Ben Horowitz, co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, recently gave a compact explainer on the rise of bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency. Speaking at TechCrunch Disrupt in San Francisco, Horowitz uses simple language and sticky analogies.
He concedes that cryptocurrency – as a sort of new “computing platform” – is slow and complex, but it has one revolutionary feature: trust. Horowitz says that this is what makes crypto super powerful.
“You don’t have to trust the government or Twitter and Facebook, or the other people even on the network. You just have to trust math. And that opens a very interesting world for developers because you can build new applications like money. Nobody’s every been able to program money before. Now you can. You can program law and contracts, and you don’t have to worry about a corrupt lawyer. You don’t have to trust a lawyer. You don’t have to trust a judge. You can program digital property. You can build art that only one person owns. You don’t have to trust a broker or somebody who might be faking it.”
— Nick Kurat (@NickKurat) September 14, 2018
“Not all ICO’s are bad; but every bad company has an ICO.” Brilliant @bhorowitz …
— Chris Schroeder (@cmschroed) September 7, 2018
— Michael Arrington (@arrington) September 12, 2018
— Jason Goldberg 👷🏻♂️ v0.5 (@betashop) September 13, 2018
— TechCrunch (@TechCrunch) September 10, 2018
But not everyone believes in the merits of crypto, or agrees that there are any merits at all. Even Horowitz’s explanation about trust being derived from math and game theory falls flat for crypto opponents.
Not fair to the stupid people.
The crypto scam is great BECAUSE there are so many stupid people in it. Who else would pay $10 million to the miners every day, to run the worst payment service ever built? Without them, the price would be $0.
— Jorge Stolfi (@JorgeStolfi) September 15, 2018