Wired Money 2015: ‘When You Get into Bitcoin, You Fall Down a Rabbit Hole,’ Says Blockchain CEO Peter Smith

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by Polina Chernykh · 3 min read
Wired Money 2015: ‘When You Get into Bitcoin, You Fall Down a Rabbit Hole,’ Says Blockchain CEO Peter Smith
Photo: Carsten Windhorst/Wired

During the speech at the WIRED Money 2015 in London, CEO of Blockchain, Peter Smith, said the digital currency has the potential to change the banking industry.

“When you get into Bitcoin, you fall down a rabbit hole,” said Peter Smith, CEO of the bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain, during his speech at WIRED Money 2015.

The one-day summit that brought together innovators and leaders in the finance and banking, took place at The British Museum on Wednesday.

The event covered a wide range of topics, including the role of virtual currencies, issues of security, investment and crowdfunding. The speakers included Funding Circle CEO Samir Desai, Director of digital currency at MIT Media Lab Brian Forde, Visa Europe Executive director Jonathan Vaux, Ripple Labs CEO Stefan Thomas, TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus and others.

According to Smith, bitcoin could be used by people to prove their identities. “You only have a couple of million people in the world that have any kind of photo identification,” Smith noted. “Up until the year 2004, any high school user could make a driver’s license in the United States of America. You could print your own.”

Today, many people all over the world don’t have their provable identity. But Smith thinks the problem could be solved through crowdsourcing identity.

“Other verified people verify me… at some point it gets up to this threshold. Eventually you can build verifiable online identities for people who have never had one,” he stated.

Smith added that although the internet facilitates access to information and global communication, people still can’t directly transact with each other. “You’re plugged into the global network, you’re plugged into the global world, but you can’t transact with each other,” he said.

He admitted the necessity of creating a system that could enable everybody to transact with each other.

Nowadays, Smith said, most young people can’t hold any assets as they live in countries that have no internationally relevant photo identification. But in the cryptocurrency world they can not only prove their identities, but their ownership of assets cannot be falsified.

Smith considers the digital currency has the power to change traditional banking and allow banks not to lose new customers. “Bitcoin is the platform that’s going to take banking from being closed to being open,” he said.

London-based Blockchain is the globe’s most popular digital currency wallet with more than 3.7 million users. The company, which has already been invested with $30.5 million, processes about 50 000 in daily transactions. Its investors include such prominent entrepreneurs as Roger Ver, Rafael Corrales and Sir Richard Branson. Blockchain success mainly depends on the role of Peter Smith, who is committed to make bitcoin easy and safe to everyone in the world.

In the near future, Bockchain team plans to significantly boost the usage of bitcoin and help Blockchain wallets to achieve full potential.

Keonne Rodriguez, Blockchain wallet product lead, says the company is now working on turning bitcoin into a vehicle for social interaction while maintaining users’ privacy. One of the Blockchain’s goals for a five-year period is to see that people interact with virtual currency without realizing it.

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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.

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