Until now, the kind of people attracted to Bitcoin have mainly been developers, says Kurt Wuckert Jr. But that needs to change in order to create real Bitcoin businesses and convert existing businesses to Bitcoin.
“If we were better at sales and marketing,” Kurt believes, “we might not even be in the blockchain economy at all. We could all be selling solar panels or something and make pretty good money. So it really, I think, is largely a culture thing.”
Changing Bitcoin culture would mean bringing in experienced salespeople—and it wouldn’t matter if they came into the job knowing nothing about Bitcoin: “it’s not that difficult to just hire good experienced people from sales,” says Kurt. “I mean, there’s companies that have SAAS [software as a service] salesmen or enterprise cloud computing salesmen. These guys could pretty quickly get up to snuff on selling Bitcoin SV solutions. Get them out there, get them knocking on doors, build leads, build clients, build business. It’s formulaic. It’s not that hard to do if you put the right people on the job.”
Kurt was speaking on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, the second part of his interview for the show. This week he took a step back from discussing his day-to-day responsibilities as CEO of the mining business GorillaPool and spoke in his capacity as Chief Historian of CoinGeek. With that longer-term perspective he stressed the importance of increasing the throughput of transactions on the blockchain to make up for the halving every few years of the ‘subsidy’ (the block reward payment in Bitcoin) that miners receive for adding a block to the chain:
“If you were just mining casually in 2009, you were earning 50 coins a block. And the average miner is earning less than seven coins a block right now. So there has been a—I don’t know what that is—90-ish percent drop off in profitability, really, if you’re measuring in satoshis. It’s bad. And so we need to do better. We need to have massive blocks because that is Bitcoin’s security model at scale.”
So the mining network—and therefore the continuing existence of Bitcoin—depends for its future on more businesses creating transactions to be processed. Kurt is confident that will happen, but says “we’ve got to hurry.”
The problem is that in the past few years, too much emphasis has been put on the extremely volatile price of coins rather than on their utility: “People kind of can’t get it through their heads that there are other ways to make money with blockchain.”
If that doesn’t happen soon, there’s a doomsday scenario in which the whole Bitcoin economy grinds to a halt. People will look back on this time, Kurt speculates, thinking that “maybe blockchain was just a bad idea. And it’s going to be real humbling in 10 years [when] all of us are just doing something different because nobody actually got a real customer.”
But, ever the optimist, Kurt hopes the current depressed market conditions will actually prove to be just what Bitcoin needs: “This is actually what I love about bear markets,” he says. “They make people reassess that ‘Hey, maybe I’ve been wrong. Maybe I need to rethink the profit model of being in this economy’. And yeah, I mean, we just need somebody to get out there and seal the deal …or else.”
You can watch the first part of Kurt’s CoinGeek Conversations interview here.
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