25 July 2014 Beta Beat – My introduction to Bitcoin came from the smartest living man. Balaji Srinivasan is the youngest General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz. Currently he is building a development wing for Andreessen—a project that, to my knowledge, no VC has ever undertaken. Ben Horowitz calls him “Young Einstein”.
Balaji is Indian, but has piercing green eyes. Looking at his face is hypnotic. He is a prodigy — he started teaching at Stanford when he was 26. The first time I met him, he took me to brunch in Williamsburg and we discussed asking Nas to record a diss track on this bitch-ass tech reporter whom we both loathe…
The conversation quickly turned to Bitcoin.
Balaji is the head of the Stanford Bitcoin Society. When he preaches Bitcoin, he looks like Moses. At that brunch, he convinced me to pour my entire life savings into Bitcoin.
Of course, the stuff he told me at brunch was mostly over my head. It was mainly his fervent religious timbre that sold me on the BTC. Bitcoin cannot be explained: you have to use it to understand it. To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.: “The Life of Bitcoin is Experience, not Logic.”
But I was sold. I went home and—over the course of the next month—I poured my entire life savings into Bitcoin. When I began to do this, I planned to be a hoarder, a speculator. I thought I would convert all of my Bitcoin back to dollars when the price hits $10K. Now that I understand Bitcoin better, and I have begun to actually use it, I have come to realize that I will never sell a Bitcoin for dollars, as long as I live.
Now, I’m warning you: what I am about to say will mean NOTHING to you unless you get some Bitcoin and begin using it. But thug life, I am gonna say it anyways: Bitcoin is the 2nd coming of the Internet. It is the email to the “snail mail” that is checks, wires, and every other form of transferring money.
Bitcoin is going to empower the poor, just as the Internet has. It used to be that the rich had books and the poor did not. Now, everyone has the Internet. Although rich people can still afford fancier titanium Macs, pretty much anyone who wants can afford the Internet.
In finance, poor people have to deal with all sorts of bullshit. They get ripped off more than rich people, because banks are vicious and rich people can protect themselves. There is this EVIL company—Western Union—which takes 15% when poor people send each other money. Western Union is worth 9 billion dollars—with the rise of Bitcoin, it will become worth zero…. Read more