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How cryptocurrencies can succeed

How cryptocurrencies can succeed


Greg Brockman

July 10, 2014


  1. How cryptocurrencies can succeed Greg Brockman Stripe CTO // @thegdb

  2. The three functions of money… • Store of value (place

    to hold savings)! • Unit of account (stable increment for records)! • Medium of exchange (way to transport value)
  3. Bitcoin has promise as a currency in high-inflation economies, but

    it’s a tough sell for most consumers today
  4. The three functions of money… • Store of value (place

    to hold savings) • Unit of account (stable increment for records) • Medium of exchange (way to transport value)
  5. It’s surprisingly difficult to transport value • The experience of

    paying online hasn’t changed much in the past 20 years • International payments are very high friction
  6. Cryptocurrencies are uniquely situated to solve these problems

  7. Start with building gateways which allow consumers to keep thinking

    in local currency CAD <-> BTC Consumer Bitcoin network
  8. How a gateway works • Consumer has an account with

    the gateway, likely tied to their bank account • Consumer specifies all actions in fiat currencies
  9. The world’s financial systems are largely isolated today.

  10. None
  11. Building a gateway • Gateway complies with local regulations (e.g.

    identity verification) • Gateway doesn’t need any cross-border relationships
  12. Given a global network of gateways, build a great payment

  13. Bitcoin would be the IP layer of payments <> ! <> 1PCa6dEQFEy…
  14. Not the first global network

  15. Not the first global network

  16. Not the first global network

  17. How does this compare to Visa? [x] Network for initiating

    transactions and moving funds [ ] Consumer trust and protection (chargebacks, stolen cards) [ ] Setting rules and regulations, ejecting bad actors
  18. Unless we solve decentralized reputation, we’ll see the emergence of

    a few centralized consumer trust providers
  19. Starting to see consumer protection emerge in the form of

    escrow ! ! ! ! ! ! However, escrow is unlikely to be the long-term solution
  20. Instead, we’ll see “consumer trust” providers emerge, gaining traction by

    boosting purchases + = ??
  21. The consumer trust providers will mediate chargebacks for purchases

    under their aegis Purchase protected with ??
  22. Because these consumer trust providers will have such strong brands,

    gateways will want to co-brand with them
  23. The trust providers will need to set and enforce rules

    for merchants and gateways to work with them
  24. So… what did we gain? • A technologically-open ecosystem •

    A decomposition of the existing layers into independent companies • A truly global network for both P2P and consumer-merchant transactions
  25. Open question: how do we bootstrap the gateway ecosystem?

  26. Greg Brockman Stripe CTO // @thegdb