Monday, May 20, 2013

“In fifty years, would you rather own 100 euros, 100 Amazon Coins, or 100 bitcoins?”

Forbes columnist Jon Matonis asked this question to an audience at a SWIFT conference:

Hosted at the palatial and temple-like SWIFT headquarters, this year’s TransConstellation Alumni conference featured a mix of panel representatives from both “new” payment approaches and “established” payment players. I was invited to represent the new approach in an Oxford-style debate which I gladly accepted.
As the mecca for international payments, SWIFT is situated on a sprawling green campus in La Hulpe, Belgium where deer leap through the underbrush and occasionally cross the road in front of you. The member-owned cooperative provides the communications platform to connect more than 10,000 banking organizations, securities institutions and corporate customers in 210 countries. If you have ever made an international wire transfer, it has probably run through the SWIFT network. Also, with global initiatives like Innotribe, SWIFT readily embraces the study of emerging payment paradigms and the potential for disruptive operators to alter the landscape.
It was a pleasure to watch the live bitcoin transaction feed from scroll proudly across the 8-foot screen monitors at both ends of the high-ceiling reception room. That is what decentralization looks like. In the absence of third-party intermediaries, amounts and fees and transaction numbers are on display for all the world to see. Somehow, I doubt that a similar live transaction feed from SWIFT’s network was scrolling on a public web browser anywhere in the building. And from the looks on some faces, I think that realization dawned on the attendees as well.
Read the rest here.


  1. I'd be more interested to the answer in the title/question above if gold and/or silver were added to the equation.

  2. I agree with Nick. Gold or silver please!

  3. None of the above. What's wrong with gold and silver, the commodities we've been using as money for several millenia, before the bankers started pulling their swindle?

  4. The Euro system will probably be indirectly backed by gold in the near future. So the Euro is my answer.

  5. FWIW, I did a search around 6 months to a year ago when toying with Bitcoin on buying Silver/Gold.

    At that time the premiums were around 30%.

    A 30% hit on bullion to add an extra layer of anonymity(that might still be compromised) isn't worth it to me when I can do the same without the hit via cash and probably have a better chance of anonymity if done properly.

    That being said, if there were exchanges that worked with bullion transfer facilitated by Bitcoin, but cashed in/out via bullion with low transaction cost I'd be VERY interested. (3% or under)

    I have yet to see such an animal. Even further, if Bitcoin exchanges are going to play ball with gov't then the whole reason I'd be interested is null and void.