Interview with Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver
The debate continues on virtual currencies. The potential for it to accelerate technological innovation through peer-to-peer payment systems... is undeniable.
To get a glimpse of the possible future of cryptocurrencies, past the slew of challenges, our Kim Hyesung sat down with the CEO and founder of Bitcoin-dot-com.
CEO of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver, was one of the earliest investors in bitcoin and related startups, even earning himself the nickname "Bitcoin Jesus" as a vocal advocate of the world's number one digital currency.
"Thanks to the internet, anybody in the world could communicate with anyone else, anywhere in the world. Now, thanks to the invention of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general, now anyone, anywhere in the world can transact financially with anyone else anywhere in the world. They don't need permission from a bank or a company or a government to do so. So it's a very interesting time to be involved in this."
The price of Bitcoin exploded last year,... flying well past ten-thousand U.S. dollars.
But prices fell sharply early this year, ushering in a bear season that saw Bitcoin post its worst ever first-quarter performance.
Q. Some critics say Bitcoin will collapse or is a bubble ready to burst? What's your take on that?
I think it's just a temporary market correction. It's hard to be disappointed by the price here, considering it's up several times from what it was last year at this time. You should look at cryptocurrency as the most useful in commerce. Those are the ones that will perform the best over time in terms of price appreciation against the dollar or the won.
It's not just price volatility, there are also concerns over a lack of safeguards as well as the hacking of cryptocurrency exchanges and digital wallets.
Q. Some argue that for virtual currency to be traded safely and go mainstream, there need to be some kind of regulations. What kind of regulatory measures should be taken, if any?
I'll give the practical answer, which is that businessmen need to know what the rules of the game are going to be so they can run their businesses accordingly, and grow their businesses and expand to help customers around the world. In as far as consumer protection, that's the business's job.
I think I'm really really skeptical that politicians are going to know better how to keep cryptocurrency safe than businessmen and users who are actually using the cryptocurrencies."
Cryptocurrencies are transacted peer-to-peer through a decentralized system backed by blockchain technology.
But while it's used in the real world by millions of law-abiding citizens, there are mounting concerns over its potential misuse for illegal activities, like money laundering or funding terrorism.
Governments have started to weigh in...debating Bitcoin's legal status, how to run exchanges, initial coin offerings, the issue of taxation and so on....and it even became one of the key themes at this year's G20 summit.
In uncharted waters, the cryptocurrency community is also discussing the industry's direction.
At the Deconomy 2018 forum in Seoul, companies like Bitcoin.com, Ethereum, and others insisted that while other things remain unclear right now, technological advances in software, mining and multi-signature wallets are needed to enhance security and cost-effectiveness.
"There is a long, long ways to go when it comes to cryptocurrency. It's still a little bit difficult, a little bit hard, there's a lot to learn, so there's huge amount of room for improvement."