Bitcoin has an image problem

Even great ideas with great execution sometimes fail

Do you trust Bitcoin? I do, but I’m sure that isn’t necessarily a mainstream opinion. When I think of what the two biggest Bitcoin stories are so far it is Mt. Gox, and Silk Road. Are those the types of stories that inspire confidence in a new technology? No.

I’m no expert on emerging technologies, and I am certainly no expert on the perception of emerging technologies, but I’m confident in saying that when the Internet, and the Web, were first coming into the public consciousness there was minimal concern that the new technologies were solely the province of drug dealers and other nefarious types.

I think that Balaji S. Srinivasan touched on my point tangentially when he tweeted about the difference between ideas and execution:

Bitcoin is a technical idea which seems to have gotten execution right, but right now it is suffering from an adoption problem. I would say a big reason for this adoption problem is Bitcoin’s perception problem. Bitcoin is a technology that is intended for widespread adoption. Yet, Bitcoin only manages 110,000 some transactions per day. That is significantly dwarfed by how many transactions credit cards handle a day.

Bitcoin has done well by being adopted by a few large companies, but a story by Mother Jones on the non-existence of women involved in Bitcoin just piles on to the problem.

Bitcoin wants to be the payment system of the future (among other things), but until Bitcoin can figure out how to get the general populace to think of Bitcoin as easier to use than their credit cards adoption will stay down.