Moveable Feast: Riding the Digital Wave of Bitcoin
In his book ‘A Moveable Feast,’ Earnest Hemingway remarks “If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.” In the 1920’s, Paris was a hive of new ideas and remarkable people. From Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald pioneering a new American literature to Buñuel and Salvador Dali breaking through with surrealism in film and painting, Paris was the center of the artistic world for a short period of time.
I have often (much like Owen Wilson’s character in Midnight in Paris) longed to experience what that must have been like, being part of that revolution of ideas. And yet, much like central theme in the above mentioned film, sometimes we don’t realise what we have in the present until we look back on it as the past. For much like Paris in the 1920’s, we are also going through a revolution of ideas, a digital one.
There is never a dull moment in digital technology. It feels like every day a new trend, idea or prototype is breaking the surface on the digital wavefront. This is can be one of the most exciting aspects of this industry but also one of the most taxing - keeping up with all the new ideas and being able to parse the long term game-changers from the short term fads.
Bitcoin is a new technology that will definitely (and has already started to) shake up the world. It began life in 2009 when an anonymous figure ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ wrote in a blog ‘I've developed a new open source P2P e-cash system called Bitcoin,’ and has now progressed to have a market cap of over 10 billion US Dollars with banks and other financial institutions scrambling to jump in on this financial digital revolution.
For those of you who don’t know what Bitcoin is, it is quite simply a digital currency. It is powered by ‘blockchain,’ a technology (also invented by Satoshi) that tracks Bitcoin spending - stopping anyone from trying to spend the same Bitcoin twice. Currently financial institutions use a central database to track spending and stop someone from ‘double spending,’ however this centralised framework can be very limiting. Blockchain is decentralised which means there is no central failpoint or ability to counterfeit Bitcoin.
As a company we have involved ourselves in Bitcoin for the last few years - from organising the Auckland Bitcoin meetup to building a tool called My Bitcoin Saver which allows anyone to easily save Bitcoin. In familiarising ourselves with this new technology, we are able to not only work with clients in providing a digital product that solves their business needs, but also one that considers the changing landscape of the digital future.
Consider the effect that allowing Bitcoin payments would have on an e-commerce website,
- A wider reach of customers who increasingly like to pay with only Bitcoin
- The ability to process small payments without the inefficient fees
- More security and transparency in the handling and processing of payments
- Global accessibility to accept payments from anyone in the world
At Webscope we try to be early adopters of great new digital ideas. It is through staying up to date with new digital technologies that we are able to provide our clients with the most cutting edge digital solutions to help transform their business. And through keeping our ear to the digital ground we are able to distinguish which technologies may soon be redundant and which are truly breakthrough - allowing us to give your company a competitive advantage. As Henry Ford said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” We like to think we are the ones providing the digital Model T Fords.