What do you think the role and future of altcoins will be?
When I started working on Bitcoin, I believed we would see up to five different cryptocurrencies that could succeed in different ways, and that they would need to fight each other for dominance.
I was wrong. Because I was looking at Bitcoin from the perspective and experience with national currencies. That is how national currencies behave, in a zero-sum game.
Once I saw that more altcoins were being created, acting as a laboratory, I realized the connections between money and language. Just like there are hundreds of thousands of human languages, there will be hundreds of thousands of alternative currencies and chains, and then perhaps millions.
They will be created at a rate of thousands per year, then tens of thousands per year. Most will not have significant economic value, some of them will have the value of reputation, loyalty, popularity, or historical significance. Or they will explore a narrow feature or capability.
There will be millions, with value to someone.
Even five-year-olds create currencies. If you watch a Kindergarten, they create currencies out of rubber bands, colored blocks, and crayons. They trade tokens of value with each other to express popularity and friendship.
Human beings create currencies. It is a natural process and evolutionary imperative.
We will create millions of them. They may not have the same interest or value, but they will be powerful. People think it is funny, but imagine what happens when you have a Justin Bieber coin.
That is a horrifying idea, JustinBieberCoin. But at the same time, if it was created today, it would very quickly have more value than at least fifty national currencies. Easily, right?
Is that money? It is to a Justin Bieber fan. It is meaningful, valuable, and exchangeable. It expresses loyalty and social connection.
We are redefining how we see money, from a field of narrow perspective and monopolies… to an explosion of diversity that will flood our brains with thousands of currencies.
Hopefully, one day it will be so easy to use any of them, that it will become irrelevant which currency you use. Currency will simply disappear into the background.