Entrepreneur and old-school Bitcoiner Ari Kuqi joined episode 32 of the CoinGeek Weekly Livestream to talk about Bitcoin as electronic cash, the state of the digital currency industry, the potential of micropayments, and more.
Kuqi was one of the original entrepreneurs in the Bitcoin space. He had a payment system called the Order Anything service that allowed people to use BTC and BCH as currencies online. His service would switch the digital currencies for fiat, eliminating the need for the merchants to handle BTC/BCH.
Later in the stream, Kuqi tells Kurt Wuckert Jr. he isn’t really active in the Bitcoin space right now and is focused on other ventures. However, as will become apparent, he has some strong and contrarian opinions about the way things are being done by BSV blockchain businesses right now.
The state of the digital currency industry
Wuckert states his view that 99% of the people operating in the cryptocurrency industry are scammers, grifters, and criminals. There are a few actual businesses that create real economic value, but they’re few and far between.
Kuqi agrees, saying that the only way to change that is for legitimate businesses to demonstrate how using the blockchain helps them. Showing good margins and profits will attract more economic activity. Once other entrepreneurs see the utility of the blockchain, some of them will build on it, too.
Do you think Bitcoin as plumbing is more future-proof than Bitcoin as a currency?
According to Kuqi, Bitcoin as plumbing will be the foundation for Bitcoin as a currency. First, it will be used in the background, and then it may emerge as a currency.
What do you think of CBDCs?
Wuckert asks Kuqi for his opinion on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), noting that they’re a divisive topic in the industry.
Kuqi replies that CBDCs will have no impact at all on the price of BSV or any other token. He points to the recent revelation that Visa (NASDAQ: V) has been running millions of transactions on Solana, and it has virtually no impact on the price. It’s possible that eight billion people use BSV, and it has a $5 price tag, he says. There may be some price appreciation due to speculation, but it will be regulated, and the price will be more stable. This will help it be useful.
What are you working on? What project are you most proud of?
Charlie Comet asks this question. Kuqi replies that success is measured in different ways, and he thinks he has been successful in that he has pushed the boundaries and demonstrated that several things are possible. He’s most proud of the Order Anything service because it proved that Bitcoin can be used as a currency.
Do older businesses that have gone under have a chance of being revived on BSV?
Kuqi answers that some may, but not in the form they took before. The reason they didn’t survive is that their business models were flawed, and the economics didn’t make sense.
What are the biggest barriers to the mainstream adoption of micropayments? Will they reduce the friction of certain non-viable business models, such as social media on the blockchain?
Project Babbage asks this two-part question. Kuqi answers the first part with brutal honesty: usefulness. He says he thinks of micropayments as transactions rather than payments; they can represent different types of signals and data.
As for the second question, he states that the way social media is being done on the blockchain now is missing the point. Micropayments are not the main thing—it’s all about the user legally owning their data. Open data protocols will help make such businesses viable.
What industries will blockchain technology best disrupt?
Kuqi feels that anything to do with regulatory compliance is ripe for disruption, and blockchain technology makes proving compliance easier. It’s a good fit.
Watch: On the very start of Bitcoin
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