Bitcoin’s Future: Hidden Flipside
THE father has been found in time for his child’s funeral. That would appear to be the sorry state of affairs in the land of Bitcoin, a crypto-currency, if recent press coverage is to be believed. On March 6th Newsweek reported that it had tracked down Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s elusive creator. And on March 11th Mt Gox, the Japanese online exchange that had long dominated the trade in the currency before losing $490m of customers’ Bitcoins at today’s prices, once more filed for bankruptcy protection, this time in America.
In reality, things are rather different. Evidence is mounting that Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, whom Newsweek identified as Bitcoin’s father, is not the relevant Satoshi. More importantly, Bitcoin’s best days may still be ahead of it—if not as a fully fledged currency (see article), then as a platform for financial innovation. Much as the internet is a foundation for digital services, the technology behind Bitcoin could support a revolution in the way people own and pay for things. Geeks of all sorts are getting excited—including a growing number of venture capitalists, who know a new platform when they see one.