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Author Topic: technologyreview.com: Larry Summers and the Technology of Money  (Read 2471 times)

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Larry Summers and the Technology of Money

The former U.S. Treasury secretary and Harvard president sounds off about innovation in online currencies and mobile payments.

Quote
Conceptually, money can exist without a central authority. The United States only got a central bank in 1913, and we were a country with a functioning economy before 1913. There are also private issuers of things that function very much like money—think about Crimson Cash here at Harvard, or American Express traveler's checks.

Bitcoin is one of many innovative technologies that are going to seek to take friction out and provide services to people. You can make a priori arguments about how it will work very well, and you can also raise concerns a priori. And I think if we know anything about new technologies, you just have to wait and see what happens in the marketplace. Everyone thought New Coke would be better than old Coca-Cola and take things by storm, and [former IBM CEO] Tom Watson thought there was only demand in the world for 10 or 12 computers. And so I think history teaches that you can't really forecast which kinds of innovations will ultimately become networked and get to scale.
Source: http://www.technologyreview.com/business/39962/
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