How History Shows Bitcoin Could Transform Finance

historytechnology30 June 2014 / Benzinga – It’s hard to envision the future bitcoin bulls do – where bitcoin is more ubiquitous than Visa, used for more than just purchases and accepted around the globe. But the difficulty sharing the vision doesn’t make it a mirage.

The general lack of foresight about technology is an old tale. Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press, the telephone and Internet were all laughed at and discounted before changing the world.

Understanding Requires Imagination

Understanding these revolutionary technologies requires suspending disbelief and imagining the future. Transformative technologies don’t work right away. They require infrastructure and industries to be built around them.

When Gutenberg introduced the printing press, only 30 percent of European adults could read; those who could were primarily wealthy individuals who already had access to books. To many, the invention appeared worthless.

Visionaries, on the other hand, could see the potential of the printing press – that it would increase literacy and increase access to human knowledge. Even the visionaries, however, probably didn’t foresee the role it would play in the scientific revolution and sparking knowledge-based economies.

The same is true of the telephone. Believing that the telephone would one day enable people to talk across a city, country, or around the globe may have seem impossible when first introduced by Alexander Graham Bell. Obstacles like needing to run cables across the ocean and identifying the phone to connect to would seem insurmountable.

Where Bitcoin Is Today

Bitcoin, or rather digital currencies, are in that early phase today. At five years old, bitcoin is a big idea with the potential to impact every financial transaction in the world. From reading the news in the morning to purchasing a house or financial stock, everything could be improved by bitcoin.

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