Bitcoin Forum
November 25, 2017, 10:16:44 AM *
News: Latest stable version of Bitcoin Core: 0.15.1  [Torrent].
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1] 2 »  All
  Print  
Author Topic: Elevator Pitch  (Read 1396 times)
DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 04:30:48 PM
 #1

(I just posted this to http://dataplumber.blogspot.com/2013/03/bitcoin-elevator-pitch.html , but I thought I'd post it here too, for comment)

(For those that are unfamiliar with the term, an "elevator pitch" is a description of a product or company or service that's concise enough to be delivered while on an elevator-- under a minute.)

There's a lot of people struggling to describe Bitcoin concisely, myself included.  So, I tried to put together a description of Bitcoin that is understandable by an unsophisticated audience, with a few prepared responses to obvious questions.  I've avoided expressions like "public keys" but snuck in the concept of "private keys" as such, because it works, semantically.

Please chime in, in the comments, but remember that you can't give a complete description of anything in an elevator, so I'm shooting for good, not perfect.

*cough*

Elevator pitch:

"Bitcoin is a global digital currency that works on the Internet and is peer-to-peer with no central control.  It allows transfers from anyone, to anyone, at any time, near-instantly, with negligible fees, and no third-party (government or bank or corporation) control.  Bitcoin is like digital cash-- transactions can not be reversed, as there is no central authority to adjudicate disputes."

Q: If there's no government backing it, why does it have value?

A: Its inherent value is in its ability to store and transfer value from anywhere to anywhere with negligible fees and no borders.  (You can transfer funds now via international wire transfer, but the red tape can be exhausting, the exchange rates frustrating, and wire is just not suitable for smaller/personal transactions.)  While gold has some inherent value for industrial applications, 90%++ of its value comes from the fact that it's (a) scarce, (b) easily recognizable, (c) highly divisible, and (d) very transportable, all of which are important features of money.  Bitcoin has all of these features, but takes "very transportable" to a place never previously imagined.

It's worth noting that USD and other fiat currencies don't really have anything backing them, either.  The "gold standard" went away long ago, and the only inherent value left is the emotional value that we assign to it, which is our belief that it will probably still be worth most of its value tomorrow.  It's also important to note that because of the enforced scarcity of Bitcoin, Bitcoin will tend to hold value over time (like gold), instead of leeching value away over time (like fiat currencies, which can be printed at will.)

Q: What if the government shuts it down?

A: There's no central place to "shut it down".  The gov't would have about as much luck as the music industry did shutting down Bittorrent.  That being said, the US Govt has acknowledged virtual currencies and (so far) simply wants businesses that convert Bitcoin to USD and back to implement money laundering controls just like any other business that converts currencies.  If you're not moving more than $10k at a time, you probably don't care.

Q: How does it work?

A: The database of all Bitcoin transactions ever completed is shared by all of the participants of the Bitcoin network.  A group of people known as "Bitcoin miners" continuously audit the transactions and bundle them into "blocks" that are protected by cryptography so that Bitcoin transactions can't be reversed, and coins can't be spent twice on the network.  (Your Bitcoin always exists on the network, but the secret, private keys that allow you to unlock your coins and spend them are kept by you: either on your computer or phone, or backed up on a flash drive or piece of paper.  How safe your Bitcoin is varies directly with how well you protect those keys.)

Q: Is it safe?

A: Relative to what? Recent events in Cyprus show us that banks are not safe.  And even if they were, governments can step in and seize your money arbitrarily, and if done without cause, a lengthy court battle will be required to release your funds.  Even if they don't take your money outright, the government will leech away the value of those stored funds over time, via inflation.

Any funds you have in Bitcoin are controlled only by you, but the burden of securing those funds falls on you, too.  One should be especially cautious of leaving Bitcoin keys on a computer that's used for general browsing, or shared with family members or friends.  For the especially cautious, solutions exist for keeping your private keys entirely offline, where you have to "sneakernet" transactions from the offline computer to the online one in order to complete a payment.  As with all things, there's a tradeoff between security and usability.

