by Dish Staff
Tim Lee believes the crypto-currency can thrive as a global payment system, even if it fails as a currency. He compares it to another innovation that proved far more influential than anyone thought it would be:
History suggests that open platforms like Bitcoin often become fertile soil for innovation. Think about the internet. It didn’t seem like a very practical technology in the 1980s. But it was an open platform that anyone could build on, and in the long run it proved to be really useful. The internet succeeded because Silicon Valley have created applications that harness the internet’s power while shielding users from its complexity. You don’t have to be an expert on the internet’s TCP/IP protocols to check Facebook on your iPhone.
Bitcoin applications can work the same way. There are already some Bitcoin applications that allow customers to make transactions over the Bitcoin network without being exposed to fluctuations in the value of Bitcoin’s currency. That basic model should work for a wide variety of Bitcoin-based services, allowing the Bitcoin payment network to reach a mainstream audience.
Henry Farrell is skeptical, predicting that governments would act quickly to shut down such a system if it seemed to be taking off: