That is is bitcoin mining profitable 2014 not my agenda. I’m a lifelong Democrat who supported Obama in the last two elections. I think the Federal Reserve plays an important function, and I don’t agree with people who think inflation should be our nation’s primary economic concern. It is true that many early Bitcoin proponents were libertarians.
But it is also true that almost every significant computing movement had early proponents who were ideologically motivated. The developers of the first personal computers were closely aligned with the 60s counterculture movement. Open source software was originally created by people who believed that all software should be available for free. If not for political reasons, why am I interested in Bitcoin? Like a lot of people, I was disturbed by the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis. I thought the government did what it had to do at the peak of the crisis but missed an important opportunity afterwards to reform the financial system.
I wrote a blog post about this issue about four years ago. My argument was that if the technology industry wants to change the financial services industry, it can’t just build new services on top of existing financial services companies. That would be like trying to disrupt Google or Apple by building services on top of their platforms. Starting a new payment company that doesn’t depend on the existing banks and credit card companies could be disruptive. Since then I made a number of financial services technology investments, all of which were consistent with this thesis.
I started getting interested in Bitcoin about two years ago. Bitcoin was best understood as a new software protocol through which you could rebuild the payments industry in ways that are better and cheaper. 500B per year in fees to provide a service that mostly involves moving bits around the Internet. There are other services they provide like credit, security, and dispute resolution, but in any reasonable analysis these services should cost dramatically less than they currently do. Another thing that informed my view was seeing what a huge headache payments were for startups I was involved with.
Let’s say you sell electronics online. That’s money that could be reinvested in the business, passed back to consumers, or taxed by the government. Of all of those choices, handing 2. Internet is the worst possible choice. The technology industry is in the business of creating products and services that either enable new activities or make existing activities less expensive. Venture capitalists are in the business of funding entrepreneurs who run experiments to try to create these new products and services.
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