Bitcoin expert Andreas Antonopoulos compared the disruptive potential of the cryptocurrency to the Punk Rock movement of the 70’s and addressed the problems in Greece at the Wired Money 2015 Conference in London’s British Museum on Tuesday.
The ‘Punk Rock’ of Money
Antonopoulos is the world’s accepted diplomatic minister of Bitcoin as well as the author of Mastering Bitcoin. He travels the world, working as a public speaker paid exclusively in bitcoin, to provide the masses with great insight into the fascinating world of digital currency.
His speaking format is engaging and built to demystify a mysterious technology. The proven lecture format is comprised of providing an approximately thirty-minute dose of Bitcoin reality to the audience, then taking questions that can go anywhere within the realm of monetary technology, from side chains to paper wallets.
On Tuesday, he compared Bitcoin to the punk rock music revolution of the late 70’s, as opposed to a hit of smooth jazz, based upon its disruptive nature to the status quo. "Bitcoin is not smooth jazz, " said Antonopoulos. "Bitcoin is punk rock." The durability of the new technology was described as follows:
"One thing Bitcoin does is it refuses to die. There is no center, there is nothing to co-opt, there is nothing to stamp down. The largest opportunity may be what it means for the six billion people around the globe for whom the traditional mechanisms of banking are not available.”
Andreas sees the forest through the trees when it comes to what Bitcoin means, globally. Making a better and faster version of PayPal or Visa is not the end game. While Bitcoin may not be very convenient to use currently, its possibilities are endless, particularly when you factor in all the people who have been excluded from the global economy.
"Bitcoin offers the possibility of bringing banking to feature phones over SMS, " he said. "There are more people with access to feature phones than have access to clean water.”
"Bitcoin can deliver banking services not by banking the 'unbanked, ' but by de-banking all of us. Bitcoin can do that either under the flagship title Bitcoin or whatever name you want to plaster on to make it more palatable.”
The “Grexit” financial crisis has been the hottest topic in the news worldwide over the last month, for those not distracted by the latest exploits of Caitlyn Jenner. Is Bitcoin the answer Greece has been waiting for? Probably not, says Andreas, as their problems are much deeper than the kind of currency used locally.
"The problem (in Greece) is not solved by switching currencies. What Bitcoin can do is provide a safe haven for savings - at least relative to the banks, ” he told Wired editor David Rowan. “Bitcoin is about people having a safe haven out of the current currency control systems. It is also non-national, heralding a moment where governments lose all control of money. One day, perhaps in 10 years, we will see massive disruption from that".