Despite losing a considerable amount of money on the Mt. Gox exchange, Australian Bitcoin Association Vice President Pantelis Roussakis is convinced that crypto-currencies are the way of the future.
“What I realized after Mt. Gox is that Bitcoin is about more than the money,” he said in an interview with the Coin Telegraph. “It is a protocol to apply to human society – it’s clean, it’s self regulating.”
Roussakis, who delivered a TED Talk in late 2013 on the future of money, sees crypto-currencies as a way of adding value to personal interactions and volunteer labor.
“There are real world applications to this. I was talking to one charity recently which approaches banks for money to support its work. It’s strange because they’re begging for money from the same people who caused the problem. The thing is, the work that the charity is doing is real work. It has a real value. What if we were to have a currency that we pay people for doing this work? Then if the banks want to get involved they have to buy it.”
This payment for proof of work approach, Roussakis believes, could have far reaching implications for the economic and social structure of our society and the new paradigm is already underway, the Coin Telegraph reported last week about the introduction of Permacredits
, which are being used to support environmental projects.
With these positive implications for society Roussakis believes that crypto-currencies get publicity for all the wrong reasons.
“The only time the mainstream media mentions crypto-currencies is when it is a bad news story, either Mt. Cox or Silk Road. We need to start generating good news to show what virtual money can do.”
In addition to the PR difficulties Bitcoin has experienced recently, Roussakis says another difficulty virtual currencies face is their virtual nature.
“People find it hard to understand that something that isn’t material can have value.”
While other proponents of the crypto-currencies are responding to this well-known problem, the Coin Telegraph reported recently on the appearance of new Bitcoin mints, Roussakis believes that it is largely generational.
“Kids today can’t imagine a world without the internet. They’re using smartphones before they go to school. If we can get to them while they are young the idea of not having a virtual currency simply won’t occur to them. At the moment kids get almost no financial education so what they know is simply what they learn in the family environment.”
If Roussakis is right and acceptance of digital currencies is generational, then it is just a matter of time before buying a cheeseburger with crypto-coin will be just as easy as swiping your credit card. In the interim however, Roussakis warns that volatility will continue.
“It will take about five years for the bugs to be ironed out. Mt. Gox shows that while crypto-currencies don’t need to be regulated, people do.”
However, Roussakis hopes that with the generational shift, crypto-currencies will mature and lead to a fairer, more equal world for all.
About Pantelis Roussakis
Pantelis Roussakis is an Australian web and digital marketing specialist, social media speaker and corporate trainer. He has been a Bitcoin enthusiast for three years. He brings his visual communication and marketing skills to Bitcoin Australia to create general awareness, educate and update members and the wider community.