The world of cryptocurrency moves at a whirlwind pace but Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey remains committed to its earliest lodestone, Bitcoin (BTC).
In an interview with Reuters on Sept. 10, Dorsey, who also founded the mobile-payment platform Square, said he believes the coin’s potential still outshines later developments:
“I think the internet warrants a […] native currency and […] Bitcoin is probably the best manifestation of that thus far. I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and build it for that potential.”
Dorsey connected Bitcoin’s founding principles with the cooperative and decentralized ethos that he considers to be the driving spirit behind the web:
“The internet is something that is consensus-driven and is built by everyone, and anyone can change the course of it. Bitcoin has the same patterns, it was built on the internet.”
Dorsey lauded the fact that “anyone with a great idea” who wants to be part of Bitcoin can join the community — they “don’t have to be part of a company,” he said.
Dorsey appeared committed to both Bitcoin and the internet in an idealized form — free from the specters of oligopoly, the excesses of corporate and government surveillance, and the stubborn asymmetries of power and capital that the advocates of decentralization must necessarily wrestle with.
Consistent with this belief in the possibility for grassroots control over the cryptocurrency’s — and the internet’s — future direction, Dorsey told reporters that it’s important to focus on improving users’ experience of Bitcoin in order to foster its widespread adoption.
The cryptocurrency needs to evolve to become as “intuitive” to use and as convenient as existing digital payments infrastructure, he said. Cost- and time-efficiency, particularly when it comes to transaction processing, are another crucial hurdle to overcome, he added.
Dorsey’s commitment to an ideal ethos of the internet and cryptocurrency does not imply he is blind to the gulf between ideal and reality, however.
Last winter, Twitter funded a dedicated team of open source architects, engineers, and designers tasked with developing a decentralized standard for social media. Dorsey said that the goal was for Twitter to ultimately be a client of the fruits of their efforts.
Outlining the challenges that Twitter faces as a centralized platform, Dorsey identified blockchain, the technology that underpins Bitcoin, as a key technological development that points to the real possibility of a viable, decentralized future.
“Much work to be done, but the fundamentals are there,” he wrote.