online payment Posts

Cryptocurrencies as a transport layer; or, what’s wrong with Stellar

About two weeks ago Stripe published a blog post which articulated the promise of Bitcoin more succinctly than I’ve read anywhere else; in short, the post draws Bitcoin (or a derivative cryptocurrency) as the transport layer of a new digital economy. If you haven’t read that post yet, I encourage you to read it before reading this one—it does a good job of explaining concepts in a way that might even make sense to non-technical readers, and I will be building on those ideas in this post.

The Stripe post highlights an idea that I’ve harboured since the first time I heard about Bitcoin; basically, that its greatest value lies in its utility as a medium of exchange. Money moving around the world as freely as information does today. Transaction costs reduced to the point where it would be feasible for the New York Times to charge you ten cents for every article you want to read instead of shoving ads in your face. And consumers with the option of making international payments via their local credit union instead of the credit card and wire transfer oligopolies.