A few of them promptly snapped back at him, snarling from their seats in the audience.
Those snarls are quieter today. Versions of Linux are commonplace in enterprise technology systems, and the Linux kernel sits at the very heart of Android, which runs hundreds of millions of smartphones around the world.
Bitcoin is currently undergoing a similar transition. Long regarded by much of the public as little more than a subversive digital currency for radical Libertarians, covert drug deals and tech-utopians, bitcoin and its underlying “blockchain” technology took a turn toward the mainstream at this year’s South by Southwest Interactive festival.
“Linux did take over the world,” said Patrick Murck, executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation. “It just didn’t do it the way people thought it was going to. It would not surprise me to see bitcoin take that path.”
Its advancements will come in fits and starts, Murck said. But in a dozen or so SXSW sessions focused on bitcoin over the past week, speakers said the platform will deliver some remarkable mainstream applications in the years to come.
To get a sense for those possibilities, panelists said, it’s important to remember that bitcoin is very early in its formation. Speakers regularly compared it