Bitcoin explainer: The cash of the Internet

The simplest way to think of it is that Bitcoins are like cash for the internet. So, when we meet someone in the street or just you know, buy a sandwich, we might want to use cash – it’s nice, it’s fast, it’s fairly anonymous, you don’t have to give your credit card or personal information to whoever you bought the sandwich from. Bitcoins let you do the same thing on the internet. But but they’re also open source, it’s an open source technology and that means that businesses who might want to play with payment systems or engage in new disruptive payment systems can do that just by downloading the code and starting to work with it.
I think it’s totally new that money could be data. So, when we talk about money usually it’s a physical good or it’s like data maybe, that the government controls or that the bank keeps track of, which is just more of a marker. With Bitcoin, the data itself is the money and that’s really interesting. So, Mark Andreessen from Andreessen Horowitz has famously said that software is eating the world and I think what he means by that is that software is ticking over and engaging in more and more parts of our life. This is the first time that software really is eating money and all of the sorts of things that software does quickly, innovate, iterate, communicate over the Internet, money can now do better.

Peter Vessenes, Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation

Interview via CSC’s Leading Edge Forum