Also, because Bitcoin only has a market value, if that market loses confidence in the value of Bitcoin its real value will go down.  It's a fairly new currency, and if you plan on using it as a long-term store of value, it should be considered (at this time) a high risk investment.

Q: What can I use it for?

A: While Bitcoin is still in its infancy, new point-of-sale merchants are springing up every day that accept Bitcoin.  Some online merchants already do, and services are available that will accept Bitcoin and buy on your behalf just about anything available online.

 (Are there any other questions I should add here?)

Join ICO Now A blockchain platform for effective freelancing
Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
flix
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1225


"Bitcoin is a techno tour de force." - Bill Gates


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 05:05:23 PM
 #2

Too long!

Elevator pitch must be 2-3 minutes max.
John (John K.)
Global Troll-buster and
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1190


Will read PM's. Have more time lately


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 05:07:40 PM
 #3

Too long!

Elevator pitch must be 2-3 minutes max.
Yep - more than that and it's a FAQ. Try concentrating on the value, ease of transactions (and low fees), legality (yes that's important for most laymen), and probably try to equate it to something familiar like shares/gold etc.

My BTC Tip Jar: 1Pgvfy19uwtYe5o9dg3zZsAjgCPt3XZqz9 , GPG ID: B3AAEEB0 ,OTC ID: johnthedong
Escrow service is available on a case by case basis! (PM Me to verify I'm the escrow!)

RodeoX
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 2464


The revolution will be monetized!


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 05:08:58 PM
 #4

Too long!

Elevator pitch must be 2-3 minutes max.
Maybe he is only talking to people in really tall buildings?

Anyway, thanks DataPlumber!

The gospel according to Satoshi - https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Free bitcoin in ICELAND - https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1610684
DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 05:47:38 PM
 #5

Too long!

Elevator pitch must be 2-3 minutes max.
The first para is the elevator pitch.  Then it's Q&A time. Smiley

thefiniteidea
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 519


"In Us We Trust"


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 05:52:52 PM
 #6

Too long!

Elevator pitch must be 2-3 minutes max.
The first para is the elevator pitch.  Then it's Q&A time. Smiley

Still, how slowly do you read, flix?

That whole post could be read within 3 minutes, easily.

flix
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1225


"Bitcoin is a techno tour de force." - Bill Gates


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 06:31:30 PM
 #7

Ok then so this:

Quote
"Bitcoin is a global digital currency that works on the Internet and is peer-to-peer with no central control.  It allows transfers from anyone, to anyone, at any time, near-instantly, with negligible fees, and no third-party (government or bank or corporation) control.  Bitcoin is like digital cash-- transactions can not be reversed, as there is no central authority to adjudicate disputes."

Is actually pretty good. I'll memorize it.
flix
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1225


"Bitcoin is a techno tour de force." - Bill Gates


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 06:32:33 PM
 #8


That whole post could be read within 3 minutes, easily.

Read yes. Spoken.. not so sure. Try it and let me know.
jojo69
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 868


no FOMO


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 06:36:08 PM
 #9

nice

This is not some pseudoeconomic post-modern Libertarian cult, it's an un-led, crowd-sourced mega startup organized around mutual self-interest where problems, whether of the theoretical or purely practical variety, are treated as temporary and, ultimately, solvable.
Censorship of e-gold was easy. Censorship of Bitcoin will be… entertaining.
thefiniteidea
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 519


"In Us We Trust"


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 06:53:48 PM
 #10


That whole post could be read within 3 minutes, easily.

Read yes. Spoken.. not so sure. Try it and let me know.

True. Realistically, it would come closer to the 5 min mark.

anyway...  Smiley

DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 07:04:17 PM
 #11

The idea of having a very brief intro followed by Q&A is that different people have different values, and this way they can ask to be informed about whichever aspect is most interesting to them.  There should be time for at least the initial statement and 1-2 Q&As before you reach the 3rd stop. Wink


ancore
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 60


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 07:31:41 PM
 #12

I think it's a good pitch

one more question maybe  if there is no central authority, then how does it work? decision making? vision?
if there is no central authority declaring that this blockchain is the real (bitcoin) one?

