(中英文)硅谷知名风投教父Tim Draper:我为什么认为比特币革命即将到来
星空财经
2019-01-15
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编译|贾玉欣

校对|Jenny

星空注:本文作者为硅谷知名风投教父、德丰杰(DFJ)投资基金创始人、Draper University创始人,同时也是比特币早期投资者Tim Draper先生。

It wasn’t 10 years ago, but more like 15, when I first saw the potential for a digital currency. I’ve been through some big up and downs in bitcoin. But today, I’m more certain than ever that the bitcoin revolution is coming.

当我第一次意识到数字货币潜在的商机时,那还不是10年前的事情,而大约是15年前了。我经历过比特币的大起大落,但今天我比以往任何时候都更加确定,比特币革命即将到来。

In 2004, I learned from a wealthy Korean industrialist that people were paying real-world money for digital items like weapons to use in massively multiplayer video games. The game was “Lineage,” which was taking Seoul by storm.

2004年,我从一位很富有的韩国实业家那里了解到,许多人正在用现实世界的货币购买大型多人视频游戏中的武器等数字物品。这个游戏就像某种“血统”,它像一场风暴一般席卷了整个首尔。

It got me thinking that there was an amazing business in virtual goods coming.

这让我开始思考,虚拟商品的出现将会是一个无比了不起的商机!

Later, Joel Yarmon first introduced me to bitcoin in about 2011. He brought in Peter Vincennes and his company Coinlab to pitch us. Bitcoin was a new currency that could be used to store value and pay for anything, not just for advancement in a video game.

后来,Joel Yarmon在2011年左右第一次向我介绍了比特币。他带来了Peter Vincennes和他的公司Coinlab来向我们展示。比特币是一种新型货币,可用于存储价值和支付商品,而不仅仅局限于推动视频游戏的进步。

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I quickly absorbed the basics of bitcoin: miners, wallets and such. The decreasing number of bitcoins available to be mined over time meant that the price of a bitcoin would increase in value as fewer bitcoins were mined and usage increased. In fact, as bitcoins spread and their usage increased, it was likely that the currency would become more valuable.

我很快就了解了比特币的基本理念:矿工,钱包等等。因为比特币总体数量恒定,所以随着时间的推移,能够开采到的比特币数量将不断减少,这意味着比特币的价格会随着比特币日益广泛的应用而不断增加。很可能,比特币将变得更有价值。

Coinlab would become a bitcoin-focused innovator and miner. We made a small investment in the company. My son Adam started an accelerator called Boost VC, dedicated to bitcoin (and blockchain) companies. He was the first investor in Coinbase.

那时Coinlab将成为一个以比特币为中心的创新和挖矿机构。我们对公司进行了一笔小额投资。同时,我的儿子 Adam创办了Boost VC加速器,致力于投资比特币和区块链公司。他是Coinbase的第一个投资者。

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Around that time, I asked Peter if I could buy $250,000 worth of bitcoin. He bought some for me at about $6 each and stored them in Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange at the time. He said he would also buy a high-speed mining chip from Butterfly Labs to get us even cheaper bitcoin. Both of these efforts went south.

大约在那个时候,我咨询了Peter我是否可以购买价值25万美元的比特币。他以每枚约6美元的价格为我买了一些比特币并存放在Mt. Gox(星空财经注:Mt. Gox又名“门头沟交易所”,由Jed McCaled在2010年7月建立,2011年将卖给了马克·卡佩勒斯。在后者的管理下,Mt.Gox一度成长为全球最大的比特币交易所,承担全球超过70%的比特币交易。但2014年4月申请破产,是比特币历程中的里程碑事件之一)。Peter说他还会从Butterfly Labs购买一个高速采矿芯片,以便我们以更便宜的成本挖到比特币。当然,后来这两项努力都付诸东流了。

First, the mining chip was delayed. Rather than shipping it to Peter as ordered, Butterfly Labs used the chip to mine bitcoins for themselves. By the time Peter received the ASIC chips, mining had dramatically increased in difficulty. Meanwhile, the bitcoin I had bought was “lost” by Mt. Gox.

首先,采矿芯片延期了。Butterfly Labs没有按照订单将它运送给Peter,而是使用芯片给自己挖比特币了。当Peter收到ASIC芯片时,采矿的难度已经大大增加。与此同时,我买的那些比特币被Mt.GOX搞“丢”了(黑客袭击该交易所盗走了大量比特币)。

Bitcoin’s resilience 

比特币的韧性

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But something important happened with the failure of Mt. Gox. The price of bitcoin only dropped about 20 percent, and the currency continued to be traded on other exchanges. I was flabbergasted and fascinated.

