Technologizer

Bitcoin: Marc Andreessen Explains It All for You

A web visionary makes the case for virtual currency having world-changing implications.

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For more than two decades now, Marc Andreessen has been in the business of figuring out the future of technology before most of us understand it. He proved that he had a knack for that when he co-invented the graphical web browser and co-founded Netscape; these days, he runs one of Silicon Valley’s most successful venture-capital firms and is, at 42, one of the industry’s wise old grizzled veterans.

He’s also a talented writer. Over at the New York Times’ Dealbook blog, he’s contributed a long, wonderfully coherent post about why everybody — not just venture capitalists, futurists and geeks — should care about the virtual currency known as Bitcoin.

A sample:

For example, with Bitcoin, the huge hack that recently stole 70 million consumers’ credit card information from the Target department store chain would not have been possible. Here’s how that would work:

You fill your cart and go to the checkout station like you do now. But instead of handing over your credit card to pay, you pull out your smartphone and take a snapshot of a QR code displayed by the cash register. The QR code contains all the information required for you to send Bitcoin to Target, including the amount. You click “Confirm” on your phone and the transaction is done (including converting dollars from your account into Bitcoin, if you did not own any Bitcoin).

Target is happy because it has the money in the form of Bitcoin, which it can immediately turn into dollars if it wants, and it paid no or very low payment processing fees; you are happy because there is no way for hackers to steal any of your personal information; and organized crime is unhappy. (Well, maybe criminals are still happy: They can try to steal money directly from poorly-secured merchant computer systems. But even if they succeed, consumers bear no risk of loss, fraud or identity theft.)

Andreessen covers an array of ways in which Bitcoin holds the power to make the world a better place, including some unexpected ones. (Requiring minuscule payments via Bitcoin for bulk e-mail delivery might be an effective anti-spam measure.) You might finish his piece and still come away a Bitcoin skeptic, but I can’t imagine reading it and not understanding the case for the technology potentially being an enormous, epoch-shifting deal.

Why Bitcoin Matters [NYTimes.com]

11 comments
chillgeeks
chillgeeks

No doubt they are the safest but they aren't unique. This can be a short term . What stops some developers to create a better algorithmic based currency ? read more about the hype here :  http://bit.ly/1fhtMWB

FredBerfel
FredBerfel

And here's an example back at ya!  "As a result, Bitcoin is considerably easier for law enforcement to trace than cash, gold or diamonds."

Soon our grubbermint will want to institute an "asset tax", to make up for the $17 trill debt they have incurred.  And with bitcoin and bitcoin transactions they will have a BETTER HANDLE ON YOUR ASSETS TO TAX!  This leads me to believe that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is actually the US GRUBBERMINT!  And that THEY have unleashed this new scheme on We the People as another means of control!!  F bitcoin!  Between the banks, the NSA and the IRS they have enough info on me already!!  I LIKE to have my wealth and my transactions COMPLETELY HIDDEN.  Until some REAL vetting of "Satoshi Nakamoto" is done, and until the owner of the first (and MUCH easier to mine) bitcoins is found I will remain HIGHLY suspicious.  I think Andreesen is just hopping on the latest bandwagon in an attempt to get some quick cash (same goes for the Winkelvoss's)

HarryJamesbr
HarryJamesbr

BitCoin affairs can aswell be acclimated for elections, mensagens de Aniversario  for archetype presidential elections in U.S. Then voters in Florida  wouldn't accept to anguish about blind chads any more

ChrisYates
ChrisYates

Learn how to buy bitcoins and altcoins at www.Crypto-Coins.org

coreychambers
coreychambers

Oops, McCracken and Andreesen got an important point wrong.  Hackers are more likely to attack the Bitcoin of consumers than that of merchants.  With Bitcoin, a consumer is more likely to leave their Bitcoins unprotected.  Consumers can protect their Bitcoin by creating offline wallets.


Bitcoin has many other revolutionary uses and huge advantages that are not mentioned in McCracken's article:  store of wealth, irrevocable payments, speculative investment, international payments, macropayments, micropayments, authentication/verification system, world's largest distributed calculation network, faster point of sale, more efficient electronic payment, private payments etc.


Corey Chambers, The Bitcoin Blogs



razorfish
razorfish

technology never stops always moving ahead.


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stlcoin
stlcoin

All crypto-currency can make a better world..  St.Louis has there own coin now.

HenrySkoglund
HenrySkoglund

BitCoin transactions can also be used for elections, for example presidential elections in U.S. Then voters in Florida wouldn't have to worry about hanging chads any more.

DigitalMoney
DigitalMoney

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