Welcome to our new series, Why I love Bitcoin, in which members of our team tell a little about Bitcoin and themselves!
Today with Philip Salter, our lead software developer.
What were you doing before getting started in Bitcoin?
I was studying IT Games Engineering.
When did you first hear about Bitcoin and what were your first thoughts when you heard about it?
At some point in 2011, I was wondering how peer-to-peer networks worked in-depth and was reading about DHT in forums. Thats where I heard about Bitcoin first. After some reading, I understood that it was being used as an online currency that didn’t require any central authority to be trustworthy. Very interested, I set out to buy some of this currency to try it out. Of course, it wasn’t so easy back then and I remember going through several shady websites until I finally owned a couple of coins (worth about 1.2$ each then). I was impressed by how easy it is to use Bitcoin, once you own them.
What attracted you to Bitcoin? What did you find most exciting?
The most interesting thing about bitcoin is, of course, the underlying blockchain technology. It is a brilliant scheme to distribute power over the whole network and to still guarantee database integrity. I think this new technology has the potential to revolutionize computing as we know it today! And having a currency as a first use case is a great marketing campaign.
What do you think of the current state of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin adoption is slowly growing. We still have a far way to go. But until now, nothing serious has gone wrong from a technical point of view, so we should be optimistic that at least the system works. Compared to other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is not evolving very much, as the ecosystem is too large to risk by introducing large changes into the code. I think this is going to be the biggest problem Bitcoin will have to face when other blockchain technologies emerge that do more than Bitcoin can while being just as safe. I particular, smart contracts, anonymous transactions and proof of stake seem to be improvements to the protocol which might be difficult politically.
What’s the biggest misconception people have around Bitcoin?
I think there are two major misconceptions. First, Bitcoin is still seen as the black market currency it used to be. People get stuck on that thought and loose trust. The second comes from the reporting about Bitcoin. Many people think that it is very complicated to use and that you need extensive knowledge about computers and software to be able to use Bitcoin. That’s of course not true, but I’m sure it has stopped a lot of people from giving it a try. Luckily, the industry is growing. False myths are busted and the interaction with Bitcoin is getting a lot easier.
Where do you see Bitcoin in 3, 5 and 20 years?
Bitcoin will grow out of these misconceptions. I’m sure the public will start to use Bitcoin more and more over the years and get comfortable with the technology. So in three to five years, maybe we will see lots of online stores and services that accept Bitcoin alongside Paypal. I would also love to see Bitcoin used a lot for personal transactions, like paying your neighbor for a favor, or paying rent. However, I’m not so optimistic in the long run. In 20 years, Bitcoin will be 26 years old, and like almost every other technology, it will be outdated. As I said earlier, if Bitcoin is having trouble to keep up with the latest blockchain technology, that will eventually lead to it being replaced.
That’s it for our 5th entry. More is already on the way! Thanks for reading & thanks to Philip!