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Learn more and compare subscriptions content expands above. Full Terms and Conditions apply to all Subscriptions. Or, if you are already a subscriber Sign in. Other options. Close drawer menu Financial Times International Edition. Search the FT Search. There were plenty of people who did get Bitcoin there, and get it in the way that we understand it now.
Certainly a higher percentage of people in Silicon Valley got it than in professional communities basically anywhere else. My point though, is that for a place that was the beacon, the center place of technology, innovation, a far smaller overall percentage of the community got it than you might otherwise expect. And I think the very way that I just described it as a technology hub, a technology beacon, is one of the reasons why it went comparatively unnoticed.
Bitcoin did have disruptive technology: solving problems like the double-spend problem that has evaded early pioneers in digital money for decades, is nothing to slouch at. Its fundamental shift was replacing human coordination of money systems, and human validation of money exchange with math- and rules-based systems. Another way to put it, the problem that Bitcoin was designed to solve, i. In fact, what Silicon Valley was concerned with was how to transfer value more quickly and conveniently.
This is in some ways a cousin of the trusted intermediary problem, but in other ways, kind of the opposite. In many circumstances, better intermediaries, more centralization, are a solution that Silicon Valley presents to improve convenience and ease. They know their business of new technology incredibly well, the best have developed pattern matching for who and what is likely to win, and are willing to take enormous risk. The example I think of frequently is how much the discussion of valuations of startups is devoid of macro context.
Most of the conversations I used to have about that were simply about whether it was just the Y Combinator effect inflating valuations. What was missing was a larger analysis of the fact that in a world where low interest rates suppress traditional paths to yield, every category of investor was being shunted farther along the risk spectrum to seek yield.
In other words, way more people were becoming VCs, meaning there was more capital available overall. By the laws of supply and demand, same number of startups plus way more capital means higher valuations. Accelerators like Y Combinator certainly have the effect of hyper-concentrating all those new dollars chasing the same relatively small number of very hot deals. So there are both macro and micro factors at play.
And so a lot of what made Bitcoin different and special went underground. There was also the other part that I wonder how big an impact it had. Bitcoin pretty aggressively subverted the Silicon Valley power system, Satoshi never did a roadshow on Sand Hill, never applied for Y Combinator, did a pitch day. It just all of a sudden existed and started being what it was, the ecosystem that formed around it was organic and incentivized by the base design of the incentives of the network itself.
Now, a cynical take would be something like VCs recognize this as a threat to their power, and so purposefully avoided it or invested in payments competitors. Whenever critiques one has VCs, of all the forms of economic power out there, they tend to be the type with the best sense of who and what is likely to disrupt them, and the most nimble ability to try to shift approaches before they are made irrelevant.
But ultimately, the VC bet is a bet on the specific entrepreneur and team to make that shift happen. Bitcoin never offered them that chance. And so it would have taken an extraordinary subject matter interest to carve out time to focus on that, especially when so many other entrepreneurs were right there knocking on their doors. Again, there are plenty of exceptions who are richly rewarded because they figured it out earlier than others, Tim Draper, Founders Fund, etc. But they are the exceptions that prove the rule.
And also to be clear, I missed it myself. I think my missing it was mostly a factor of me being so consumed with the startup-y things I was trying to make work, and so not in a real rabbit-hole-exploring mental space. But certainly, the commonly held belief in my circle that it was just another internet payment thing was a factor as well.
It took me fully leaving Silicon Valley and revisiting Bitcoin later, in the context of what it could do for marginalized communities or communities living inside strife, conflict or authoritarianism, to really shift out of thinking about it from a technology revolution to a monetary one.
First, they were trying to solve different problems, problems that made more sense to VCs. Second, unlike with Bitcoin, VCs did have a chance to invest early, not only in Ethereum, but in projects built on top of it. It simply was not the norm in Silicon Valley among his peers. Bitcoin has a few things that I think Jack believes makes it the leading candidate for that. I think the radically more important point for Dorsey is true decentralization. Those things are, I believe, to Jack, so differentiating that Bitcoin is clear to him as a generational technology.
Now, those factors have built into Bitcoin a certain conservativism about how much it changes. Nothing matters more than the security, integrity and inviolability of the network. None of the cool stuff is being built on Bitcoin. Many things I find interesting, and that I believe, will likely come out of it. And that is, in spite of the slew of negative externalities, the fortunes that will be made and lost just as fast or even hacked away. So it ever was, so shall it ever be. I think it makes this whole space extraordinarily dynamic and fascinating.
Choose your subscription. Trial Try full digital access and see why over 1 million readers subscribe to the FT. For 4 weeks receive unlimited Premium digital access to the FT's trusted, award-winning business news. Digital Be informed with the essential news and opinion. Read the print edition on any digital device, available to read at any time or download on the go 5 international editions available with translation into over languages FT Magazine, How to Spend It magazine and informative supplements included Access 10 years of previous editions and searchable archives.
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Learn more and compare subscriptions content expands above. Full Terms and Conditions apply to all Subscriptions. Or, if you are already a subscriber Sign in. The number of executives and specialized engineers leaving global giants Twitter, Amazon, Meta, and other companies to get rich in the cryptocurrency industry continues to grow.
The number of Silicon Valley professionals leaving global giants to get rich in the cryptocurrency industry is overgrowing. Tech executives and engineers are quitting Google, Meta, Amazon and other large companies for what they say is a once-in-generation opportunity with crypto. Carter , who became senior vice president of business development at Unstoppable Domains, said the following:.
David Marcus , one of the top executives at Meta Platform Inc formerly Facebook , the co-creator of the digital currency Diem formerly Libra , and the wallet Novi said he would be leaving the company by the end of the month, after a good seven years. The crypto sector is evolving, and if crypto startups are conquering Silicon Valley in , Non-Fungible Tokens NFTs fascinate and involve more and more celebrities.
The Cryptonomist, in collaboration with ArtRights , is also in the thick of the industry with the launch of the NFT series dedicated to Cryppo. Graduated in Marketing and Communication, Stefania is an explorer of innovative opportunities. She started out as a Sales Assistant for e-commerce, and in she began to develop a passion for the digital world, initially in the Network Marketing sector, where she discovered and became passionate about the ideals behind Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, which lead her to work as a copywriter and translator for ICO projects and blogs, and organize introductory courses.
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Episode 5 The Empty Chair. Episode 4 Maleant Data Systems Solutions. Episode 2 Two in a Box. Episode 1 Founder Friendly. Episode 10 Server Error. Episode 9 Hooli-Con. Episode 8 The Keenan Vortex. Episode 7 The Patent Troll. Episode 6 Customer Service. It took him four seasons to get there, but so what? Episode 5 The Blood Boy. Episode 4 Teambuilding Exercise. Even when Erlich Bachman wins, he loses. Episode 3 Intellectual Property.
Episode 2 Terms of Service. Episode 1 Success Failure. Episode 8 Fifty-One Percent. Episode 7 Initial Coin Offering. Episode 6 Artificial Emotional Intelligence. Episode 5 Facial Recognition. Episode 4 Tech Evangelist. Episode 3 Chief Operating Officer. Episode 2 Reorientation. Episode 1 Grow Fast or Die Slow. Episode 7 Exit Event. Episode 6 RussFest. What could possibly go wrong? Episode 5 Tethics.
Episode 4 Maximizing Alphaness. Episode 3 Hooli Smokes! Episode 2 Blood Money.