Podcast - Two Beers With Steve: A Bit About Bitcoin
In this episode (mp3), of the Two Beers With Steve podcast, host Steve Patterson asks Brian Nugent to provide an overview of Bitcoin and help explain why we’re likely to hear much more about it going foward. Excerpts (transcribed) below. Length: 54 minutes.
Steve: I love how technology has sort of shifted the power, it decentralizes it and gives people power. I like that it’s open source.
Brian: I thought [adaptation] would be faster but I guess I didn’t really understand the barriers. It is growing, slowly and surely. That’s reflected in the exchange rate. Bitcoin’s ecosystem is growing.
Brian: I’m still waiting for the killer app to be discovered.
Steve: The Square [dongle] is what we use at our farmer’s market. Its very simple but it also has a real high transaction charge.
Brian: If [vendors] just realized how much they could save by switching to bitcoin they would switch instantly. It’s really hard to get the message out.
Brian: We’re really hoping to see some take-up in import and export and global trade. Bitcoin didn’t emerge from one country. It emerged on the Internet which is global. There are users all over the world, but they aren’t concentrated in any one place.
Brian: Typically the black market is among the first to use innovative technology. I hope that doesn’t become the killer app for Bitcoin because that would draw the attention of lawmakers. There are so many uses for Bitcoin hopefully it won’t get that reputation.
This interview shows a disconnect that occurs with those enthusiastic about Bitcoin. Here you have Brian who sees Bitcoin’s potential and is confident that over time Bitcoin adoption is inevitable. He is incredulous that the rest of the world doesn’t grasp Bitcoin’s benefits — but they surely will once some killer app arrives.
But without trying, Steve basically explains why Bitcoin has an uphill climb. Bitcoin’s competitors already have solved the problem vendors faced at the farmer’s market, for example. While Brian asserts that Bitcoin’s cost advantages and other benefits to the merchant will cause them to want to accept Bitcoin over VISA and Mastercard, there’s barely a handful of retail merchants who even offer to accept Bitcoin as an alternative. (E-commerce companies are more likely to accept bitcoins though as offering it is only an incremental change to the checkout but gives the business a chance to gain share from its competitors who don’t yet offer a Bitcoin payment option.)
What is important to note though is that Steve probably never had an episode titled A Bit About Square. Bitcoin piques people’s curiosity so because a decentralized digital currency truly is so much different from any other type of money we’ve ever known.
But that doesn’t give Bitcoin a free pass to where it doesn’t need to prove its utility first.