ECONOMICS & FINANCE
JON MATONIS: The myth of legal tender has been shattered SPEAKER TOPICS - Bitcoin - Digital currency - Role of digital payment alternatives - Innovation - Future of Commerce
LWFRLQWKHĆŠUVW decentralised digital currency is â€œan epic revolution, which resembles a similar leap forward to that of the printing pressâ€?, says Jon Matonis, Founding Director and former Executive Director of the Bitcoin Foundation. He believes that virtual currency will be the future default means of security, replacing traditional commodities. Indeed, it will become the new gold. â€œBitcoin is to legal tender as BitTorrents are to copyrightsâ€Ś And we all know what happened to copyrightsâ€?, Matonis says. He is no anarchistic maverick or youthful upstart, indeed quite the contrary. Matonisâ€™ career G@RHMBKTCDCRDMHNQHMĆŚTDMSH@K posts including Chief Forex Trader at VISA, VeriSign, and
CEO of Hushmail. Today he provides e-money consulting services to companies on alternative currency programmes, compliance, jurisdiction selection, monetisation strategies and risk management. He is also a board advisor to @MTLADQNEJDXĆĽM@MBH@K@MC gaming start-ups.
With apologies to the Chancellor, the emperor has no clothes (MĆĽUDRGNQSXD@QR!HSBNHMG@R issued 12 million units valued at $6 billion, which Matonis argues, â€œno other virtual currency has ever done in the history of modern economicsâ€?. He believes
Ó¤EWNĆ?ŐĽQ noun a type of digital currency in which encryption techniques are used to regulate the generation of units of currency and verify the transfer of funds, operating independently of a central bank. Ĺ–AHSBNHMG@RADBNLD@GNSBNLLNCHSX@LNMFRODBTK@SNQRĹ— Ĺ˘ a unit of bitcoin Ĺ–AHSBNHMRB@MADTRDCENQNMKHMDSQ@MR@BSHNMRADSVDDMHMCHUHCT@KRĹ—
this demonstrates that we donâ€™t need governments to provide our currency. â€œWe donâ€™t need kings to coin our money. The myth of legal tender has been shattered. With apologies to the Chancellor, the emperor has no clothesâ€?. Bitcoinâ€™s success, he claims, has been because it is supported by the trust of users, rather than the authority of a state. Bitcoin does have a number of undeniable advantages â€“ the funds are transferred directly from person to person via the net, without going through a bank or a clearing house, which means fees are much lower and transfers are faster. You can use them in every country, a central government canâ€™t take them away, your account canâ€™t be frozen, and there are no prerequisites or arbitrary limits. There are no chargebacks, people canâ€™t steal your payment HMENQL@SHNMHSHRMĹ—SHMĆŚ@SHNM@QX and it is as private as you want it to be. Bitcoin also has a very predictable, controlled supply. There will never be more than 21 million coin units. Matonis believes that there is room for Bitcoin to co-exist with national currencies, albeit competitively. Despite a great deal of negative press coverage, including accusations that Bitcoin is being used for criminal trading, he says that Bitcoinâ€™s accessibility for developing countries, in a world that is largely unbanked, brings a lot of good and this should be focused on more. While human nature means that many remain sceptical about trusting Bitcoin, because it was not backed by a government, Matonis believes that the new currency will endure. â€œBitcoin comes with something far more important and profound â€“ it comes with market-based legitimacy. When you can avoid the intermediary and rely on distributed trust, vast new opportunities open upâ€?.
SPEAKGLOBAL | ISSUE 5