Marc Andreessen makes a provocative and seemingly straightforward case for Bitcoin:
What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and – I believe – Bitcoin in 2014.
It’s a great line — especially coming from him.
But “seemingly” is an important word here. As Glenn Fleishman lays out in his rebuttal of the piece, things aren’t quite as black and white as Andreessen (and his AH partner, Chris Dixon, before him) make them seem.
Personally, the concept behind Bitcoin excites me (I hold no Bitcoin myself). But it feels like one of those pieces of technology that has just as good of a shot of making it as it has of not making it. See also: QR codes in the U.S. (which Andreessen actually brings up as a potential enabling technology for Bitcoin).
And if it does eventually make it, I could easily envision a world in which Bitcoin is regulated to the point where it looks more and more like the currency we already have. And if that happens, will there still be a point?
I’m usually one of the first people to make fun of those who think a technology can’t achieve mainstream adoption. But here, I think it will take a very long time. If it ever happens. There are still a lot of question marks. Too many variables. And even more unknowns.