Most people will have realized by now how the biggest AMA event in the history of Bitcoin is proving to be an unprecedented success. Just yesterday, an all-star lineup of participants collected and answered questions from the Bitcoin community. Here is what Justin Newton, Patrick Byrne, Frank Schuil and Stephen Pair had to say.
Patrick Byrne: Overstock.com Founder and CEO
Patrick Byrne is one of those people who can share his valuable insights as to how the Bitcoin ecosystem will evolve regarding e-commerce. Overstock.com has been accepting Bitcoin payments for quite some time now, and they will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. When asked about whether or not the number of Bitcoin consumer adoption will pick up, Patrick had the following to say:
The average consumer will continue with trickling-slow adoption of bitcoin until there is some crisis. For example, China appears to be preparing for more devaluation, so people there are going into gold and bitcoin (which mak [sic] explain its recent rise). If various fiat currencies around the globe go into failure mode, more and more people will start moving into Bitcoin as a store of value.I think the tipping point comes below 15%. Probably even as low as 5%. ItS use now is about .12%, I think.
With Black Friday around the corner, it was only a matter of time until one of the community members asked what Overstock.com has planned this year. Patrick Byrne stated the company is working on a new program, called “Discount By Payment Type.” Unfortunately, that program will not be finished by Black Friday, but it should be publicly available before the end of 2015.
Last but not least, Byrne made quite an interesting comment when asked about the value proposition for processing Bitcoin payments as a cost-saving advantage. With so many large financial players exploring the options of blockchain technology already, Patrick feels these players will play an integral role in Bitcoin adoption:
I think the adoption may in fact come from the banking sector itself, and not be driven bottoms-up by consumers. Banks have the opportunity to save so much money by using the blockchain for their payments that the adoption could begin there, and from there, spread out.
Make sure to read through the full thread on the Bitcoin.com forum here.
Frank Schuil: CEO & Co-Founder of Safello
Even though most people don’t see Safello as a major Bitcoin exchange platform just yet, the company has had several successes over the past few years. The plan is to turn Safello into a bitcoin-spending platform while also aiding institutions to enter the blockchain technology era. Safello has partnered with Barclays a while back, and when asked whether or not this is a good decision, Frank Schuil stated the following:
Good question, I have a counter-question: Do you believe that working against the financial institutions would speed up adoption or delay it? We did a proof-of-concept around Bitcoin. If we were about making a quick buck, we would have gone the permissioned or private ledger route. I think ignoring the existing financial players is a strategic mistake as it at best delays adoption and at worst threatens Bitcoin’s future by pushing the FI’s in the opposite direction.
Part of this partnership with Barclays revolves around this “mystery project,” and Frank remained tight-lipped about the details due to a strict non-disclosure agreement. However, he did say the project is coming along nicely, and that a lot of people at Barclays are supportive and excited about this collaboration.
Apparently, there is a Swedish dark market — called Flugsvamp — that openly advises users not to use the Safello exchange for Bitcoin purposes. There is a simple reason for this blatant “hate” campaign, which just goes to show why Bitcoin should not be used for illegitimate purchases as it is not an anonymous digital currency. Frank Schuil explained this situation as follows:
We [Safello] are registered with the financial inspection and follow the AML regulation, i.e. we need to do full verification of people’s identity, monitor transactions, etc. So if you want to buy drugs, which is what you do on Flugsvamp afaik, buying bitcoins through our platform and sending it there isn’t the best idea.
More information on Frank Schuil’s AMA session can be found on the Bitcoin.com forum!
Stephen Pair: CEO & Co-Founder of BitPay
BitPay is one of those companies with a long-standing reputation in the Bitcoin community. Having their CEO and co-founder on board for the biggest AMA event in Bitcoin history only shows their commitment to the success of digital currency adoption around the world. The topic of sponsoring the Bitcoin Bowl was touched upon, and Stephen pair had the following to say about this move:
The Bitcoin Bowl was a great event and the city of St. Petersburg was a great host. It was amazing to be able to walk into most any store downtown and be able to make a purchase with Bitcoin. It gave us a lot of experience with setting up merchants to accept bitcoin in person and we incorporated a lot of what we learned back into the product. While it was a great event, it took a lot of our time. We won’t be doing another one in the near future and we aren’t working on any future sponsorship deals. As for ideal clients, I like the ordinary businesses that simply find utility in our platform and aren’t just doing it for marketing reasons. We’ve been seeing a lot more of those types of business’ this year.”
As you would come to expect from any company in the Bitcoin ecosystem, staying focused is the biggest challenge. With all of the opportunities available, distraction is difficult to avoid. For BitPay, the major point of focus is improving the infrastructure and making Bitcoin more convenient to use, both for consumers and businesses alike.
On the topic of where Bitcoin growth is picking up in recent times, Stephen Pair commented the following:
US and Europe are neck and neck, but Europe is growing faster. South America is small by comparison, but growing fastest. While we offer services in Asia, we aren’t proactively targeting that market at the moment. As for expansion, we look to countries within those regions where we can offer fast and cheap settlement options before we start proactively seeking customers.
Make sure to browse the entire Stephen Pair AMA thread on the Bitcoin forum!
Justin Newton: CEO & Co-Founder of Netki
Most people will have heard of Netki by now, as this company specializes in Wallet Name Service for Bitcoin users. Having a Bitcoin wallet address that is both easy to remember and convenient to share with others can be an invaluable tool to push cryptocurrency adoption to new levels. Services like Purse.io and Holytransaction.com have integrated Netki’s service so far.
Roger Ver asked Justin Newton about the availability of Netki’s feature for individual users, and he had the following to say:
In a few days we will be releasing a Chrome extension that will allow you to use Wallet Names to send from any web based bitcoin or blockchain application. I am just testing the alpha version of it now, and I have to say, I kind of love it.
Explaining the business model for Netki is not as easy as one might expect it to be. On the one hand, there will be users looking to register vanity names, which are subject to a yearly fee. But Netki also plans to charge wholesale hosting rates to providers using their service, which would be based on the number of names hosted.
More details can be found in Justin Newton’s AMA thread on the Bitcoin.com forum!
Be sure to stop by the Bitcoin.com forum and participate in the biggest Bitcoin AMA event in history!
Source: Bitcoin.com Forum
Images courtesy of Netki, BitPay, Safello, Overstock.com