Insights: Will Bitcoin Spark a Wave as Big as the Internet?

Story by Michael Terpin


For today's Insights and Opinions section this morning, we have an interesting piece from Michael Terpin, who asks--is Bitcoin the next wave?

It's not often that you run across something that Bill Gates calls "a techno tour de force" and Warren Buffet's partner Charley Munger calls "rat poison" -- in the same interview. Imagine a financial service that blows away Paypal for speed and efficiency in transferring funds (at a third of the fees if exchanged into dollars -- and generally no fees if purchasing goods or services directly). Imagine a technology that solves the long-standing ecommerce problem of micro-transactions by being divisible down to eight decimal points, and that has no problems with chargebacks or fraud (like cash, it can be stolen, but unlike cash it's then rendered worthless). Imagine an asset that's at once currency and commodity, that even though it's digital can be mined like gold, and that has risen in value more than 10x since January and is up more than two million percent (this is not a typo -- it went from half a penny to today's valuation of $122.93) in the past three years. To say these early numbers are reminiscent of the early growth of the Internet, Napster, YouTube and Facebook is not hyperbole. Of course, only three of those became successes in the end, but they were among the biggest successes in business history.

Welcome to the exciting, bizarre and intriguing world of bitcoin (More...)

Read the rest of Will Bitcoin Spark a Wave as Big as the Internet? in our Insights and Opinion section.