99Bitcoins Interview: What do Bitcoin, Cash and Diamonds Have in Common?

BSN*: Bitcoin offers a means of economic exchange for users. But since Bitcoin does not necessarily have intrinsic value as compared to fiat currencies, do you think BTC or other cryptocurrencies can actually exist independently of their equivalent values?

OB: Value doesn’t actually exist in real life — it’s all in our heads. The same thing is true for Bitcoin. If people believe it has value, then it will have value. The dollar bill I have in my pocket is nothing but a piece of paper that other people and I believe is worth something. Once Bitcoin “crosses the chasm” so to speak, and reaches the early majority, the value will already be a given. Diamonds are another great example of something that isn’t actually that rare or valuable, but the public’s conception of it gives it enormous value.

BSN*: Do you think traditional currencies will eventually disappear in the long run, or become irrelevant because of BTC and other cryptocurrencies?

OB: I think traditional currencies will not disappear – however they may adopt some of Bitcoin’s traits such as decentralization and transparency. Also, this is not something that will happen any time soon in my opinion — it usually takes decades for something in the monetary systems to change.

BSN*: What will accelerate the adoption of Bitcoin as a means of payment?

OB: The price volatility has to cool down first. Once that happens, all of the speculators leave, and you’re left with the evangelists. Now it’s a matter of how big of a problem the currency is solving. For example, when it started out, Bitcoin solved a problem of how to buy drugs. But if we’re trying to find a “legal” problem, then remittance can be a big enough issue. Perhaps the biggest adoption for Bitcoin will come from third world countries that are currently using expensive, outdated, traditional methods to move money across the globe.

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