Last week I interviewed a friend of mine, Vijay Boyapati, about cryptocurrencies and their long-term potential. Vijay worked as a software engineer at Google for about 6 years before co-founding Dealupa (here is the TechCrunch writeup two years ago).
While I learned about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies with the rest of the digerati years ago via Slashdot and Arstechnica, I originally thought it was merely a quaint attempt between fusing Bittorrent with virtual money. It was not until I exchanged numerous emails with Vijay about 18-months ago that I became keenly aware that the ledger was capable of tracking more than one asset, such as smart contracts. My other contention was that since all of the code was open sourced, what was to keep other altcoins and altchains from continuously diluting Bitcoin’s userbase? His answer was the “network effect” which I have written about before. To wit, there may be hundreds of altchains but only the top few have any real development team, mining infrastructure or merchant ecosystem at this time. Perhaps they will 10 years from now, but at present, Bitcoin is the clear industry leader.
Vijay also wrote two academic economic articles that have raised awareness of a couple of trends: