Most of my interactions regarding Bitcoin are with bitcoin enthusiasts. This gives a very skewed perspective on the prospects of Bitcoin. Interestingly enough, over the past few days I had two lengthy discussions with people who just don't believe Bitcoin stands a chance.
It was interesting to hear that and get a reality check.
The first guy I spoke with is a young Rails developer who put forward the (known) argument that bitcoin is doomed because it is designed to clash heads on with governments, basically stealing their lunch, and will thus be destroyed by these dormant giants (as the guy put it).
The second person I spoke with works in the Israeli VC industry. His argument was different, basically that Fiat money works well and thus Bitcoin is solving a non-existing problem.
While both points of view are valid, I feel differently. I feel (perhaps hope) that Bitcoin is a real technological innovation that cannot and should not be stopped and will inevitably carve a sizable niche of the world economy.
However, it was a useful psychological exercise to hear other views are be reminded that being invested in Bitcoin (either by owning, or thinking and writing about it or trying to create innovation within the crypto currency space) is highly risky and can easily be wiped out in short notice.
As the saying goes, it is hard to predict, especially the future, and so we will have to wait and see what the future will bring us in terms of Bitcoin and crypto-currencies in general.
I would bet that whatever the future holds, it is going to be quiet different from what we imagine it to be.
I also bet that when the dust settles it will be a win-win both for the Bitcoin community and for national economies that may feel threatened by it, much like how electronic communication technologies, from telephone to internet to emails and even Facebook and Twitter, have always been an initial threat to the status-quo and ended up giving a tremendous economic boost to those who embraced them.
And remember, it ain't over til the fat lady sings.