Bitcoin Basics and Regulation Thoughts from NH Liberty Forum – Bruce Fenton

Bruce Fenton, founder of the Bitcoin Association ( speaks at Liberty Forum 2014 in New Hampshire. He is also founder of Atlantic Financial, the first full service investment firm on the internet in 1994.

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Bruce compares the invention of bitcoin to the invention of the internet. Liberty Forum is an annual conference celebrating Liberty, the Free State Project and New Hampshire.

This speech explains the origins of Bitcoin and discusses Bitcoin as an invention and not just a currency. Bruce explains that Bitcoin solves the age old question of “how to eliminate the third party” and that the actual currency that is Bitcoin, is a small part of this larger picture.

Bitcoin the invention is a new thing, never been done before in human history has it been possible to transfer something of value like currency, to another party with absolute certainty without having a trusted third party. Its so ingrained in our consciousness that we need a trusted third party, such as central banks. If I say, why do you have money at your bank?

where the bank can go under, a state or federal agency can seize your money, why would you trust it? For 1000 years, we’ve had to. Email is an example of a superior electronic alternative to paper mail. Trusted third parties serve to validate that we have the money we say we have.

With bitcoin, tech has given us a cryptographic math problem that says we have the money we have. A decentralized ledger with every transaction that has ever happened that everyone has access to. We no longer “have to” use a bank due to this invention.The ability to transfer money instantly simply based upon math. You trust cryptography and not a third party. The currency is relatively small right now. All the bitcoin on earth is worth less than half of whatsapp.

Because it is decentralized, they don’t need anyone’s permission to start a bitcoin company or app. For the first time a rich guy can be on the same platform as a poor person, as they don’t need a smartphone, they can print out a bitcoin key. There is a hard cap of $21 million bitcoin and the total value of all the bitcoin is less than $10 billion dollars. The way they are mined/released in the system is by solving a complex computer problem. Every transaction is on a decentralized list called Blockchain. A service that provides a wallet, etc.Within the bitcoin community there is debate over how much regulation they should have, or not have.
It is Bruce’s hope that the regulators won’t be too overwhelming. A hardline against bitcoin in this country will be someone else’s opportunity. America is not a capitalist company anymore. We’re losing opportunity to other countries.