Bitcoin is the biggest? Is this going to be different from Amazon’s equivalent? Or the app store ecosystem? You’re starting to see early adopters – EFF, Automattic, Reddit – using it. It’s a long journey ahead. It’s a bit like the internet in ’65 or ’96. That’s similar to where we are in the Bitcoin space.

Roger VerRoger: The supply of Bitcoin is limited by the laws of mathematics. The price of Bitcoin will have to increase to meet demand. If you buy Bitcoins today, if you hold them for a year, almost certainly they’ll be worth more in a year.

Shakil: Will it replace cash? Probably not. Each event that takes place, though, tells the masses that the old system has flaws

Roger: it’s possible governments will try to shut it down – but the only way of doing it is to shut down the internet worldwide. i don’t think that’s possible at this point.

Tony: People will start using it without realise it – it’ll become a backend mechanism for money transfer that switches to other currencies either end of the transition. Who created it? It doesn’t really matter. We’re working with the product. We have no idea who the person who created actually is.

Shakil: We get e-mails all the time saying they have information about this, but it’s not really relevant.

Roger: It’s open source. Anyone can read the code and see how it’s going to perform. That’s far more transparent than the banks.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.