Marc Andreessen has been one of the most outspoken bitcoin bulls for some time, and that isn’t changing now. In fact, he likes the digital currency so much that he thinks it will do better than Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s new Pay digital wallet service.
Bitcoin or Apple Pay?
According to a post on CoinDesk, Andreessen appeared on Bloomberg this week to talk about bitcoin and Apple Pay. He thinks bitcoin’s impact will be great over the next 20 years, but he thinks Apple Pay’s impact is only going to last about three years.
However, he thinks that together, bitcoin and Apple Pay will “cause enormous change.”
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Apple Pay isn’t new: Andreessen
Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook unveiled Apple Pay, which will be rolled out to newer iPhones starting on Monday as part of the next iOS 8 update. At the time, Cook said it was an “entirely new payment solution.” According to Andreessen, it isn’t, however.
He said it’s “innovative” but also “very consistent with the status quo.” He also said that the service’s biggest benefit may be that it doesn’t need “massive structural change” in order to work.
The venture capitalist added that the problem in the payments industry is that whenever a new service is launched, there will be a network problem. No one is going to use a new payment system unless both merchants and consumers fully embrace it. He basically said that it’s the chicken and egg dilemma, except Apple has found a way to skip past that problem because Apple Pay “sort of plugs right into the existing system.
How bitcoin is different than Apple Pay
Andreessen said bitcoin differs from Apple Pay because it’s “the exact inverse” of it. However, he thinks it will be some time before people start using bitcoin for bigger transactions.
He also admits that there is always a chance that bitcoin won’t work. He notes that in venture capital, it can rather hit and miss when they’re trying to choose a winner. He said for each 10 startups he takes a chance on, he assumes half of them won’t work out. He places bitcoin into the venture capital category because he said it could go either way.
So far, his firm Andreessen Horowitz has invested nearly $50 million in various bitcoin companies and has expressed interest in investing in even more opportunities that are related to bitcoin.