[AUDIENCE] I want to know, what is the main
challenge that cryptocurrencies will have to meet…
in order to popularize and spread it
worldwide, [where] everyone uses it?
[ANDREAS] What are the prerequisites for a broader
adoption? [AUDIENCE] The challenges [to adoption].
[ANDREAS] The challenges.
[AUDIENCE] What challenges will cryptocurrencies
have to meet, have to face, to popularize?
[ANDREAS] Okay, fantastic.
Let me do an audience question.
How many of you find Bitcoin easy to understand?
[Audience hands raise]
How many of you find Bitcoin easy to use?
[Audience hands raise] You’re lying. [Laughter]
How many of you find Bitcoin easy
to secure, your individual wallets?
To backup, to make available to your families
in the case of your death or incapacity?
Until everyone in this audience can do it —
more importantly, until my mom can do it —
bitcoin cannot be adopted broadly.
We have a lot of work to do. That means taking a
technology that, at the moment, is difficult to explain,
to use, to secure on an individual basis
(though very secure on a global basis).
Difficult to plan for your retirement or to pass on
to your family. All of these things need to be fixed.
You’ve got to look at it as an engineering problem,
which is also an engineering opportunity.
I sent my first email in 1989. In order to send my first
email, I had to download a mail client in source code,
use a compiler to [make it] an executive application on
a UNIX system, with the command line on a modem,
through an account that I wasn’t
strictly speaking authorized to use.
I was 16 [years old] and I had access to
the internet in 1989. You do the math.
After two or three hours of work with my UNIX
command-line skills that I had just recently learned,
I composed my first email.
First, I had to find someone to send it to, because
there weren’t that many people on the internet then.
I sent an email and in the blink of an eye — just
thirty-six hours later — it arrived at its destination.
If you had asked me then, “Will you do
your banking and shopping on this?”
“Will your mom use this? Can you do
video calling with your mom on this?”
I would have said, “Yes, but it will take twenty years.”
Exactly twenty years later, my mom sent her first email.
She didn’t have UNIX command-line skills.
She [swiped her finger] like this on her iPad.
That’s what we have to do. You can look at that
as a challenge; I think of it as an opportunity.
An opportunity [like that which] created a multi-billion
dollar industry for search, for email, for online services,
for internet service providers,
for tablets, for mobile phones,
personal computing devices and all
of the other things that we’ve seen.
The person who sees it as a challenge is the pessimist.
The person who sees it as an opportunity to create a
billion-dollar industry, I call that person an entrepreneur.
I see a lot of them in the audience today,
who are thinking, “You know what?”
“If I make bitcoin easier to use, to secure, to understand,
I can build a very successful business.”
Until you don’t need to know
how it works [in order to use it].
So I’ll turn around that question and say,
you don’t need to understand Bitcoin to use it.
I guarantee you that there are not more than two or
three people in this room who understand how…
TCP/IP windowing or Las Vegas QoS properties
within TCP work; how an HTTP message is formed.
Anybody? [Audience raises hands] One, two three.
Boom. Bingo. Those are the developers in the room.
Yet we all use the internet without
needing to understand any of that.
Bitcoin will be successful and adopted broadly when you
don’t need to understand anything about how it works,
and yet you can use it.
Then, my mom can use it.