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The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin [#SIBOS #SIBOS2014 #Innotribe]

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I finish the first day of SIBOS by returning to the innotribe tent to watch the world premiere of the film The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.

It was surprisingly well attended with a packed room of popcorn munchers and beer drinkers (no puns intended).


The film is 90 minutes long and traces the origins of Bitcoin through the life of Daniel.  

Daniel is a 35 year old computer programmer from Pittsburgh who lives a busy life. Along with balancing work, his marriage, and raising his three boys, Daniel spends much of his time actively involved in all things Bitcoin. After discovering Bitcoin in 2011, his love and obsession for the crypto-currency was born, revealing an uncharted world of new possibilities for him to explore.

The film then traces the rapidly growing world of Bitcoin. Along the way, it looks at the stories of entrepreneurs and startups that are helping shape the new financial frontier; the competitive mining market and the various subcultures within the Bitcoin community; the characters and opinions along with the social and political impact of an open-source digital currency.

Will the rise of Bitcoin bring a monetary paradigm shift that will forever change the world?

It's a good question although, as someone who has tracked bitcoin since its early days, it's one that is maybe past its sell-by date (that's the cynic in me talking).

The reason I say this is that many now believe that bitcoin is not the future.  Certainly that was the mantra of the banking community in the innotribe space.  They all believe that bitcoin, the currency, is past its sell-by date but that bitcoin, the protocol (the blockchain), is a technology thtat banks can incorporate.

Maybe that is why the bitcion pricing is falling and why its impact has eroded since the collapse of MtGox.

MtGox's collapse is actually a red herring, but it did stop everyone in their tracks and make them ask: what is this bitcoin thing?

The reason I say it's a red herring is that it's a bit like saying, when a currency trader in dollars becomes bankrupt, does that make you challenge the belief in the value of a dollar?  No.  So why, when a bitcoin currency trader collapses, do you challenge the idea of bitcoin?

Because it's exactly that: an idea.

Bitcoin, as even the most avid fans will tell you, is an experiment.  It's a great one, and one that works, but it isn't the end game.  It might be but then, in the same breath, it's just as likely that it won't.

We shall see but, as even the most avid fans will tell you, only invest in bitcoins what you are prepared to lose.

That said, we then went on to the post-film party with Asian food and drinks courtesy of Circle, who are making a big splash here.

Now on to day two of SIBOS and today, it's all about liquidity and innovation in new markets and countries ... and not a word about bits of coins I promise.


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Chris M Skinner

Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog,, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal's Financial News. To learn more click here...

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