Brad Templeton, Who Started the World’s First Dotcom, on Why Bitcoin Matters

Software Architect, Internet Entrepreneur, and Futurist
Tech pioneer Brad Templeton calls Bitcoin just one example of how exponential technology is redefining finance. Understanding these changes in advance is a major advantage for individuals and businesses that want to stay a step (or 100 steps) ahead of their peers. And Singularity University’s 2015 Exponential Finance conference, happening June 2 and 3 in New York City, brings together some of the top future-focused entrepreneurs in every field: from finance, to law, to computing, to medicine, to share their discoveries and insights into what’s coming next, and how to turn it to your advantage. Tickets are going fast. Use the code BIGTHINK500 to lock in your seats now, at a $500 discount.
  • Transcript

TRANSCRIPT

Brad Templeton: So what Bitcoin creates is a ledger that needs no bank. And that's actually pretty important because if you think about what is a bank, at least as far as the money transfer and the checking and savings, not the loan part, but the financial, the moving money part of a bank, it's really — it's a secure ledger. The bank does not just have a little file that says your account has $3,000 in it. They insist that when you write something, they make a note in their ledger that $1,000 is transferred from your account into someone else's account and so on and that's important to make it secure. Well, what the designers of Bitcoin created was a way to make a ledger that's secure and that everyone can trust, but that no one owns or controls. And this allows people to have money that can be free of the influence of governments, which is both bad if you're a government and great if you don't like what governments do with their monetary policies. It lets the policy be set by consensus and software. So Bitcoin basically has found a way to always know what the majority thinks, and by always knowing what the majority thinks, you get something you hope you can trust.

While the only thing people use Bitcoin for today is effectively to write checks that transfer title in some Bitcoins to another person or another secret numbered account because it's designed to be public in what you do, but private in terms of who's doing it. It actually becomes possible to do things like write a contract and say "I transfer one Bitcoin to you if the following is true." And so now the contracts are enforced without courts, without any other third party. So the ability for people to just play with that and innovate with that that's really exciting and that's why you want to pay attention to Bitcoin.