“Bitcoin will either be a total failure or it’ll be a success and I think we want it to be a success”, Hoffman said during a discussion on global bright spots in the fields of science and technology, according to Time, which hosted the event.
The surprising backing is made even more poignant when contrasted with how Bitcoin fared at last year’s conference, where bankers and business leaders alike unrelentingly attacked the concept of digital currency, CoinTelegraph said.
At the 2014 forum, according to the report, JP Morgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said, “The question isn’t whether we accept it. The question is do we even participate [with] people who facilitate Bitcoin?”
His words echoed a strong distrust of the uses of Bitcoin by U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
However, at this year’s conference, set against the backdrop of the giant trillion-euro quantitative easing package expected to be carried out by the European Central Bank, the usual pundits have less to be confident about. Instead, the media is choosing to pick up on the championing of fiat alternatives, the website said.
Hoffmann spoke about how Bitcoin “could open up the advantages of banking to regions of the world that do not yet benefit from the banking system”, Time said.
He also envisaged Bitcoin’s potential impact on the developed world, such as making it easier to conduct financial transactions related to driving, including paying tolls and paying for parking, according to Time.
The gradual encroachment of Bitcoin onto the forum’s agenda is expected to inspire confidence in many advocates, and those who openly oppose the concept of digital currency seem to matter increasingly less, CoinTelegraph said.
A report in the Daily Beast, however, was less enthusiastic about the Bitcoin.
The report called the Bitcoin a basket case, saying the last thing that the poor unbanked people of the world need is to transact in a currency where the only store of value is the enthusiasm of its adherents to convert their dollars.
It said the Bitcoin is for speculators, and that poor people without banking systems need decent banking systems, free of corruption, run in the public’s interest. The report claimed the volatile Bitcoin is a ticket to Zimbabwe-style hyper-inflation at worst and, at best, a cycle of booms and busts fueled by anonymous traders accountable to no one.