There are a lot of news items flying around about the difficulties at Mt. Gox. Most of them are negative, and more than a few sound the deathknell for Bitcoin. I do not claim to have all the facts, but I have a more positive view based on my interpretation of the various stories. I believe Mt. Gox did not follow best-of-breed practices when implementing their Bitcoin platform. The result was unreliable and apparently at times impossible difficulties to do Bitcoin transactions. Some interpreted the difficulties as a failure in the Bitcoin protocol. My belief is that the protocol did not fail – the implementation by Mt. Gox failed. If Mt. Gox goes bankrupt, as some suggest will be the outcome, does that mean that the Bitcoin crypto currency will fail? I don’t think so for several reasons. First, there are more than 1 million digital wallets out there. This is small compared to Amazon accounts, but nontrivial. There are thousands of merchants who accept Bitcoin. Admittedly, other then Overstock, most of them are retailers I have never heard of. However, even the Wall Street Journal has reported on things you can by with Bitcoin. I am speculating in the following comment, but I believe Apple is likely preparing a payment platform combining their fingerprint ID system with Bitcoin. More to say about this later.
During April 7 & 8, Mediabistro Inc., where I am a director and investor, will be presenting a trade show called Inside Bitcoins at the Javits Center in New York City. The event could be significant, and expected attendees include developers; entrepreneurs; financial professionals, private equity, corporate, angel, and venture capital investors; banks and financial institutions; brick-and-mortar merchants and online retailers, founders of early stage and emerging growth companies, and numerous other interested professionals. I plan to attend and look forward to gaining further insight to the future of Bitcoin.