An all star panel consisting of Wences Casares of Xapo, Bobby Lee of BTCChina and Nathaniel Popper, author of Digital Gold and columnist for the New York Times, discusses the state of Bitcoin at TechCrunch Disrupt. Even though it is a short discussion, and a little disjointed, the panelists hit on a number of relevant aspects relevant to the current state of Bitcoin and the blockchain.
For the record, ignore the grumblings of the person introducing the panel. I would certainly hope to never get that rude of introduction regardless of the topic.
In their opening remarks each panelist was asked to briefly define Bitcoin. Mr. Popper said “a giant spreadsheet in the sky…with money on it.” Mr. Lee said the “world’s first digital asset.” Finally, Mr. Casares defined Bitcoin as “the best form of money we have ever seen.” These disparate definitions highlight the popular disconnect between Bitcoin as a currency and the underlying technology that drives Bitcoin, the blockchain. For this very reason, the panelists comments made for an interesting discussion.
As the moderator asks about the current state of Bitcoin, Mr. Casares notes that “we are paying the price for all the hype that has surrounded Bitcoin.” As the discussion continues, Mr. Popper points out there have been “a lot of things to make people not trust Bitcoin.“ He continues with “the underlying code of bitcoin is very strong and hasn’t been broken.” Here Mr. Popper is referring to the blockchain, the technology that Bitcoin, the currency, is built upon. “That is something remarkable and why Wall Street is looking at it today,” Mr. Popper continued.
Mr. Casares points out that a lot of financial executives have indicated that they are interested in “the blockchain but not in Bitcoin which is equivalent to saying I really like the browser but not the internet. It’s ridiculous.”
This brings up the issue of whether it is possible to divide the blockchain from Bitcoin.
Are private blockchains the same thing?
Check out the complete panel discussion here