Creator Of Netscape Praises Bitcoin, Compares It To The Invention Of PCs And The Internet

Tyler Durden's picture

The venture capital firm of Marc Andreesen, the creator of the first web browser, Andreessen Horowitz, has invested just under $50 million in Bitcoin-related start-ups. The firm is actively searching for more Bitcoin-based investment opportunities. Here's is one of the reasons why: from an excerpt in an Op-Ed Andreesen just posted on the NYT (the same place where that ecomedian, Paul Krugman, can't stop bashing it).

A mysterious new technology emerges, seemingly out of nowhere, but actually the result of two decades of intense research and development by nearly anonymous researchers.


Political idealists project visions of liberation and revolution onto it; establishment elites heap contempt and scorn on it.


On the other hand, technologists — nerds — are transfixed by it. They see within it enormous potential and spend their nights and weekends tinkering with it.


Eventually mainstream products, companies, and industries emerge to commercialize it; its effects become profound; and later, many people wonder why its powerful promise wasn’t more obvious from the start.


What technology am I talking about? Personal computers in 1975, the Internet in 1993, and — I believe — Bitcoin in 2014.




[S]ome prominent economists are deeply skeptical of Bitcoin, even though Ben Bernanke, the former Federal Reserve chairman, recently wrote that digital currencies like Bitcoin “may hold long-term promise, particularly if they promote a faster, more secure and more efficient payment system.” And in 1999 legendary economist Milton Friedman said, “One thing that’s missing but will soon be developed is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B without A knowing B or B knowing A — the way I can take a $20 bill and hand it over to you, and you may get that without knowing who I am.”


Economists who attack Bitcoin today might be correct, but I’m with Ben and Milton.

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firstdivision's picture

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the definition of "the top"

BitStorm's picture

fonestar's off today. I'll cover the stupid comments.

Stand by... I see one about a crashed hard drive.

fonestar's picture

No, I am here.  Thank-you though, blessed are those blogging the message of Satoshi.

firstdivision's picture

Damn.  Here I was hoping you fell down the well, and your AIBO ran out of juice.

Bastiat's picture

If Ben Bernanke likes it, I'm there!

chumbawamba's picture

Right.  I'm going to be swayed by the opinion of a one hit wonder who put a few lines of code together like the latest pop music band strings together familiar chords.  Marc Andreesen did nothing more special than be at the right place and time in history.  Even back in the early 1970s, everyone knew the microprocessor was going to be invented, it was just a matter of time.  So what I'm trying to say is fuck Marc Andreesen, the Vanilla Ice of his day with his version of "Ice, Ice, baby!"

I am Chumbawamba.

Scarlett's picture

So if *everyone* knew, that means you knew.  How did you take advantage of it then, mr. In Retrospect?

redpill's picture


The difference is that PCs and the Internet were not a direct and immediate threat to central banks and to what are now increasingly totalitarian western governments.  Bitcoin is, and the moment it becomes truly something more significant than a novelty in comparison to the global money supply, it will be crushed.  As we've seen Bitcoin does have a weakness; while the users are distributed, the nature of the currency still spirals toward centralization of the exchanges such as Mt. Gox.  That provides a small target list for large governments to disrupt and destroy the alternative system.

fonestar's picture

You speak of governments as if they have the power to "crush" an internet protocol that is bought and sold as a commodity?  They had better get working on that one world government thing and fast too, because this is going to require more planning, cooperation, compliance and coordination than has ever been achieved in world history.

Stackers's picture

That's one of the most thorough and well thought out Bitcoin explanations I have read. Definitely worth reading in it's entirety

mmanvil74's picture

Trying to kill Bitcoin is like trying to kill a cockroach, if you are lucky you will kill one, but for every one, there are 3 dozen more lurking in the shadows, smaller, faster, and already reproducing.  It's like Wack-a-Mole, and governments know this, so killing Bitcoin is not an option, regulation is and will be in some form or another just like the Internet is free but regulated to a certain degree.  However, regulations will mainly only apply to the fiat-crypto exchange systems, once you are in crypto, you are sending and receiving money freely across borders with no bank or government intermediary.

All of the attention is on Bitcoin as though it is do or die with the first real crypto currency, but, just like Netscape was only the first of many popular web browsers, Bitcoin is only the first of many innovations to come, and, just like Netscape, Bitcoin doesn't necessarily have to be the final victor, just "the first of many large steps for mankind", and just like Newspapers are finally dying as a result of the Internet, so will fiat money eventually die as a result of crypto currencies.

Stackers's picture

Your analogy is slightly off.

Bitcoin is more like the invention of HTML code. Netscape was the first browser to put it to practical use. HTML is still used as the base code for web pages. All thats happened is people have constantly learned how to do more and more things and layer other products on top of it (like Flash)

Bitcoin's netscape moment(s) is yet to come

redpill's picture

'You speak of governments as if they have the power to "crush" an internet protocol that is bought and sold as a commodity?'

