Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bitcoin, 2009-2016, is Dead

Shhh, don't tell the Winklevii.

From Yahoo Finance:

‘Bitcoin is dead,’ says prominent fintech exec
Taavet Hinrikus of Transferwise says bitcoin has failed
Exactly three months ago, a well-known bitcoin developer, Mike Hearn, wrote a post on Medium that rocked the community of people who believe in the future of the digital currency and its technology. Bitcoin, he wrote, has failed. “It has failed because the community has failed… Worse still, the network is on the brink of technical collapse.” The post led to screaming headlines about the end of bitcoin. 

And yet, the industry plugs along. The currency is trading at $430 USD. Transaction volume (the number of bitcoin transactions per day) is higher now than it was before Hearn’s post, according to a tracker at Just this week, the Wall Street Journal profiled a top ETF (exchange-traded fund) attorney who is advocating for a bitcoin ETF, the same effort that Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are pushing. 

Barry Silbert, CEO of the Digital Currency Group, reflected this week, “Hearnado is over.”

Maybe not. If you ask Taavet Hinrikus, CEO of international-payments app TransferWise, “Bitcoin, I think we can say, is dead. There is no traction, no one is using bitcoin. The bitcoin experiment, I think we can say, is over.” 

Hinrikus made the comments in an interview with Yahoo Finance, during a visit to discuss his company’s service launching in Mexico this week. “What really happened was a gold rush,” he continued. “People bought bitcoin because they thought it would be worth more tomorrow. And a lot of people got lucky. But we’re not seeing real people use bitcoin. And we don’t know what problem it solves. Now, blockchain, I think, is a genius advancement in technology. But I’m not sure we’re seeing yet where to apply it. I’m pretty excited about R3 and Digital Asset Holdings. I think there are many areas where using blockchain is great, but it’s still early days.”

He’s not alone in either opinion: JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, for one, has also said that bitcoin is “doomed,” and has also drawn a distinction between the currency and its underlying ledger technology, the blockchain. His bank, along with more than 40 others, has signed on to a consortium to test blockchain technology for their transaction rails....MORE
HT: Economic Policy Journal