The second day of Coin Congress in San Francisco focused less on recent US regulatory developments, instead placing a heightened emphasis on the promise of bitcoin’s underlying technology.
Held at the Union Square Hilton this week, the event featured a variety of speakers and panels. Experts offered unique perspectives on the bitcoin and cryptocurrency economy, and with their remarks succeeded at framing the industry as a fast-developing space worthy of its early accolades.
Despite the promise and excitement surrounding the industry, however, event commentators were keen to point out the obstacles that bitcoin needs to overcome in order to bring its full capabilities to market.
The mainstream portrayal of bitcoin in the media appears to be one issue, according to Michael Terpin, who founded the PR service Marketwired in the early 1990s. He says negative headlines sell, and that bitcoin is paying a heavy price because of this.
“The media is like a sponge, waiting for the loudest click-bait to happen.”
Perception and adoption
Discussion on the perception of bitcoin continued through the day, with one specific panel addressing the issue directly. There, George Gilder, an author, investor and moderator of the perception panel, called cryptocurrency, “a new category of information on the Internet that fulfills the real promise of the Internet”.
Due to this type of praise, speakers were emboldened about the currency and its prospects.
Tim Parsa, CEO of BitReserve, said:
“Anything you fight, you make stronger.”
Bradley Rotter, co-chair of hardware startup Rivetz, echoed this positive sentiment, saying that digital currencies were inevitable with the advent of the web.
“Does the internet deserve its own currency? Of course it does,” Rotter noted.
Lee Fox, founder of Peerspring, said that demographic shifts will foster distributed systems adoption no matter what. She said she sees this in a younger generations that is, “already circumventing what was once centralized”.
Venture capitalists still positive
The Coin Congress venture capital panel offered similarly positive opinions on the long-term opportunities that bitcoin presents, as commentators were optimistic bitcoin could overcome its perception issues.
The VCs were perhaps unsurprisingly bullish on investing in bitcoin businesses.
Bart Stephens, managing partner of Stephens Investment Management, said there is “massive opportunity to connect the financial world to bitcoin”.