Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency craze has been met with scepticism by institutional investors, but Bonnie Cheung, a venture partner at 500 Startups, has revealed what needs to happen for everybody to adopt the digital currency.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Cheung said: “From an investor perspective, especially as a VC investor, Bitcoin is boring.
“It’s like the Motorola cell phone back in 1984, great we have brick that costs us $3,900 and weighs two pounds and it works alright.
“But we realised that after bitcoin there’s still three to four major key areas in infrastructure that needs to be resolved before we can move to real true mass adoption of the technology.
“These are the areas where we are very focused on looking for great project teams both in the US, China and Singapore.
“The three key areas are right now scalability if you look at throughput Visa does about on average 2,000 transactions per second.
“PayPal can do around 500, bitcoin it’s seven, ethereum maxing out at about 50.
“So we’re really a long way away from the kind of throughput we want to see.”
The second factor is whether these different cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies can work interchangeably with one another, Cheung said.
She said: “Two is interchanged operability because what we do believe at the end of the day there won’t be one blockchain that does everything.
“We will live in a world of many blockchains both private and public and the communications between blockchain’s right now is very challenging.”
Cheung added that the third factor was the privacy issues surrounding cryptocurrencies.
She said: “People assume that cryptocurrency by nature is anonymous and private.
“But I can give you an example is today if you share with me your bank account to transact money into say your HSBC account.
“With an account number I know very little about you but today if you give me your etheruem address or bitcoin address I can actually find out a lot about you.
“Your transaction habits, the transaction volumes you do, who you do transactions with on the public blockchain.
“So this is actually an area that bitcoin’s white paper set out to solve but really didn’t happen.”
Bitcoin, along with Ripple and ethereum are in the sights of regulators worldwide, who must strike a tricky balance, according to Dr Garrick Hileman.
Dr Hileman who has advised the CIA and US army on cryptocurrencies, warned would-be cryptocurrency investors a regulatory crackdown is coming
When Dr Hileman, from the Cambridge University Centre for Alternative Finance, was asked if regulation as inevitable he replied: “I think it is.”
He said: “Many regulators are trying to strike the right balance here between not crushing the sector and allowing innovation to foster and attract new investment to their local economies, job growth, etcetera.”
Bitcoin fell 4.26 percent to $11,196.70 at 14:54 in London, according to CoinDesk.com