The venture capital firm of Marc Andreesen, the creator of the first web browser, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested just under $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. The firm is actively searching for more Bitcoin-based investment opportunities. Here’s is one of the reasons why: from an excerpt in an Op-Ed Andreesen just posted on the NYT (the same place where that ecomedian, Paul Krugman, can’t stop bashing it).
A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.
Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.
On the other hand, technologists — nerds — are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.
Eventually mainstream products, companies, and industries emerge to commercialize it; its effects become profound; and later, many people wonder why its powerful promise wasn’t more obvious from the start.
What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and — I believe — Bitcoin in 2014.
[S]ome prominent economists are deeply skeptical of Bitcoin, even though Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, recently wrote that digital currencies like Bitcoin “may hold long-term promise, particularly if they promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” And in 1999 legendary economist Milton Friedman said, “One thing that’s missing but will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A — the way I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and you may get that without knowing who I am.”
Economists who attack Bitcoin today might be correct, but I’m with Ben and Milton.