“If Bitcoin had existed forty years ago, DNS, email, the web, social networking, e-commerce would all be different.” - Marc Andreessen at CoinSummit
Andreessen offers an interesting point. What if the payments layer for the internet existed for the earliest days of the web. The biggest difference I can imagine is that online services would be able to monetize using more interesting business models beyond advertising. If sites weren’t driven by attracting the most eyeballs, and getting users to click on ads, it is safe to assume that the web would have developed very differently. Email would’ve looked differently, imagine if marketers had to pay fractions of a cent to get into someone’s inbox, it would drastically reduce spam. What if every email address could designate a list of welcome email accounts, anyone not on that list would be required to pay a small amount in order to land an email into someone’s inbox…imagine being able to increase the amount it took to land inside your inbox. I imagine many VCs would love the ability to do that. E-commerce would likely be much larger today if people still weren’t worried about the potential dangers of using their credit cards online .These are just some thoughts off the top of my head, but it is fascinating to think how different the web would be if we were able to seamlessly transfer each other any amount of money. As Bitcoin becomes more widely adopted, I imagine we will begin to see more innovation, and changes around the way we interact with one another online.