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商业 - 科技

比特币进入主流需要借助技术革新

Dan Primack 2013年11月21日

网络视频平台Brightcove创始人及前任首席执行官杰里米•奥莱尔原本打算金盆洗手,但却被大热的比特币吸引,再次踏上创业之路,希望为商家打造比特币的支付平台。不过,他认为,比特币要成为主流,必须借助技术革新来降低成本,减少欺诈等风险。

    今年10月31日,多次闯荡创业之路的企业家杰里米•奥莱尔又宣布在波士顿成立Circle公司,致力于开发数字货币交易所需的工具,推出的工具可受理商家提供的数字货币。奥莱尔还公布,Circle已向风投公司Accel Partners与General Catalyst募得A轮融资900万美元。这两家投资公司还曾经在2004年帮助奥莱尔创立网络视频平台Brightcove。

    《财富》记者借机采访了奥莱尔,聊起他一手创建的新公司和数字货币更广阔的未来。下面是经过整理的《财富》对奥莱尔访谈实录:

    《财富》:今年1月您卸下Brightcove公司首席执行官一职,是否就是为了创办这家新公司?

    奥莱尔:完全不是这个原因。其实,我当时根本没有打算再开一家公司,只是觉得放松一下,或者做点投资会比较好。大概一年前,我就熟悉数字货币领域了,但真正很感兴趣还是在辞掉Brightcove公司董事长的职位之后,那时候我才有更多的时间考虑数字货币这个事物和它存在的问题。所以,今年春天,我决定成立Circle公司。

    《财富》:有一些初创企业也得到了风投支持,他们同样为商家提供受理比特币的解决方案,您怎样让自己的产品有别于这些同行?

    奥莱尔:当然,我们和其他产品的概念也有些相似之处。但如果回想下,我的整体印象是,这个市场还很年轻,某些方面就像互联网还没有诞生时那样。所以,尽管有些商业项目和我们探索的同属一个领域,但整个市场的空间依然很广阔。我们也会采用不同的方式解决消费者和商家出现的问题,稍后我们会详细点谈谈这方面。

    大家看数字货币,核心是看它的使用价值,比特币尤其如此。它涉及一个即时转款,而且几乎即时确认和处理交易的系统。无论怎么使用这套系统,用户都无需为它承担一分一毫的成本。要推动主流群体采纳这种系统就需要进行技术革新,从商家的角度降低相关成本和遭遇欺诈的风险。提供数字货币的时候,越来越多的企业将它包装成为一种可以选择的支付方式,因此消费者会更有兴趣选用。

    Serial entrepreneur Jeremy Allaire yesterday announced the launch of Circle, a Boston-based developer of digital currency acceptance tools for merchants. He also disclosed that the company has raised $9 million of Series A funding from Accel Partners and General Catalyst, both of whom helped Allaire create Brightcove (BCOV) back in 2004.

    So we took some time to speak with Allaire about the new company, and the broader future of digital currency. What follows is an edited transcript of our conversation:

    FORTUNE: Is this new company why you stepped down as CEO of Brightcove back in January?

    ALLAIRE: No, not at all. I really didn't have any plans to start another company. I thought it would be nice to relax a bit or do some investing. But I had been familiar with the digital currency space for a year or so, and really after I stepped off into the chairman role I began to get very interested in the subject and problem space once I had more time to think about it, so in the spring I decided to start Circle."

    There are some other VC-backed startups working on Bitcoin acceptance solutions for merchants. How will your product differ?

    Certainly there are some conceptual similarities to other products out there. But, stepping back, my impression on the whole is that this is a very young market, like pre-Web in some ways. So while there are some business projects out there going after some of the same territory, the market is still very wide open. We're also taking a somewhat different approach to problems on the consumer and merchant side of things, which we'll be talking about more later.

    When you look at digital currency, and Bitcoin specifically, at the core is utility value. It's a system to instantly transmit money and to nearly instantly confirm and process those transactions. And you can do all of that at no cost. To drive mainstream adoption you need to take that technological innovation and apply to from a merchants perspective of reducing costs and fraud risks. As more and more businesses offer it as a payment option, that will drive more consumer interest.

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