Moe and Paul Vigna discuss how Bitcoin and digital money are challenging the global economic order.
The Age of Cryptocurrency
In the midst of this historic technological revolution, the one innovation that has the greatest potential to disrupt the financial system as we know it, is Bitcoin. Still mired in a sea of criticism, the idea of having a digital exchange with complete anonymity is still a frightening concept to many, especially the regulators. I was introduced to the concept in early 2010, and although skeptical at first, I’ve made it a priority to learn as much as I could about the concept of digital currency, and the more I learn, the greater the appreciation that I gain for the brilliance behind the technology and its far reaching impact.
First off, Bitcoin is a new kind of a payment system, and not a money laundering platform for drug dealers. At its fundamental level, it’s ‘a breakthrough in computer science…” as Marc Andreessen describes in this January, 2014 New York Times Co-op. And as he always does, he makes a convincing argument on why its benefits to the world will far outweigh its potential shortcomings; take for example the opportunity for low-income earners around the world. “Every day, hundreds of millions of low-income people go to work in hard jobs in foreign countries to make money to send back to their families in their home countries —over $400 billion in total annually, according to the World Bank…” he says.
“Every day, banks and payment companies extract mind-boggling fees, up to 10 percent and sometimes even higher, to send this money. Switching to Bitcoin, which charges no or very low fees, for these remittance payments will therefore raise the quality of life of migrant workers and their families significantly. In fact, it is hard to think of any one thing that would have faster and more positive effect on so many people in the world’s poorest countries.”
As with any new innovation, especially one with this magnitude, we’re at the infancy of its impact; and that it’s why the new book, The Age of Cryptocurrency, by Wall Street Journal Journal journalist Paul Vigna, and Michael J. Casey is both timely and meaningful. In one of my more intriguing conversations, I dive into these topics with Paul:
What is Cryptocurrency and why does it matter?
The technology that powers Bitcoin
The pros and cons of a decentralized system with complete anonymity
Why merchants should explore its potential
The trusted digital exchanges and how to evaluate its potential risks
How to buy and sell Bitcoins
- What the future of digital currency is likely to look like