Bitcoin Q&A: Are we the early adopters?

Bitcoin Q&A: Are we the early adopters?

“Andreas, did you ever have the privilege of interacting
with Satoshi or some of the first innovators… in the early days of Bitcoin? What advice did they
give that propelled you into Bitcoin? Thank you.” I never had any interactions with Satoshi. By the time I got involved in Bitcoin,
Satoshi had departed the scene. I did interact, in the very early days, with a few of
the core developers. In fact, I picked fights with them… over some minor governance and political issue. Some words were exchanged, then some
apologies were served up, and things went on. At the time, I didn’t know who the “important,”
long-term committed core developers were. I was just chatting with people on BitcoinTalk, Github,
and places like that. I got involved in some arguments. Some things were said that were
probably not very wise at the time. I did apologise for being a bit too passionate in my
arguments; toned it down a tiny bit, and that was it. No respect lost, I hope. That was my interaction. It is funny that, in situations where there are a lot
of passionate people who care about the principles, some of the most common interactions you have
are minor verbal skirmishes and debates, which sometimes get a bit heated because
people really care about these details. Those are some of the interactions I had with the
early innovators in Bitcoin and the core developers. Nowadays, the interactions I have with the early
innovators and core developers are more rare… because they are doing their
work and I’m doing my work. But overall, [it is a] very pleasant
and very interesting [environment]. I continuously read the development
mailing lists, Github pull requests and issues — for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and a couple of other projects. I try to follow cutting-edge innovations that are
happening in my field. I have enormous respect… for the innovators who are working on these protocols. I’m constantly amazed with the
incredible things they come up with. Then I have to explain them in my books, which
is not always easy. That is [all for this question]. [AUDIENCE] My question is, and maybe this is a
long-shot, what if we become the mainstream? [ANDREAS] Yeah, that’s a great question.
“What if we become the mainstream?” I think that’s extremely unlikely because
I think it happens over several generations. For example, I think that eventually the idea of [freedom of] information, access at all times, sharing information — being a content creator and publisher as
an individual, not [through] an intermediary — [will] become part of the culture of this generation. People who grew up with the internet, who can’t
[remember] a time when you had to sign contracts… [with gatekeepers] who decided what
was worth publishing and what wasn’t. That you couldn’t access information unless you went
to a [local] library, and then you only had what they had. This generation [will] grow up knowing that. The generation that still remembers the past [will] die;
then no one will remember a time before the internet. They will remember it only in terms of a
historical documentary that shows funny people… with weird clothing, behaving in ways
they can’t quite comprehend. [That] is how it always happens, right? Trust me,
this [will] be funny clothing in 30 years. It always is. With the next generation, the new becomes normal; the old becomes forgotten. You will have a whole generation born into a world
where banks are not dominant [entities] in commerce, where being banked is not necessary to having
access to financial instruments and to commerce. Where people can innovate on their own, where anyone
can do a transaction with anyone else on the planet, instantaneously and without any controls. That will happen. At first, it will be weird.
Then it will be normal. Then people will forget the time when it wasn’t the case.
We are looking at [the next three generations]. We won’t become the mainstream.
Our grandkids? Maybe. [AUDIENCE] With regards to success and user adoption, are we in the early adopter phase
or still [among] the lunatic fringe? [ANDREAS] I think we are beginning to touch the early
adopter phrase. You have maybe heard this [before]. I’ve said [that] we’re not the early adopters, we’re still
the lunatic fringe and the early adopters come next. One of the funny things that has happened is a big
transition in the simple recognition of certain words. The word “cryptocurrency” and the word “Bitcoin”
are now broadly recognised by people. They don’t understand what it is, they have never used it,
and they have no interest in the principles. They don’t understand why it matters. [To them], it is
still the currency of hackers, drug dealers, and weirdos. Yes, all of that. But [at least] they recognize the word. In 2013, if you asked “do you take bitcoin,”
they would stumble over the word itself. Now, they [say], “No, we’re not drug dealers.”
[Laughter] Progress? Soon, they will [understand]. But in the meantime, at least… I was at a comedy show (low-key among the audience)
in Chicago, which is a great area for improv. It was just after we [held] the first event in Chicago.
At this comedy show, they were doing an improv sketch. One [person] was pretending to be a hairdresser and the
other pretending to be a customer getting a haircut. The comedian, as the hairdresser, asked,
“What do you think about Bitcoin?” The other person said, “Oh, I don’t know. I don’t
understand it.” Everybody [in the audience] laughed. I looked around and thought, ‘Oh, I hope
no one recognizes me…’ [Laughter] ‘I do not want to be invited on stage to explain that joke.’ That was surprising to me. When you say
that word “bitcoin” now, people recognise it. The zeitgeist has happened. It is on television shows. I remember when a single article in a single newspaper,
anywhere in the world, [with the word “bitcoin” in it]… was something worth discussing on Reddit for hours. Now, it is in every newspaper, every day, in thirty different
countries. We are hearing it a lot [in mainstream news]. [There] is still a very big difference
[in terms of people] actually using it. The number of people [who have ever used any
cryptocurrency] is maybe twenty to twenty-five million. A very small percentage of [the global population].
We are not in the early adopter phase. Still the lunatic fringe. Welcome.
Thank you so much! [Applause]

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About the Author: Maximilian Kuhn


  1. Funny and informative, thank you Andreas. I don't think we'll hit the early adopter phase until using cryptocurrency is as easy swiping your phone across a scanner. Maybe a breakthrough decentralized app will increase adoption. Imagine a blockchain pokemon go phenomena

  2. Would like you to clarify if you are bullish on bitcoin as in BTC specifically or do you mean whatever dominant blockchain cryptocurrency that may emerge in the future? Are you Bitcoin maximalist? Or do you see other realistic contenders that may survive and thrive in the future? thanks

  3. Take care of your health. Morning sunlight into your eyes for at least 10 min a day. Blue light filters indoors on electronic devices

  4. Funny, informative, entertainer, and a source of knowledge… You were the reason to my decision entering the Bitcoin community. Sadly it was back in December and I'm losing money but I don't care. I'm pretty confident Bitcoin will succeed. Thanks.