I haven't found a good answer to it yet, I usually tell people about satoshi and that the bitcoin community is driven by consensus and people have an incentive to stick together: money
maybe I should just tell that people vote with their wallet

what do you think?
DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 07:44:00 PM
 #13

one more question maybe  if there is no central authority, then how does it work? decision making? vision?
if there is no central authority declaring that this blockchain is the real (bitcoin) one?
There's no central authority, but there's a central specification that anyone that wants to participate in the blockchain Must follow.  Any transactions or blocks that do not follow the specification to the letter will be ignored by the rest of the network.

In order for that specification to change, almost all Bitcoin miners must agree to it and implement the change.  (The ones that don't may wind up with a "hard fork" blockchain of their own, but they'll quickly find that situation untenable.)

The message in purple at the top of the page ("All users of Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind versions 0.7.2 and earlier are required to upgrade to 0.8.1 or apply a manual workaround by May 15") is related to this; a bug was found in 0.7.2 that can (and did) cause a hard fork; if you continue to mine against that version you may be left behind on a hard fork that will not be recognized by any other part of the Bitcoin network.

Edit: I updated the doc to include a shortened version of your question, and a slightly more approachable answer.  Thanks for your question!

ancore
Member
**
Offline Offline

Activity: 60


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 08:11:13 PM
 #14

I know that but that's just a technical explication of how they work together

when people hear about bitcoin for the first, they want to know if they can trust it (and i am not talking about the crypto and the dtouble spend solution and all, people either take your word for it that it's good or they want to have a look for themselves)
I'm talking more about the stability
for example when you have a company that's making a profit you expect that company to keep doing business
central banks have a mandate given by the government and as long as they do their jobs you expect them to be kept

now with bitcoin, having no central control, there is an unknown element
DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 08:24:00 PM
 #15

I know that but that's just a technical explication of how they work together

when people hear about bitcoin for the first, they want to know if they can trust it (and i am not talking about the crypto and the dtouble spend solution and all, people either take your word for it that it's good or they want to have a look for themselves)
I'm talking more about the stability
for example when you have a company that's making a profit you expect that company to keep doing business
central banks have a mandate given by the government and as long as they do their jobs you expect them to be kept

now with bitcoin, having no central control, there is an unknown element
Ah, I better understand your question now, but the political explanation is the same as the technical: "Conform, or be cast out!"

The value of Bitcoin is in the network; there's no incentive or reason I can think of to intentionally hard-fork the chain--other than malice, and a few malicious actors cannot harm the network, as majority hashing power always wins.

Killdozer
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 204



View Profile
March 22, 2013, 08:55:42 PM
 #16

Quote
Maybe he is only talking to people in really tall buildings?
Grin

But seriously, I like this format. Only the first thing is a pitch, then you answer the questions. Different audiences are going to have different questions, and knowing exact answer to every one of possible questions does not mean that we are going to answer all of them every time. A pitch could perhaps be the initial description + 1 or 2 answers to questions that aspire. Good initiative. Perhaps make a wiki page?

Vladimir
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 812


-


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 09:11:18 PM
 #17

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency based on p2p technologies similar to bittorent. No central point of control, no issuer, no administrator, open source software, impossible to shut down, very difficult to confiscate from a determined owner. The system is built using cryptography primitives and designed to have all the properties of ideal money. Namely scarcity, durability, fungibility, divisibility, portability, security. There are some problems with universal acceptance, but it is improving rapidly.

Bitcoin during the last 4 years was undoubtedly the most performing assets/investment on the planet, rising from sub 0.01$ in 2010 to 2-30$ in 2011, lingering around 5-10$ in 2012 and rapidly rising in 2013 to over 70$ per Bitcoin. At the moment about 10 million BTC are issued and this amount will steadily increase closer to 21 millions over the next 30 years. There never will be more than 21 million coins. Coins a re divisible to 8 digits after the dot. If all coins but one are destroyed, the single remaining bitcoin is enough to run world economy on it. The system has mechanisms allowing it to adapt over time and it is able to respond to unknown yet threats.

