Bitcoin may be a bubble, but bubbles often accompany new, transformative technologies. (Think of Pets.com or MySpace in the early days of online retail and social networks.) So, is the original and largest cryptocurrency a flash-in-the-pan fad that spawns something more long lasting, like blockchain technology? Or is the stateless digital asset an innovation that will forever change the world of finance?
This weekend in New York City, Intelligence Squared US held a debate with two big bitcoin believers, Patrick Byrne, CEO of retailer Overstock.com (in the process of pivoting to crypto), and Tim Draper, a successful technology venture capitalist, versus two hardened skeptics, Gillian Tett, US managing editor of the Financial Times, and Eric Posner, a law professor at the University of Chicago. The event was held in partnership with the Manhattan Institute’s Adam Smith Society.
Byrne and Draper argued in favor of the motion, ”Bitcoin is more than a bubble and here to stay,” while Tett and Posner argued against it. At the start of the event, a poll of the crowd found that 39% agreed with the motion, 38% were against, and 23% were undecided. Watch the video above to see if the debaters managed to change any minds during the course of the discussion.