Perhaps I wasn't clear.  They don't need to crush the protocol when they can crush the exchanges.  It's an inherent weakness.

fonestar's picture

Let them (the guy who makes the fone call to China, Russia, India, Iran, Vietnam, Canada....) call them then.  They can go and crush the official exchanges for all I care.  The exchanges themselves will be moving to the P2P cloud as the Bitcloud project is already underway.  The only way to shutdown Bitcoin is to totally destroy and disconnect the global internet.  Good luck with that.

fiftybagger's picture

Correct.  Decentralized peer to peer exchanges need to come next, where you can trade Bitcoin for Litecoin or Dogecoin.   USD not being so important as it is near death and won't be wanted for very much longer.  Many challenges ahead and the free market powered by Bitcoin will handle them all.  Bye bye banksters

The Bitcoin Channel

DFCtomm's picture

All the IP address servers reside in the U.S., so while it's hard to believe it would happen, it's entirely possible for the U.S. to shutdown the internet for at least a while.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You can't transact fiat to the exchanges in a cloud.
A bank is required. REQUIRED.
Taking cash directly (not electrons) is the only option otherwise & is money laundering, putting everyone in prison.
AND it's easy as 1-2-3 to shut down all internet TO those running an exchange as they are not mobile.

DFCtomm's picture

Till now I've discounted bitcoins because it seems too dependant upon infrastructure and technology to be of any use in any type of signifigant crisis. However, perhaps I've been too narrow in my evaluation. What can bit coins do for us if there is no crisis? Can it's anonymity allow us to avoid taxes, or is it forever going to be a tool of the black market, and even if that's it's only place will it be popular enough to make it attractive as at least a short term investment? If it's place is only an attempt to skirt government control of currency then how will it fend off government attacks that would take our investment to zero?

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

there is no anonymity so, no.
Every transaction is recorded & every transaction published in the blockchain can be referenced by thinthread (NSA) to your physical location.
Your IP packets also include your MAC address which follows you because it's your machine, until you change it. Changing IP address has no effect.

Bitcoin is defenseless against government attacks.

fonestar's picture

Your mac-address is not included in your ip address (unless it is a link-local ipv6 address).

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

it is which is why there's lots of tutorials out there showing how to change it so you AREN'T located every time you change your IP.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

so far we've seen SEVERAL, such as Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, step in & crush everything on the Internet at their choosing.
So far we've seen ALMOST NO ONE smart enough, prepared enough, motivated enough to set up their one fibre optic wires, their own laser-sight modems, their own digital HAM radio (some do), to have a parallel internet away from all commercial ISPs which governments have 100% control over.




MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Bitcoin is no threat.
100% kill attacks:
#1 buy all btc with printed money. End transactions forever as everyone parts with them for the higher price & then they are ALL in the Federal Reserve
#2 shut down ALL ISP's on terrorism charges who do not block BTC on their routers. Routers can easily be adjusted to do this.
#3 imprison ANYONE who is caught using BTC for any transaction at all for any fiat currency
#4 charge EVERY business that transacts in bitcoin with MONEY LAUNDERING & racketeering.
This would EACH, much less COMBINED, DESTROY bitcoin. Completely.
Individuals can run fast but businesses can not.

MtQOX is the least of your worries for unloading those quatloos.

Dick Buttkiss's picture

Where Bitcoin is concerned, you are Chumpawamba.

fonestar's picture

Ben Bernanke was not endorsing Bitcoin as some fools have surmised.  He was simply stating the obvious and knew it was something the Fed would have little control over.  That and perhaps an attempt to salvage a little bit of his professional reputation for posterities sake?

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Big money is now going into Bitcoin.  A VC group just put $400,000 (yeah, OK, chump change) into a new Korean BTC exchange.  Yes, I will look into it (via my Korean bearing buddies).

But, other big money just crossed the wires, BTC Guild just won over $22,000,000 in a block.  Same screenshot caught a $100,000 + BTC transaction.

"Screenshot: Big Money at Bitcoin"

fonestar's picture

Did you read the reddit article that shows just 230,000 wallets have more than 1 BTC in them?  So lets put this in perspective.... only the same amount of people (perhaps fewer with multiple wallets) living in a small suburb own the strongest currency on Earth?  Bitcoin is small peanuts now but is a ticket to the big time.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Beginning Bitcoiner Bearing has only recently discovered reddit as a resource, I'll go take a look.  My wallets, combined, still have less than 1.00 BTC.  I am looking to buy more.

Don't forget to diversify (at least a bit !) into some gold...

fonestar's picture

Thanks, Reddit is an excellent source for Bitcoin.  I do own a small amount of gold but not much as I believe some point in the next fifty years an ounce of silver will be worth more than an ounce of gold.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

My guess, just that, is that gold is the better bet (I find FOFOA's logic compelling) over silver.  But, if silver goes higher than gold, that's OK, I own it as well.  Platinum too.


putaipan's picture

i still like the fact that my one bitcoin is numismatic .....2011 casascius beaaahtches !

