As the Bitcoin AMA event is in full swing, the time has come to do a small recap on what yesterday’s participants had to mention. A lot of questions were asked yesterday, and most of them were directed towards either Wences Casares or Kristov Atlas. Oron Barber of CoinPoint.net participated as well, so let’s see what they all had to say.
Wences Casares: “I think a world in which Bitcoin succeeds is a much better world.”
It is always interesting to hear the stories of how people got involved in Bitcoin in the first place. Most of the early adopters of digital currency were frustrated with the current financial system for sending money to other countries. Wences Casares experienced the same struggle of bypassing capital controls, PayPal not being a viable option, and electronic currency that became popular at the right time.
However, it is always important to be realistic in the Bitcoin world:
“Of all the ways in which Bitcoin could fail the one that worries me most, because I think it has the highest probability of all the bad things that could happen, is a price panic that drives the price to zero, or $15, from which it may be very hard for Bitcoin to recover the public’s trust.Right now most of the money that is invested in Bitcoin is money people can afford to lose and that makes it safe money. So when Bitcoin goes from $1,200 to $200 there is not a vicious cycle of people who need to sell, because they cannot afford to lose more money, that drives the price to zero.”
As an entrepreneur, Wences Casares has started noticing how mid-level executives are getting keen on the term “blockchain,” but will avid referring to “Bitcoin” by any means necessary. These people think they can have one without the other, but the blockchain would not work if the miners were not being paid with bitcoins. A lot of people fail to miss this point, which is where educational efforts need to step up their game.
Most Bitcoin enthusiasts have noticed how Argentina seems to be a prone place for Bitcoin adoption these days. Wences agrees with this vision, but he would also like to stress that Bitcoin is far more important to Argentina, rather than Argentina being important for Bitcoin. He stated:
“Argentina has had so many problems with its currency (hyperinflation, devaluations, etc), with its banking system (accounts being frozen or confiscated en masse, etc) and with the payments system (currency controls, difficulty to send money in or out, difficulty to buy dollars, etc), that most Argentines understand the appeal of Bitcoin immediately and use it to protect themselves from those issues.”
Make sure to read the entire thread on the Bitcoin.com forums for more Q&A goodness between Bitcoin community members and Wences Casares!
Kristov Atlas: A Wide Range of Interests, Including Cypherpunk Action
During his AMA session on the Bitcoin.com forum, Kristov Atlas made it clear from the start he would not be talking about his work at Blockchain.info. There are far more important topics to talk about than just one platform, and the Bitcoin community came up with some interesting questions. When asked if Kristov Atlas was excited about any of the developments for increasing privacy in Bitcoin, he stated:
“Most of the developments in that space lately have been bad news, but there are a few good ones. Academics are getting more involved with Bitcoin privacy research and have contributed new p2p protocols such as CoinShuffle and CoinParty. We’re also finally figuring out that these protocols require economic consideration, and so JoinMarket is a major advancement. I think a decentralized protocol that deals with the issue of input merging will catch on one day soon and make a big dent. This is an ongoing area of research for me.”
It goes without saying no one is too happy with the amount of censorship taking place on platforms where Bitcoin is being discussed. We have covered multiple angles regarding these incidents over the past few months, and even Kristov Atlas is starting to get annoyed by the tactics currently used by certain community members. On the other hand, competition in the form of multiple communication tools is a positive trend.
Last but not least, the topic of fungibility popped up. Kristov Atlas had the following to say:
“The needs for fungibility are somewhat unclear, in my opinion. I did a presentation about this in Prague a few weeks ago; hopefully a recording will be available soon so I can get some feedback. Privacy advocates have been talking up fungibility for a while without providing a lot of evidence to back it. Perhaps this is why it has made such a dull impression on people. What can I say with confidence is that, as fungibility decreases for a currency, costs to deal with that problem will increase for users of the currency.”
More questions and answers can be found in this Bitcoin AMA thread on the Bitcoin.com forum.
Oron Barber: An online Marketing Specialist Working For CoinPoint.net
The final person to participate in Bitcoin.com’s Bitcoin AMA event yesterday was CoinPoint.net’s Oron Barber. Even though Oron might not be as well-known as some other members of the Bitcoin community, his insights into online marketing and Bitcoin are of great value. When asked about his previous marketing campaigns, and which one he’s most proud of, Oron stated:
“I can detail about one specific funnel that was designed and built for bitcoin live casino, for non gambling sources. The challenge was to convert bitcoin wallet holders, to play with the bitcoin in live casino games ( mostly baccarat and mostly Chinese players ). It took us around three months to identify and know exactly what these players ( potential players ) are looking for and how to deliver the message that they can play and enjoy with their bitcoins.Results we very poor at the beginning, but after finding the right formula, designing the creative and the landing pages and most important change the registration funnel – we have shown great ROI.”
Bringing Bitcoin to the masses will be a key hurdle to overcome over the next few years. Industry experts need to come up with ways to make Bitcoin more secure, accessible, and trustful. Mainstream media prefers to pick out all of the negative news in the Bitcoin space, but the number of legit businesses far outweighs the rotten apples in the basket.
In his closing words, Oron Barber concluded:
“From a media point of view, we see the effect of mass media usage, no more bitcoin related press, but big portals, business sources, and daily newspapers. Once we have new press release or new product to shoot out, this is where we are going in order to deliver the message to the public.”
You can find Oron Barber’s Bitcoin AMA thread here.
Who are you looking forward to over the next few weeks? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Oron Barber, Kristov Atlas, Wences Casares.