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Can Bitcoin Go Mainstream?

Voices of the Next Generation with Gavin Andresen of Bitcoin

Speaker: Gavin Andresen, Chief Scientist, Bitcoin Foundation
Presider: Douglas A. Rediker, Visiting Fellow, Peterson Institute for International Economics; Former Member, Executive Board, International Monetary Fund
February 6, 2014

Event Description

Despite being criticized by many economists as being inherently deflationary and eyed with suspicion by government financial regulators, Bitcoin continues to grow in popularity. Gavin Andresen from the Bitcoin Foundation and Douglas Rediker of the Petersen Institute of International Economics discuss what Bitcoin is and where it is headed in the future. Andresen argues that Bitcoin allows for greater financial transparency.

Event Highlights

Gavin Andresen on Bitcoin's efficiency as a digital payment network:

"I can send an e-mail across the world, and it arrives in that person's inbox in five seconds, 10 seconds. When you're talking about money these days, I mean, you're talking about numbers in bank accounts. Why does it take two, three, four, five days to transfer value to somebody across the world? The reason is, [our payment systems] evolved, right? It was not designed -- our payment systems were not designed for the Internet."

Gavin Andresen on how Bitcoin's scarcity contributes to its appeal as a secure store of value:

"I think the attractiveness is the fixed supply, right? If you know that there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins in the world, and you have one of them, I mean, you have one-twenty-one-millionth of that commodity. And nobody can take it away from you."

Gavin Andresen on how Bitcoin's blockchain data structure can increase financial transparency:

"I mean, one of the interesting things about Bitcoin is this distributed ledger, where if you want, you can be incredibly transparent about, you know, 'These are the bitcoins that are coming in, and these are the bitcoins going out.' And we have this data structure called the 'blockchain', where anybody can audit it."


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