The Future Of Bitcoin – In Brick Lane

Posted on December 4, 2013

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Around six months ago it would have been hard to imagine Bitcoin at $100, much less $1000. But thanks to bank bailouts in Cyprus, civil unrest worldwide and waning trust in depreciating currencies, the people and the markets have reacted accordingly – in March of this year the price of BTC to the dollar jumped to $50, then to $215, before crashing down to $75. It was part of the reason that a strong turnout was present at 9.30am on a cold Saturday morning at the UK’s first Bitcoin Expo at Café 1001 and 93 Feet East, to talk all things digital. A crowd of tech enthusiasts, activists, investors and those just curious came together for talks from speakers such as the crypto-anarchist Cody Wilson, famous for 3D printing to talk about a new software called Dark Wallet, American software freedom activist Richard Stallman waxing lyrical about software and internet freedom, Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur Michael Parsons talking about GoldCoin, a new gold standard of digital currency and the co-presenter/producer of Russia Today’s Keiser Report, Stacy Herbert.

Also in the building were those sticking up for other forms of crypto-coin, such as Feathercoin, Peercoin and Litecoin (which at time of writing is worth US$37), reminding everyone that there were other digital notes to hook up with at ground level for those without deep pockets. Opportunities to buy gear were plentiful from merchants selling mining rigs, innovative wallets and physical Bitcoins. At 5.30pm the ‘big Bitcoin debate!’ took place at Café 1001 about the role of BTC being used in a futures market and whether it should be used as a commodity or a currency. This seemed to be a versus battle in the Bitcoin sphere as while the roomed became heated in a verbal battle, the general consensus agreed that the dollar needed to be killed off in place of something new, but that Bitcoin was not necessarily the reserve currency to replace it. Outside the Bitcoin circle, the mainstream media haven’t exactly shown a lot of love towards the cryptocurrency with its links to piracy, hackers and of course the most popular drug marketplace on the block, Silk Road. Though with every mention of BTC and more specifically Silk Road, this will surely be expected. When it comes to regulation and shutting down of sites such as these, more will spring up in its place. After all, an idea can’t be cuffed or snitched to the authorities, as shown with the launch of Silk Road 2.0. It doesn’t really matter how much the banks and governments try and regulate, seize and ban Bitcoin or Silk Road. They will no doubt fail spectacularly in doing so. It looks as though “power to the people” is very much alive in 2013 and have made their feelings pretty clear downloading online wallets and mining difficult mathematical algorithms to generate hashes to create money.

“FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HUMAN HISTORY, MANKIND HAS FOUND THE TECHNOLOGY TO BE ABLE TO REGULATE THE BANKS” – JOERG PLATZER FROM CRYPTO CHARITY

The organizer of Bitcoin Expo 2013, Alex Breadman told Dazed: “All the events that are going to come after this are going to be even bigger. Bitcoin is a bandwagon that everyone is going to jump on, one way or another. In the short term I could see BTC going to over $3000 over the next three months and finding out whether it will be used as a commodity or as a use of transactional value.” Bitcoin advocates such as Russia Today’s Max Keiser, however, reckon that the price of BTC could one day reach $1m. And with new developments and breakthroughs are being made on an almost weekly basis it might be hard to disagree with him. Just this week, it was announced that the transactional value of BTC had overtaken Paypal with only Visa, MasterCard and American Express ahead of it. Speculation arose on Reddit that the US government was looking to make moves to regulate it. All of which suggests that the credibility for the digital currency – and the risk it poses to traditional financial institutions – will only increase. The final speaker of the evening, Jeorg Platzer from the Berlin-based Crypto Charity seemed to sum it up well: “For the first time in human history, mankind has found the technology to be able to regulate the banks and governments.” The audience, with rapturous applause, agreed.

Originally published on Dazed & Confused.  I now accept Bitcoin donations on my blog, which you can make via the address below: 1KC4Xd7NfxTtu3WSts3gsaTdcrJiRKeXW8

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