但是随着Mt. Gox破产,一些重要的事情发生了。比特币的价格仅仅下跌约20%,而且比特币还是继续在其他交易所上交易。这让我非常吃惊,并为之深深着迷。

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I realized that the demand for this new digital currency was so strong that even a huge theft would not keep bitcoin from creating a new way for us to transact, store and move money. Since the financial crisis, people were losing their confidence in government or “fiat” currencies. I went on to back a number of the Boost VC bitcoin companies, and as I was discovering more and more uses, an enormous opportunity arose.

我意识到,人们对这种比特币新型数字货币的需求如此强烈,以至于即使是一场巨大黑客盗币事件也不会阻止比特币为我们创造一种新的交易/存储和转移资金的方式。自金融危机以来,人们已经对政府或“法定货币”失去了信心。随着我了解到比特币应用越来越多时,我也继续投资了一些Boost VC的比特币公司。一个巨大的机会出现了!

And something happened that gave me another shot at getting involved in the bitcoin opportunity. The U.S. Marshall’s office confiscated the bitcoins owned by the Silk Road, an online drug marketplace, and almost 30,000 bitcoins were put up for auction. I looked at this as an opportunity to rebuy the bitcoins I lost.

随后发生了一件事情,让我再次有机会参与比特币这个机遇中。美国马歇尔办公室没收了著名暗网“丝绸之路”所拥有的比特币,将近3万枚比特币在拍卖。我认为这是一个将我所丢失的比特币重新买回来的机会。

The market price then was $618 per bitcoin. At the last minute, I decided to bid higher than market price. I bid $632 and won all of the bitcoins!

当时比特币的市面价格是618美元/枚。在最后一刻,我决定以高于市面价格的价格出价。最终我出价632美元拿到了所有比特币!

After the inevitable buyer’s remorse for paying a higher price than anyone else was willing to pay, I thought about how I could best drive a positive use for these bitcoins with a tainted past. I decided that I would use them to support the proliferation of bitcoin through emerging country marketplaces where people didn’t have confidence in their own currencies.

在付出比其他任何人愿意支付更高价格的之后,我想到了如何才能最好地推动这些比特币的拓展使用。我决定用它们来支持比特币的扩散,通过新兴的国家市场,在那些市场民众对本国的货币是没有信心的。

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Many people in such countries are not “bankable.” Banks lose money on people who don’t have enough to make all the paperwork worthwhile. Banking regulations set up to protect the little guy have actually kept the little guy from participating in the economy — almost guaranteeing that he will remain “the little guy.” There are billions of “unbanked.”

在这些国家,许多人都不是“银行的客户”。银行对那些小微客户并没有兴趣花成本去维护。为保护这个小微客户而设立的银行法规实际上让这个小微客户不能参与经济 - 几乎可以肯定银行不会管这些“小微客户”。有数十亿的“小微客户”没有办法获得银行金融服务。

Avish Bhama, one Boost entrepreneur with a company called Mirror helped me figure out a good plan to spread the currency to emerging country markets. The idea was to allow people from developing nations the ability to invest in anything (even to go short against their own currency) by using bitcoin as the “rails,” the conduit for the trades.

Avish Bhama是Mirror公司的一位企业家,他帮助我找到了一个可以将比特币推广到新兴国家市场的好计划。这个想法是为了让发展中国家的人们能够利用比特币作为交易的“轨道通道”,投资任何东西(甚至做空本国货币)。

Mirror later changed its business model, but companies I backed later — BitPesa in Africa, Bitpagos in Latin America, and CoinHako in Southeast Asia — are making the emerging world their marketplace.

Mirror后来改变其业务模式,但后来我投资的公司- 非洲的Bitpesa、拉丁美洲的Bitpagos和东南亚的Coinhako-正在使得新兴国家成为他们的的市场。

Bitcoin’s great potential

比特币的巨大潜力

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I remain impressed by the possibilities for bitcoin and blockchain. Bitcoin is a currency that is accepted everywhere without any government friction or interference, a stored value solution that doesn’t require a holder to keep a room full of metals and art, and a frictionless currency that can move automatically based on a contract, without the usual drag that comes from regulations and accounting rules.

比特币和区块链的潜能让我印象十分深刻。比特币是一种在没有任何政府阻挠或干扰的情况下随处都可接受的货币,储值解决方案不需要持有人拥有一个充满金属和艺术品房间,它是一种可以根据合约自动移动的零阻力货币,并且无需受到来自法规和会计规则的拖累。

But there are many other uses.

但是还有很多其他用途。

A bitcoin wallet can also be used as an escrow for a contract in transition, as a redistribution of an estate or as a transfer agent to distribute payments, dividends or shares of stock. Blockchains can keep track of money, data, inventory, contracts, etc., and “smart” contracts can be designed such that they anticipate eventualities and automatically distribute funds appropriately. Corporations can use the blockchain to automatically pay employees their wages and benefits, pay shareholders their dividends, and pay noteholders their interest and principal payments, all with precise accuracy and automated accounting.

