The virtual currency market is still incredibly new, and many people see it merely as a fad that will be gone just like Beenie Babies and MySpace. Still, there’s no denying that Bitcoin has seen some incredible early adoption, even as the currency itself sees dramatic swings in price.
As technologists it’s just too hard not to imagine a future with virtual currency. No matter how you slice it, the world has gone digital and currency is most-likely next, even if it has some shaky beginnings. At TechCrunch disrupt last year Naval Ravikant (famous Angel Investor and founder of Angel.co) shared a possible scenario where virtual currency could be used in an oh-so-cool way:
This means that Bitcoin can fit into places where normal currency has never managed to squeeze into. It opens new horizons. Srinivasan posited the following example as indicative of what Bitcoin can become: Imagine it’s a few years in the future, and you are driving down the road in an Uber, built by Tesla and auto-driven by Google software. You are in a hurry, so you decide to accelerate and pass the other cars. Your vehicle could then interface with the other cars, and pay them a sliver of Bitcoin to let you pass. You get where you are going faster, and everyone is happy. Programmable currency. (Source)
Last week Naval wrote an article on his blog virtual currencies that I think every single one of my readers should read. It’s called The Fifth Protocol and he quoted my favorite book of all time Snowcrash which made me like it even more. Naval sees Cryptocurrencies as a fifth protocol, a new property of the Internet itself:
Cryptocurrencies are an emergent property of the Internet – almost a fifth protocol in the Internet suite. If Satoshi Nakomoto did not exist, it would still be necessary to invent them. Someday, they will be used by the machines in our network, on our desk, in our garage, and in our pocket to exchange value and achieve consensus at blinding speeds, anonymously, and at minimal cost.
While we might not be there yet, I think Naval is spot on with where things are going. Sure, over the next 3-5 years you could lose a small fortune investing in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, but over the next 20-years, well that’s a whole different story.
So if you’re one of those people who thinks that virtual currencies like Bitcoin will go the way of the Dodo Bird, listen to what Naval has to say, he’s been right a few times before 🙂