Billionaire Jack Dorsey is known for his advocacy of bitcoin, but he still thinks the cryptocurrency has hurdles to overcome before it can flourish.
During a Twitter Spaces discussion this week, the Twitter cofounder and Block CEO shared two major factors that could hold back bitcoin’s mainstream adoption — and possibly cause it to flounder — over the next five years.
“If it continues to be buried in a lot of the critiques, it means that we’re not doing a great job of showing how it works, educating around the critiques that people have and in trying to diminish those,” Dorsey said in an exchange with host Roelof Botha, a partner at Sequoia Capital.
While the cryptocurrency has grown in popularity, it has faced repeated criticism on several fronts. Some say bitcoin’s casts doubt on it as a store of value, while its energy-intensive mining process has raised environmental concerns.
The risk of scams is top of mind for regulators — one called cryptocurrencies just “fraud, hype, and noise” — while others describe them as a Ponzi scheme meant to trap investors. A fuzzy regulatory landscape hasn’t helped.
Warren Buffett’s deputy, Charlie Munger, just this week trashed cryptocurrencies by comparing them to sexually transmitted diseases.
The second barrier to bitcoin’s success, according to Dorsey, is the push by venture capitalists and corporations into the crypto sphere.
Many in the community see crypto as a way to shake off Big Tech and Wall Street’s role as gatekeepers in the internet and traditional finance. A core tenet of its blockchain-based systems is that they depend on linked-up individuals rather than a central middleman.
“If a company or a particular VC owns the majority of this new space, we’ve completely failed. It goes back to a centralized model where the people don’t actually own it,” Dorsey said.
“And the only success in my mind is that people truly can see and can truly own this — specifically, the most important part of it, which is the money and the currency that we use every day to transact around the world,” he added.
Since stepping down as Twitter CEO in November last year, Dorsey has increasingly focused his efforts on bitcoin projects. He’s previously said there’s nothing more significant in his life than bitcoin to work on.
Dorsey has previously called out venture capitalists for eating into Web3, also known as the next version of the internet built on the blockchain, and warned that the ecosystem is still within the realm of outsider influencer.
He also shared what he thinks it would take for bitcoin, and crypto in general, to triumph.
“For bitcoin — and in all the other projects around it — I think if we’re increasing transparency within the next five to 10 years; if we’re increasing participation, and that participation is globally represented; if we’re providing daily utility, especially in the form of currency, globally — that is success.”
Dorsey highlighted some of bitcoin’s shortcomings, and said it still needs work before it can become a global currency.
“Bitcoin doesn’t have all the development and all the attributes that you might find in ethereum and solana, but that is by design,” he said.
“There is that deliberate, yet slow, development cycle for bitcoin because the developer community around it is very cautious, because this is meant to be a global monetary network.”
“This is meant to be as a potential replacement to the US dollar’s dominance, and you can’t screw that up,” he added.
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