Chris Dixon, investor at Andreessen Horowitz and personal investor in well-known companies such as Pinterest and Stripe, has a year-end post up on his personal blog that explains why he is bullish on Bitcoin.
(Note that Andreessen Horowitz has already invested in Ripple Labs.)
Dixon argues that Bitcoin could be the reform the financial system needed after the 2008 crash, and this — even more than the libertarian agendas of some early Bitcoin adopters — is the digital currency’s real promise.
“[I]f the technology industry wants to change the financial services industry, it can’t just build new services on top of existing financial services companies,” he writes of his thoughts from back in 2009.
“To actually have an impact (and create large businesses) you need to create services that completely bypass incumbent financial companies.”
Since these initial thoughts, Dixon says he has made investments congruent with that idea, and two years ago he realized Bitcoin “was best understood as a new software protocol through which you could rebuild the payments industry in ways that are better and cheaper.”
Dixon argues that services within the payment industry (a $500 billion industry, he notes) should be far less expensive than they are. Payment processing fees make international money transmission and even entrepreneurship in foreign markets simply too expensive to bother with in certain circumstances.
What’s more, he argues Bitcoin could revolutionize the internet via micropayments (which already exist on a massive scale with iOS and Android in-app purchasing).
“I think Bitcoin could enable a micropayment system for the open web, and thereby provide a business model beyond banner ads for many important services such as journalism.”