What is Bitcoin and what will it become? To believers, it’s the future of money, privacy and payments, the end of greedy banks and the fall of government fiat currencies. To critics, it’s an elaborate scam, the currency of cyber villains, a threat to sovereign states. To others, it’s already nothing, practically dead on arrival.
One thing's for sure: There’s no shortage of strong opinions about the world’s first digital cash, particularly, it seems, amongst people with billions of the traditional kind.
Take Peter Thiel, for example. The PayPal co-founder predicts that Satoshi Nakamoto’s six-year-old invention will forever change the world as a currency. Not so much as a payment network, however. Mark Cuban gives Bitcoin props as a viable “digital accounting transport mechanism,” but thinks it has “ no shot” as a long-term cryptocurrency. Bill Gates acknowledges that Bitcoin essentially revolutionized cross-border transactions, but says it can’t be Money 2.0, not in its current state at least. Warren Buffett, meanwhile, isn’t having any of it. He has cast the nationless geek’s gold off as a “ joke.”
Game-changing or not, Bitcoin is anything but a joke to a growing number of entrepreneurs throughout the globe, risk-taking trailblazers dead serious about pinning their livelihoods on it. We caught up with three executives doing just that -- Connie Gallippi of the BitGive Foundation, Barry Silbert of the Digital Currency Group and Jonathan Chester of Bitwage -- at the recent Inside Bitcoins conference in New York City.
To hear their predictions on what the future holds for the controversial virtual currency, check out the video above.