Reid Hoffman, a man known to be the founder of LinkedIn, shared his opinion about Bitcoin at last week’s ‘Bitcoin & the Blockchain: Realities, Risks, Rewards’ event.
The conference that was held by O’Reilly Media in Marina District in the city of San Francisco lasted just one day, but was attended by hundreds of BTC investors, enterprisers, and devotees. Of all the spokespersons, the founder of LinkedIn, who previously invested largely into BTC framework startup Blockstream, was probably the most awaited. Mr. Hoffmann’s speech was merely a conversation between him and Xapo’s chief manager Wences Casares, and while Hoffmann’s vision of Bitcoin’s current heading direction seemed to leave none of the listeners’ questions unanswered, his estimations were slightly more conservative than expected by the public.
Hoffmann said he finds the question of whether Bitcoin is the first or the last of the cryptocurrencies a rhetorical one, and pointed out that the cryptocurrency having a huge worldwide community is definitely a strong point. He also added that “network effect” has always been one of the most crucial factors behind Bitcoin. As for the overall performance of the cryptocurrency, BTC, in Hoffmann’s opinion, may well become the style-setter for the rest of the world’s currencies. Mr. Hoffmann asked the public not to view his statement as investment advice, however.
Xapo’s CEO Wences Casares also mentioned the network effect of Bitcoin in terms of its users and the overall number of BTC transactions, saying that currently there are about 10 million of Bitcoin holders in the world, but only one tenth of them are making payments in BTC.
This was the first ever Bitcoin-themed conference held by O’Reilly Media, the company established their reputation producing technical literature and issue-related events. The latter fact might be the reason why the event was so strongly informative and instructional, especially in terms of promoting the key technologies behind Bitcoin.
Other speakers included O’Reilly Media founder Tim O’Reilly who held the opening speech and left the impression of a person confident in apparent benefits of BTCs technological openness and its potential; Andreessen Horowitz partner Balaji Srinivasan took the floor later to talk about Coinbase having recently successfully launched their NYSE-based Bitcoin exchange in 24 of the US states, as well as significant investments into the industry by big entrepreneurs and companies. Srinivasan said he believes Bitcoin-skeptics leaving the cryptocurrency no chance and thinking it would eventually be banned are mistaken, as it is somehow difficult to imagine one can ban something being a part of the New York Stock Exchange.
BitPay’s Stephen Pair and Roger Gu of Coinbase gave talks about their business clients wishing to have the Bitcoin payments they receive immediately converted into “regular” currencies, possibly because of the cryptocurrency’s frequent exchange fluctuations. According to Pair, for merchants it’s “just one more headache they don’t need”.
The well-known Bitcoin entrepreneur Andreas Antonopoulos was the last speaker at the event. The conference was concluded by attendees of Antonopoulos’ book booth getting signed copies of his recent Mastering Bitcoin – Unlocking Digital Cryptocurrencies.