In a recent interview at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, Elon Musk was mainly asked about his work at Tesla and SpaceX; however, he was also asked about his thoughts on Bitcoin at one point during the discussion. Many people in the /r/Bitcoin community immediately took Musk’s comments as a sign that he hasn’t done his research on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but it seemed to me that he understood bitcoin’s value proposition better than most of the Bitcoin advocates in that subreddit.
What Did Elon Have to Say About Bitcoin?
The main point that Musk made in his comments related to Bitcoin was that he thinks it will mainly be used to get around government laws and regulations. He stated, “I think its primarily going to be a means of doing illegal transactions.” The entire crowd and Elon enjoyed a bit of laughter after his initial statement, but he went on to note, “That’s not necessarily entirely bad. You know, some things maybe shouldn’t be illegal.”
Reactions from /r/Bitcoin
It seems that the majority of /r/Bitcoin, one of the digital currency’s largest online communities, reacted to Musk’s statements in a generally negative manner. The third most-upvoted comment on the video stated, “Oh Elon. Any chance Marc Andreessen could take him out for lunch and get him straight?” Others seemed to believe that Musk simply has not had time to look at Bitcoin due to the time constraints related to his currency workload at Tesla and SpaceX.
The Reality of Musk’s Statements
Whether Musk has given a lot of thought to Bitcoin or not, it seems that he understands the basic value proposition of the protocol. Although there are many different applications that are talked about when it comes to Bitcoin as a technology these days, the core value proposition as mainly stayed the same. Bitcoin allows for censorship-resistant digital payments that cannot be stopped by any government or corporation. Not many people paid attention to Bitcoin until it was used for Silk Road transactions and Wikileaks donations, and uses outside of censorship-resistant payments are still not exactly exploding into the mainstream.
These statements from Musk should not be viewed as negative, as censorship-resistant payments are extremely valuable across the world. After all, many early Bitcoin adopters would agree that some things shouldn’t be illegal.
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