Interview with a Bitcoin User

John Burr, VP of Technology – The Graduate Investment Fund at Georgetown University, talks with The Bitcoin Byte about his experience with Bitcoin:

Video not working? Read the transcription after the break:

“Hi, my name is John Burr and I’m a first-year MBA student at Georgetown McDonough.”

Beginning

“I guess the first time I started using Bitcoin was in April of 2011, I’d started mining it just for fun. I’d heard about it in different circles online. I’d been programming at the time, and it just seemed like something interesting to get into and start mining. So I’d say spring of 2011.”

Motivations

“The whole concept of Bitcoin just intrigued me from the start. I thought the idea of having individuals mine it to increase the amount of currency (or Bitcoin) in existence just intrigued me from the start. Also, the idea of having a decentralized currency that other people could instantaneously transfer to each other without country borders or any other regulations was very interesting to me.”

Speculations

“I’d begun mining Bitcoin in 2011, but mostly forgot about it until this past year when I saw that the price per coin had skyrocketed. Back in November, I believe, it was around 200 dollars per bitcoin. At that point, I increased my position and picked up some more bitcoins. I think in December it jumped to around 1200 per coin. At that point I sold out and got out of a lot of my position. Today, I still own a couple bitcoins, but I’m not in a very huge position. I’m guess I’m holding on to it as a venture bet in case for some reason there’s a meteoric explosion and the price just skyrockets again.”

Friends

“I do know a number of people that use Bitcoin, no one who actually mines it. I know a couple people who mine alternative currencies just for the fun of it and to see what happens with those. I did buy a ticket off my friend with Bitcoin, so he definitely uses it for transactions. But in terms of the number of people… probably 5 or 6 people in my close group of friends.”

Transactions

“I’ve actually bought 2 different good with Bitcoin. The first was purchasing a VPN service that I needed, the second was transferring money to a friend. He bought a basketball ticket for me and I owed him money. Using Bitcoin, I was able to transfer money to him immediately through my cell phone.”

Wallets

“I actually use both a cloud service wallet and a local wallet. I don’t really distinguish between how much I keep in each wallet at a time. At the time, I started with an offline wallet and ended up using an online wallet just to see what the service was like.”

Future

“In terms of the future of Bitcoin, I have no idea what’s going to happen to it. I think either it could take hold, I mean, a lot of people right now are believers in it. I think the Winklevoss brothers own, I believe the last count was 120,000 worth of Bitcoin. But of course, there are other people who don’t believe  that it’s a very good option because it’s used for nefarious practices. I believe the technology behind Bitcoin is very interesting due to the fact that it allows anonymous transactions that can be used both for nefarious purposes or for legitimate purposes. The whole idea of having a public ledger that records every single transaction is also intriguing to me. So in terms of the technology, I think there is a future in that. In terms of Bitcoin itself, I honestly have no idea. It could go up, it could go down.”

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