Prisoners_dilemna's picture

damnit I dont own any platinum.

And here I thought I was ahead of the curve.

Barking Seal Troll's picture

"Bitcoin is....a ticket to the big time"

Pardon my ignorance (?) but I don't understand that conclusion when viewed in the context of your preceding statement which implies there is a concentration of wealth (which I'll suggest is likely amongst those who mined or bought early or who more recently had the impetus to steal).

From what you said, shouldn't your conclusion be that Btc is a ticket to the bigtime...for the early miners or early buyers?  That suggests that newer adopters will finance the early adopters ticket.

If you're saying otherwise, then your syllogism is missing another premise (which extends the gravy train to everyone else)

fonestar's picture

Let me say that again in case you missed it the first time, there's only a few tens or hundreds of thousands of people on Earth who own more than 1 BTC.  And currently, Bitcoin is by far the most popular cryptocurrency.  There's seven billion people on planet Earth, so speaking of context.... who exactly is an early adopter?  And I believe that those who are late to the party (in relative terms) also have the option of mining scrypt coins if they so choose.

Barking Seal Troll's picture

That was not a reply.  That was nonsequitur subterfuge.

We agree that a handful of people/groups own the vast majority of Btc.  We agree that there are ~ 7BN people on Earth, and that 7BN is your potential market.

BUT you said that Btc is the ticket to riches.  You want the other 6.99999BN to join the fun and bid up the price of a Btc...and in the process enrich those who hold maybe 9MM and whose cost basis for those 9MM is, what, maybe $500K US?  Oh boy, where do I get in line to buy that ticket?

Explain please how that 7 billionth person will get rich?  Hell, I'd settle for explaining how the millionth will get rich.  Those who bought in at $1250'ish are still licking their wounds.  You want them to finance the ticket for the folks who "bought" in for pennies?  Right, now I get it. 


fonestar's picture

The trick is to not be the seven-billionth person.  Bitcoin is $960.00 today, choose your place on the dumb-er-er pyramid.

Barking Seal Troll's picture

I take it that you either cannot or will not dispute my assertion that the real ticket to riches is the one held by those who bought or mined in very early and who own maybe 3/4 of all Btc....and that the value of their ticket is what you're the expense of the other folks who you try to usher onboard.

That's fine, and that's how it should be to some extent, but please do not ever try to convince the masses that they will become rich by hopping aboard.  That is by definition impossible, but it certainly is one of the hallmarks of a pyramid scheme.  By the way, I did not saythat it is a pyramid scheme....YOU DID. 

Your employers need to find better help.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

You have already chosen.
By announcing no one should be that last person you've already admitted bitcoin is a ponzi.
Not a transaction method, not a currency, not money but a ponzi.
It's a done-deal. Replies ensures you can't edit.

TheHound73's picture

Drink all you want.  There's plenty more.  

I don't care what you call Bitcoin.  Fact is, either get yourself a seat in the dining car now or crowd into the baggage car later.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

The dining car's for gold customers only - gold holders.
I'm in.
However, despite  your inanity, +1 for the picture. Got class.

webbie's picture you PM people just buy Gold to have it be the same price in 10 years??? If you are waiting for Gold to increase, then you will be selling to someone else at a higher price too, like what are you talking about?? This is just part of market dynamics and yes the early birds get the worms, but Bitcoin has UTILITY. It or its successesor will be able to break the chains of Centrals Banks on billions of people.

MeelionDollerBogus's picture

It's never accurate to compare fiat, digital or gold holdings to population.
Only the trade itself matters: the number of trading units to match to other trading units.
There's far more btc out there than people who will ever WANT to use it or CAN use it since most NEED it off-grid & some WILL NEVER live on a grid where BTC can be used.

Pseudonymous's picture

You got that wrong. In "Total sent" means the total volume of transactions, including change, included in that block. Here you have all the info about the block:

So that is 28,025.48668174 BTC (why use other units of account when talking about Bitcoin anyway? On at the bottom you can choose Currency: Bitcoin) sent by users (some of which sent to themselves, so the actual volume that changed hands is somewhat lower). What BTC Guild made is the standard block reward of 25 BTC plus 0.10341781 BTC (entirely usual) in transaction fees. Nothing exciting.

fonestar's picture



Bitcoin is a bubble because..... um.... it is comparable to the last global, digital, decentralized currency we had?

No wait!  I got it....

Bitcoin is a bubble because I am a whiny bitch that thinks silver should be $1,000 and not Bitcoin!  

AlaricBalth's picture
Sell bitcoins online to Fonestar user Fonestar is buying bitcoins.

(you owe me a bitcoin for the advertising.)


fonestar's picture

Thanks, I am getting my taxes back soon.  Thinking I might 50/50 split it between Bitcoin and silver maples (minus a night out with the Mrs. fonestar).

chumbawamba's picture

Yes, Mrs. fonestar, otherwise known as Buck at the local gay bar.

I am Chumbawamba.

outamyeffinway's picture

You used to be funny until you became a hater.