David Johnston will be another panelist talking about virtual currency at the Winter Expo. David is one of the co-founder of BitAngels, the network of angel investors and entrepreneurs investing in Bitcoin and Bitcoin related startups. BitAngels is leading the charge in funding innovative digital currency technology, and David will bring his valuable perspective to the panel.
“BitAngels started in May of 2013 at the Bitcoin conference in San Jose. I ended up founding it with Michael Turpin and a few other co-founders, and now we have 300 or so members, which makes us one of the larger groups in the US doing angel investing. We’ve invested a couple million dollars in about ten different start ups.” David said.
When it comes to Bitcoin, most people have been focusing on its economic impact and the consequences it has for finance. David and his team are digging a bit deeper and analyzing the possibilities of the technology across many verticals.
“Bitcoin offers an entirely new set of tools that developers can use to build new types of projects. Bitcoin isn’t just a currency but also a public ledger that let’s people record virtually anything. Imagine all the things you can do with that technology, now that you have this ledger in the cloud that can keep the peer-to-peer records and transmit tokens. People are using it for financial technology, for contracts, for smart property, for anything you can imagine. I know a group that’s doing college credits and reporting people’s transcripts into the block chain.” David said.
David compared the beginning of Bitcoin to the early days of the Internet. Back then the Internet only had ten or twenty million users and the best thing it had to offer was email. But we now know that the value of the Internet isn’t just email; we have browsers, search engines, and social networks. The case is similar with Bitcoin. Its salient feature currently is sending transactions back and forth, but vast arrays of technology that can sit on top of the block chain are being invented right now.
“The ways that we’re using Bitcoin are expanding everyday. The speed at which it’s moving is incredible, and I think it’s going to be a lot faster than people realize. Bitcoin is doubling in users every four months. In the coming years a lot of people are going to be using Bitcoin without even realizing they’re using it in the same way that most people use HTTP when they use a search engine without realizing it.” David said.
There are a lot of new startups in virtual currency that are already doing cool and innovative things with the technology. Gliph allows people to securely text Bitcoin and bring the experience of virtual currency to mobile users everywhere. Shopify has integrated Bitcoin payment into their shopping carts. There are many more examples.
“If people want to get involved, don’t just do some copycat project like EBay for Bitcoin. All those projects are going to get blown out of the water when those mainstream companies just start accepting Bitcoin. Do something innovative, do something building on this new infrastructure. Do a project that really has a competitive advantage. That’s really where the interesting stuff is, projects that are leveraging this new technology to build things in a different way.” David said.
Don’t forget to register for our Bitcoin EXPO on December 5th, where you can check out David and our other speakers, along with pitches from Bitcoin startups and other financial technologies.
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