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What is Bitcoin telling us about innovation on Internet?

by Rajesh Kandaswamy  |  January 24, 2014  |  1 Comment

Time will tell if Bitcoins take hold, disappear or remain on the fringes forever.  Supporters believe that Bitcoins enable easier, safer and faster exchange of money using modern technology. They like that Bitcoins can allow a financial transaction between parties without a central institution, just relying on a network of computers at lower friction costs. Many like its concept of a universal and an open ledger. Detractors point to the lack of state and institutional support as a major stumbling block, while others think it is a bubble that will crash. There are questions about its scalability and stability as well.

Irrespective of what happens in the future, the phenomenon of Bitcoins makes one think if we really have exploited the Internet as much as we think we have. There have been many innovations in financial services using the Internet in the last couple of decades. Yet, the advent of Bitcoins with new digital actors and roles that neglect banks and clearing houses shows how many components of our monetary infrastructure are still replicas of edifices built primarily for a brick and mortar world. It also shows that large and fundamental innovations using internet are still possible with the Internet, if we are willing to challenge some basic premises. What other areas come to your mind where we have transposed onto the internet processes and systems that were built for a physical world, ones that are candidates for a second look on how we do things?

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Category: fintech  

Tags: bitcoin  fintech  internet  

Rajesh Kandaswamy
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
20 years IT Industry

Rajesh Kandaswamy covers the banking industry for technology and service providers. His focus areas within banking include retail banking, credit cards, payments, mortgage, consumer and commercial lending, risk management, and technology finance. His primary technology areas are mobile banking, mobile and cloud payments, channel convergence, digital strategy, big data analytics, core banking, program governance, and outsourcing. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on What is Bitcoin telling us about innovation on Internet?

  1. Amy Anderson says:

    In many ways, we have abandoned the real flexibility and potential of the web by insisting on maintaining tight control of the ‘look and feel’ of web content instead of allowing the rendering of content into the user’s desired medium via their browser. We are still trying to force the web into ‘paper’ size blocks that are visually appealing even as our society ages and dramatically increases the need for content to be delivered universally yet rendered by individual appliances for optimum consumption for each user. The web has the potential to create similar experiences no matter what usability method is needed (i.e. for learning style, physical disability, or even language spoken), but we tend to fear this free-form presentation. Two steps forward and one step back. Progress, slow and steady.

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