Editors' Pick: Originally Published Thursday, Dec. 17.
The understanding of bitcoin on a non-technical level is spreading quickly; however, without technical understanding, many aspects are hard to grasp and even harder to evaluate. Adrian Przelozny is a technologist and software architect who is CEO of Independent Reserve, a bitcoin market. Few individuals understand the in and outs of both the technology and the industry as well as Przelozny. Here follow his views on the industry, bitcoin's current state and its future.
TheStreet: Why are you interested in bitcoin and blockchain technology?
Adrian Przelozny: Coming from a technical background, I first became interested in bitcoin and blockchain technology because it elegantly combined a set of existing computer science concepts such as cryptography and peer-to-peer networking in a way that has never been done before.
It was only after satisfying my technical curiosity that I realized the full power and potential of this technology and that it represents a paradigm shift in the way we and future generations will look at money. The ability for anyone to transfer value instantly and freely across borders is a revolutionary concept that will not only put more power back into the hands of ordinary people but also spawn new industries and applications that have never been possible before.
TheStreet: What is your view on the regulatory landscape of these technologies?
Adrian Przelozny: Regulatory bodies in different jurisdictions have taken different views, but predominantly regulators are taking their time to learn about and come to terms with the new technology. The bitcoin economy is still quite small but growing quickly, and I think that it is inevitable that some regulatory oversight will eventually be put in place. I think that there is a clear need for a level of regulation to be applied to companies that provide custodial services for bitcoin and digital currency. Any company that holds bitcoin on behalf of its clients is essentially acting as a bank, and it is important that these companies behave in a responsible and ethical manner, which has not always been the case in the past. I think that as the bitcoin economy matures and regulators gain a greater degree of comfort and understanding, we will begin to see more consistent rules being applied around the world. The challenge for regulators will, of course, be to provide the right level of oversight to protect consumers, without stifling innovation in a young and very dynamic industry.