Dreamforce 2014: Super Investor Marc Andreessen Prefers Bitcoin Over Apple Pay

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read

Marc Andreessen discusses Apple Pay and Bitcoin, and the technology industry with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang in a fireside chat at Salesforce’s Dreamforce 2014 conference.

In a recent interview to Bloomberg West, American investor and software engineer, Marc Andreessen, expressed his opinion on digital currency, stating it is better than Apple Pay.

Marc Andreessen is a cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz and board member for such firms as Facebook and Hewlett-Packard.

He estimates that bitcoin, in comparison with Apple cryptocurrency wallet service, will have an impact over the following two decades. Meantime, Apple Pay will be innovative for only three years.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has recently introduced Apple Pay, which will soon be updated for iOS 8. What Cook called a totally new payment instrument, Andreessen doesn’t consider being innovative.

He said it is “very consistent with the status quo.” Andreessen added the service’s main advantage is that that it doesn’t require “massive structural change” to operate.

He admitted there is a network problem in the payments sector, which appears when the new service hits the market. He explained that nobody will use the new service until it is fully embraced by both traders and customers. Still, Apple could avoid problem as Apple Pay “sort of plugs right into the existing system.

“Apple Pay is the thing that is freaking out all the financial services companies right now,” he said. “Apple’s showing up to the party and saying, ‘We’re going to now be in the center of payments’ has caused kind of like a collective heart attack,” Andreessen added.

According to Andreessen, people expect Google to develop its own version of mobile payments instrument. “And by the way, not just Apple but presumably Google … everybody assumes that Google will respond to Apple Pay and that Google Pay will work much the same way with Android.” Speaking about Apple Pay, Andreessen said “how many things don’t change,” stating that consumers still put their credit card into the Apple Pay wallet.

Apple Pay has already been supported by such credit card firms as Visa, Chase, MasterCard, American Express, Capital One, Citi, Wells Fargo and Bank of America.

Andreessen also said that there is a chance that digital currency won’t succeed. He assumes that among 10 startups he invests in, half of them won’t work.

Although Andreesen considers more time will be needed until people will use cryptocurrency for big transactions, his firm Andreessen Horowitz has already invested more than $50 million in various bitcoin startups and is also willing to continue financing other digital currency projects.

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Polina Chernykh

Polina is an undergraduate student at Belarusian State Economic University (BSEU) where she is studying at the faculty of International Business Communication for a degree specializing in Intercultural Communication. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, music and travelling.