One does not even need to be online to receive Bitcoin transfers. You can transfer 10$ or 10 000 000$ to anyone with an internet connection for free any time of day or night regardless of any banking holidays and importantly without need to trust any third party. It takes 30 to 60 minutes at most to confirm the transaction. Paypal, Western Union, MoneyGramm and SWIFT network are going to be displaced because Bitcoin eliminated a need for a trusted third party to be involved in process of money transfer.

Most important thing: It works! It is proven already. It is pretty much only a matter of increasing adoption at this point.

-
DataPlumber
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 126



View Profile WWW
March 22, 2013, 09:49:43 PM
 #18

Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency based on p2p technologies similar to bittorent. No central point of control, no issuer, no administrator, open source software, impossible to shut down, very difficult to confiscate from a determined owner. The system is built using cryptography primitives and designed to have all the properties of ideal money. Namely scarcity, durability, fungibility, divisibility, portability, security. There are some problems with universal acceptance, but it is improving rapidly.

Bitcoin during the last 4 years was undoubtedly the most performing assets/investment on the planet, rising from sub 0.01$ in 2010 to 2-30$ in 2011, lingering around 5-10$ in 2012 and rapidly rising in 2013 to over 70$ per Bitcoin. At the moment about 10 million BTC are issued and this amount will steadily increase closer to 21 millions over the next 30 years. There never will be more than 21 million coins. Coins a re divisible to 8 digits after the dot. If all coins but one are destroyed, the single remaining bitcoin is enough to run world economy on it. The system has mechanisms allowing it to adapt over time and it is able to respond to unknown yet threats.

One does not even need to be online to receive Bitcoin transfers. You can transfer 10$ or 10 000 000$ to anyone with an internet connection for free any time of day or night regardless of any banking holidays and importantly without need to trust any third party. It takes 30 to 60 minutes at most to confirm the transaction. Paypal, Western Union, MoneyGramm and SWIFT network are going to be displaced because Bitcoin eliminated a need for a trusted third party to be involved in process of money transfer.

Most important thing: It works! It is proven already. It is pretty much only a matter of increasing adoption at this point.
Vladimir,

I appreciate all of the points you brought, and while they are important, I feel like the average person's eyes would glaze over right around "cryptography primitives."  This is intended for an unsophisticated audience.  However, I feel like your points about "any amount" and "proven system" are very important in the intro, and I've incorporated them in the following way:

"Bitcoin is a global digital currency that works on the Internet and is peer-to-peer with no central control.  It allows transfers of any amount from anyone, to anyone, at any time, near-instantly, with negligible fees, and no third-party (government or bank or corporation) control.  Bitcoin is like digital cash: transactions can not be reversed, as there is no central authority to adjudicate disputes.  The Bitcoin network has been working since 2009 and is just starting to get mainstream attention."


Vladimir
Hero Member
*****
Offline Offline

Activity: 812


-


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 10:09:51 PM
 #19

These are all fair points. Elevator pitches can be intended to various audiences. However, the term "elevator pitch" originally was referring to a pitch to an investor. This is an elevator pitch that I would give to a an investor. Surely it is far from perfect. These are not easy to write and I surely could have spent more time on it.

I also believe that anything above 3-4 paragraphs is too much for the elevator pitch and anything less is likely incomplete.

You cannot just tell a serious investor some meme and expect to get away with this. This would be plain insulting actually.




-
bitcoinbeliever
Jr. Member
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 52

Unshackle yourself


View Profile
March 22, 2013, 10:16:42 PM
 #20

Here's my elevator pitch

Bitcoin is MONEY that doesn't rely on any BANK or GOVERNMENT.
Pages: [1] 2 »  All
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!