Bitcoin, “first thing like the Internet since the Internet”

Technology experts and cryptocurrency enthusiasts say the digital currency industry is the “first thing like the Internet since the Internet.” The growing popularity of Bitcoin (BTC) and the widespread adoption of the virtual currency will create specialized parallel processors in emerging markets, predicts Marc Andreessen co-founder and principal of Andreessen Horowitz.

Speaking at the Open Compute Summit this past week, Andreessen believes bitcoin provides Silicon Valley with a tremendous opportunity as it could very well lead to a new wave of chip design concepts.

bitcoin“Crypto currency is the first practical way to do business over the Internet with no central hub or trust authority needed to validate a secure transaction,” stated Andreessen. “It seems like a very, very big opportunity because it will be used by everything from big stock exchanges to services like AirBnB sending electronic room keys back and forth for individual locks.”

Indeed, according to Andreessen, the future of bitcoin is very bright and the technology that will be created in the future will be superb – right now there are already pitches for bitcoin-optimized datacenters.

Others at the conference aren’t so enthusiastic about bitcoin.

Thomas Sohmers, a 17-year-old who is the chief executive of high-performance server startup Rex Computing, argued bitcoin is “kind of [a] Ponzi or pyramid scheme” – a common complaint made by critics of virtual currencies – and those who entered at the ground floor have garnered the most profits. He has even encouraged his partners to cease searching for bitcoin technology.

“It’s the biggest waste of processing power in the world,” said Sohmers. “There are already ASICs out there for bitcoin mining.”

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  • exjournalist

    If you are going to get a comment on bitcoin, why don’t you ask somehow who knows what the hell he is talking about? I dunno… like say an expert on bitcoin. This is journalism 101. It’s like if I was writing an article on building boats, I would not go ask my neighbourhood furniture maker on his opinion.

  • steven2358

    “Thomas Sohmers, a 17-year-old who is the chief executive of high-performance server startup Rex Computing, argued bitcoin is kind of [a] Ponzi or pyramid scheme”.

    Why is Rex Computing quoted as an authority on bitcoin?

    • I wouldn’t say the article quotes him as an authority on bitcoin. It’s merely another perspective about bitcoin from someone else that was there. That’s my opinion and I can’t comment for the author of this article.

      • tothemoon

        taking economic perspectives from a 17 year old is straight up ridiculous.

        • You’re entitled to an opinion just like a 17yr old or 71yr old for that matter. But again I didn’t write the article.

  • John Cunningham

    If rising price was the actual definition of a pyramid or Ponzi scheme, then Google and Microsoft would both fit the definition.

    A Ponzi scheme is an investment that pays returns to earlier investors from the capital obtained from new investors.

    Social Security is a Ponzi scheme, since the government long ago absconded with the money “invested” those who are retiring today, so it now must spend the “contributions” of younger workers to make the returns promised to the elderly.

    Bitcoin, by comparison, is an innovative technology that can make the world a better place by removing the bankster’s hands from everyone’s pockets. As more people realize the potential, it’s value naturally rises.

    Rule #1 of writing: if you don’t know the definition of the term you are using, look it up.

    • I would take the ponzi comment with a grain of salt. It was made by a 17 year old kid who probably doesn’t know what a ponzi scheme is. He was just there to drum up business for his startup.

  • Jon G

    So I guess every start up company would be a ponzi scheme by his definition. Since the founders were able to get in on the ground floor companies like Facebook and Twitter are obvious pyramid schemes. All the processing power secures the network, how is it a waste? That’s like saying all the computer power being used to encrypt servers is a waste. Unreal.

    • Zyo

      I would like to know the total energy that Visa takes including all individual who works there and burn fuel every day, buildings to heat up, datacenters… all that for securing the credit card transactions. And guess what, they failed miserably, because even after THEY approved a transaction, they often reverse it they couldn’t check if the owner was using the card.

      How many bad bitcoin transactions has been made where the merchants lots because it was reverse? Any? Have a super secure network do a have a cost but put that in full perspective. The total electricity cost is hard to evaluate because new ASIC machine are pretty efficient.