  5. Andreas, Bitcoin being decentralized and unregulated in nature, both of which you cherish in this cryptocurrency space, how likely are we to see the bad actors ever reducing?

  6. Aha! So there was a time when you were not so wise: Hope for us all! Enjoyed the presentation so much that I almost forgot to smash the like 🙂

  7. What happens if quantum computing becomes mainstream before widespread adoption? Will quantum computing enable cryptography to be solvable?

  8. Ever since I heard of Bitcoin I started watching your videos and following you
    You're an inspiration and your videos always give me positive energy and puts a smile on my face
    You're a light in an age of darkness
    Science & Technology will always defeat ignorance & corruption
    Thank You and Cheers

  9. Your way of explaining crypto/bitcoin is fucking amazing. Your word selections are so great and effortless. I also understand that its decades of your passion about technologies… Thank you for being there.

  10. Yet another awesome video! The thing that has me excited about Andreas videos is that most of them hold general value, meaning they will be worth watching for years to come.
    People in 2 years time who just getting into it will watch Andreas videos from nowadays. That's truly amazing. No one will watch Casey Neistat vlogs from today next year.

  11. Wow amazing video ..please i hope to said me your opinion about Apollo currency ( APL ) and thank you 😉

  12. U.S. currency is still the #1 choice of criminals World wide, unless things have changed just recently. That's because U.S. cash is accepted practically everywhere (or easily converted to local currency – even in remote areas).

  13. synth from skycoin says he used to work on bitcoin back in the days, do you follow what skycoin are doing these days ?

  14. The only Issue I have with his take on if "we" become the mainstream is the psychological impact that Bitcoin's price has on people because of its price. What does average Joe think when Bitcoin breaks past $20,000 and sets a new all time high and then crashes down and falls at support of >$20,000. Would love to hear your guys' thoughts.

  15. The lunatic fringe is bang on. That's how I feel when I try to speak to most people about it & most certainly how they view it. 🙂

  16. Great video Andreas – I do agree that we're still in the "early lunatic" phase and it'll still be a few years before it gains mainstream traction. It would be very interesting to see what parallels / differences there are between adoption of the Internet and where we are with current Bitcoin and blockchain adoption.

  17. Andreas you really are a voice of clarity and reason in a space that has so much noise and fluff. I've been re-reading "Mastering Bitcoin" over and over to understand concepts at the visceral level so I can at least explain it to friends and family. Maybe in a future video you could share some resources for learning more about distributed systems? Think it would really help contextualize some of your writings about Bitcoin and blockchain tech.

  18. Hi, Andreas, I talked to a guy who's deep into finance and traditional markets today and he asked me a lot of questions about bitcoin and crypto in general and I answered all the technical questions but on some other questions I couldn't find the answer.
    For example, let's say we are in a situation many years from now and bitcoin is the global currency. His questions were: what can we value bitcoin against if USD is obsolete? If governments need to fuel more money into the economy, is it possible to borrow money to do that to level things out, to which I answered that bitcoin's supply is limited to 21 million coins, and that it's not possible to "print" more bitcoin to pay debt like that's the case with USD. Also, what will ensure that people are getting equal value with their paycheck each month if they are getting paid in bitcoin (or satoshis at that point)? And what about the value of for example real estate against btc?

    So I said that I'm not sure if bitcoin will even need to be valued against anything if it's a global currency. Could you explain some of it if it's possible or is it just a situation and we'll have to wait and see? I'm sorry for the long comment 🙂

  19. In 2007 the first iPhone was released. Just over a decade later virtually everybody on the planet has a smartphone. Factoring in the currency crisis we see in Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Turkey and other countries, I doesn't seem far-fetched that crypto could go mainstream in an even shorter timespan.

  20. i love AA… But i love PHX token way more… i need to put food on the table and i love my familiy .. thats why i buy PHX

  21. Gulden (NLG) Pow2 network :

    PoW² advances our blockchain to a new era, bringing levels of security vastly in excess of anything seen before, the power of Proof of Work enhanced with the power of currency holding witnesses. Finally a blockchain that is not just "mostly safe" but is completely out of practical reach of attack by even the most wealthy and determined attacker.

  22. Why would anybody ever downvote your videos…..I love the way you think, and speak about Bitcoin/Crypto. One of the smartestpersons in the field.

  23. Γειά σου Ανδρέα
    Ο Σεπτέμβρης είναι ο καλύτερος μήνας για διακοπές στην Ελλάδα
    Καλή συνέχεια

  24. When I saw the Marvel film "Ant-Man and the Wasp", there's a part when a character says that the quantum technology they're developing is "bigger than cryptocurrency," and I was like "WHOA! Did he –? Did they just –? Well, okay, then." I agree that we're still in the Lunatic Fringe phase, but the early pre-dawn glow of the Early Adopter phase is on the horizon!

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