When new technology comes along, history shows us that it is usually polarizing in some way. Enthusiasts often make grandiose claims for the future and see everything as proof of the inevitability of the concept. On the other hand, ever since the time of the Luddites, those that stood to lose out with the march of progress have opposed change. That is quite natural; people’s opinions are colored by their economic interest. One of the surprising things about Bitcoin and the idea of a decentralized peer to peer currency in general, however, is how quickly the opposition seems to have faded.
When I started out writing on the subject, just a year or so ago, opposition from major finance houses, governments and even random individuals was everywhere. There were several internet comment names that trolled anything Bitcoin relentlessly, but they seem to have given up recently. Politicians of all stripes were vehemently opposed to the idea, even though very few had even a basic understanding of the concept, and bankers warned us that it was all a scam and had no future.
Now, vocal opposition is rare. That the bankers, who in theory have most to lose from the widespread adoption of Bitcoin, have changed tack is hardly surprising. They may have most to lose financially, but they recognize that once the cat is out of the bag, there is a lot to gain from co-opting the mechanics of digital currency rather than trying to convince people that it is doomed to failure. Increased adoption, the realization that Bitcoin is a tradable entity and a deeper understanding of what it actually is have all made that the more common path for financial institutions. What is far more surprising in a way is that governments and politicians are beginning to accept the idea.