比特币钱包还可以用作转型期合同的托管、房地产的再分配,或者作为支付、股息或股票的转账代理。区块链可以跟踪资金、数据、库存、合同等,并且可以设计“智能”合同,以便他们预测可能发生的情况并自动合理分配资金。企业可以使用区块链自动向员工支付工资和福利,向股东支付股息,并向票据持有人支付利息和本金,所有这些都具有精准的计算和自动化的会计。

The blockchain can manage three-way transfers with ease, and eventually will handle retail transactions without the need for credit or debit cards. Insurance companies can use it to manage their claims and automate collections. Real estate escrows and titles can all be done quickly and easily between buyer and seller. Drugs and food can be authenticated by blockchain to guarantee their origins.

区块链可以轻松管理三向转账,最终将在不需要信用卡或借记卡的情况下处理零售交易。保险公司可以使用它来管理索赔和自动收集。房地产托管和所有权都可以在买方和卖方之间迅速方便地完成。药品和食品可通过区块链认证,保证其来源。

And the U.S. Government can manage social security, welfare, Medicare, worker’s comp, disability and all their data verification of citizens and businesses with bitcoin and the blockchain, since blockchain is the perfect government employee.

另外,美国政府可以通过比特币和区块链来管理社会保障,福利,医疗保险,工人薪酬,残疾人以及公民和企业的所有数据验证,可以说,区块链堪称是“完美的政府雇员”。

It is honest, incorruptible, secure, and fair.

比特币诚实,廉洁,安全且公正。

Change is coming

变化即将到来

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Many industries will have to go through fundamental changes to adapt to the advent of this new way of thinking. People will have to learn that the bank, being the trusted third party for centuries will soon be replaced by computers that now monitor their holdings through the blockchain. Banking will be simpler, safer and easier than relying on people to do the monotonous work in some brick-and-mortar facility.

许多行业将不得不经历根本性的变化,以适应这种新思维方式的到来。人们将不得不认识到,数百年来一直受信任的第三方银行,将很快被如今通过区块链监控他们资产的电脑所取代。相比依靠人们在一些实体店进行单调的工作,银行业务更简单,更安全,也更容易。

It is interesting to note that countries, now recognizing that they are in competition with one another, are trying to make sure they win the bitcoin economy. The smartest of these are either allowing bitcoin to prosper or recognize that they need a light touch in regulating bitcoin to attract all the creativity, money and startups that are flooding into the field.

有趣的是,各国现在意识到了彼此之间存在竞争,正努力确保自己赢得比特币经济。其中最明智的做法,要么是允许比特币繁荣发展,要么是认识到,他们需要在监管比特币方面有所作为,以吸引涌入该领域的所有创意、资金和初创企业。

The U.S. was wise to leave the internet unregulated and free because all the internet entrepreneurs created startups domestically and the economy around the internet blossomed. Keeping its regulatory hands light should help innovators stay in the U.S.

美国让互联网自由且不受监管的决定是明智的,因为所有的互联网企业家都是在国内创业,互联网周围的经济蓬勃发展。放松监管有助于创新者留在美国。

There are many parallels between bitcoin now and the internet in 1994. In 1994, the internet was just for hobbyists and hackers. I remember when I first used the Internet, the only things I could do were to buy diamonds and try to break into NORAD. There were very few uses. It took many years for the internet to become mainstream, but when it did, it transformed industries.

当下的比特币和1994年的互联网有许多相似之处。1994年,互联网仅供一些爱好者和黑客使用。我记得当我第一次使用互联网时,我唯一能做的就是购买钻石,并试图闯入北美防空司令部,几乎没什么用处。互联网花了很多年才成为主流,但一旦成为主流,它就改变了整个行业。

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The long-term vision for bitcoin is to give the world economic emancipation. The potential if bitcoin is only limited by the imaginations of the entrepreneurs who work to drive this new virtual economy. To monitor and keep it honest, I believe that the community of users will ultimately self-regulate, possibly eclipsing or obviating the need for the various governments to regulate the crypto world.

比特币的长期愿景是让世界经济解放。比特币的潜力只受到致力于推动这一新虚拟经济的企业家的想象力的限制。为了监控并保持诚实,我相信用户社区最终会自我调节,可能会使各个政府无法控制加密世界。

I’ve been through the ups and downs with bitcoin, and I am as certain as ever that the bitcoin revolution is coming.

我在比特币上经历了风风雨雨,我比以往任何时候都更加确信比特币革命即将到来。

It is here to bank the unbanked, to democratize economic opportunity and to reevaluate governance. I expect that it will change everything from the banks and the financial system to healthcare, to democracy, even the government.

比特币是为那些得不到银行服务的人提供银行服务,使经济机会民主化,并重新评估政府治理。我预计从银行,到金融系统,到医疗保健,到民主,到甚至政府,比特币将改变他们的一切。


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