As Bitcoin hype settles down, real possibilities start to emerge

The Bitcoin hubbub of earlier this year might have died down, but there is still a dedicated group of companies and investors who believe the crypto-currency is the future.

TechCrunch Disrupt was packed with people today for a Bitcoin panel that featured Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who have invested heavily in Bitcoin (apparently after a vacation in Ibiza, where they first heard about the currency). They offered up a few positive notes about the future of Bitcoin, but panelists AngelList CEO Naval Ravikant and Counsyl CTO Balaji Srinivasan had the real wisdom to pass along. Here are a few of the highlights:

Srinivasan: There have been security breaches, but Bitcoin is more reliable than cash

“It’s the difference between a bank robbery and being able to counterfeit currency. The former is a function of the bank … and the latter, actually being able to do significant double spending, has not happened.”

Ravikant: Regulation and governments pose a potential risk, but the biggest risk comes from the adoption curve

“How long will it take to adopt? Because the network effect, the tipping point, the established entrenched dogma of how money is supposed to work is very strong. That tipping point could be two years out it could be 20 years out it could be 200 years out. That’s the hard part.”

Ravikant: Bitcoin would make a good replacement for gold

“All the things that gold does, Bitcoin kind of does better. But everybody believes in gold. People have been using gold for thousands of years. Gold is a speculative store of value. It actually has very little intrinsic value. If Bitcoin replaces or comes alongside gold as a speculative store of value, it’s going to be worth thousands of times what it is today.”

Ravikant: Bitcoin would make a good replacement for Wall Street

“It’s important not to think about Bitcoin as a replacement for cash or gold or something that works alongside that; it’s to think of it as programmable money. And we just cannot even imagine what that will be used for. It has a built in scripting language that lets you do all kinds of things. We can code wills, escrows, trusts, notaries, revokable charge backs, proof of contracts, intellectual property enforcement. What Wall Street does can be done in code by Bitcoin.”

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