Venture Capitalist and Bitcoin industry investor Fred Wilson has repeated his views that bitcoin won’t gain mass adoption any time soon. He also warned there are still several challenges that could cause Bitcoin to “come undone in a massive way”. As the bitcoin price drops, we’re inclined to agree with some of his points.
Wilson: ‘Not That Rewarding, Honestly’
“I’ve been trying to transact with bitcoin and a lot of cryptocurrencies for a long time. It’s not that rewarding to do, honestly,” Wilson said.
The Union Square Ventures managing partner made his comments at the Token Summit in New York on Thursday. Immediately following Consensus, the inaugural Token Summit focuses more on blockchain assets and other non-bitcoin digital tokens.
Given the occasion, Wilson’s comments likely found a friendly audience. He went on to say that bitcoin and blockchain are still in an early stage, and that some of the internet’s biggest names today came long after the “tech wreck” of early 2000.
Here’s where we agree. Whenever the price rockets, it’s easy to say Bitcoin’s time has finally arrived. Maybe as a pure digital asset and nothing else, it has. But what of the decentralized currency that is supposed to free markets and the world? As nice as a high price is, we still don’t see huge adoption as a currency in the places it’s expected to serve. In regions with wealth but unstable currencies and poor access to financial infrastructure — e.g.: Latin America, Southeast Asia — there’s interest but it’s not large scale. Yet.
Until we see that sort of mass acceptance, it’s hard to claim victory or celebrate. Price creates exuberance, but apart from technological curiosity and the prospect of free (fiat) money, there aren’t many compelling reasons to hold bitcoin right now.
Still Very Confident — Long Term
Don’t get us wrong, though — saying that does not disparage Bitcoin at all, and we’re very long-term confident. It’s just a matter of how long that term is.
At the same conference, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong also said he could “see a path” where bitcoin becomes the world’s reserve currency. That’s also completely plausible, though not any time soon.
However a lot could happen along that path. Wilson said scams, fraud and technological development could still derail Bitcoin, — a likely allusion to the current scaling issues and threats to fork the network in different directions. Investors need to be wary, he added.
Wilson’s opinions aren’t new. He has long been interested in bitcoin and surrounding technologies, particularly their decentralized nature. However some elements of Bitcoin also made him skeptical in the past. In 2014 he said “security and hoarding” were holding bitcoin adoption back and even causing the volatility that prevented its use as a currency.
That same year, he was among the first to suggest blockchain technology held more potential than the bitcoin currency itself. In his Token Summit speech, he also said blockchain applications would start to see mass adoption “by the end of this decade”.
Cryptocurrency itself though, will have to wait much longer.
Do you agree? Disagree? Why? Let us know in the comments.
Images via YouTube, Pixabay, Jon Southurst