Tag Archives: Business

A Sneak Peek at This Year’s Exciting Media Summit


Mashable Media Summit Speakers 2012

With less than one week until the Mashable Media Summit, tickets are selling out fast. Now’s your chance to purchase your ticket to learn about the hottest trends from the biggest leaders in media.

The Mashable Media Summit is a one-day conference that explores how new forms of technology are redefining media. The brightest minds in the industry will come together in a few days on Nov. 2 at The TimesCenter in New York City to explore the latest innovations in the space and the future of journalism. Get your tickets now.

Eventbrite - Mashable Media Summit 2012

We’ll be hitting on the biggest trends in media and what to watch for in 2013. Here is some of what you can expect to hear about at the Mashable Media Summit:

  • Digital media trends to watch in 2013

  • How to monetize without hurting community

  • Demystifying data-driven journalism

  • Why social media sites are becoming publishers

  • The future of journalism could be drones

  • How mobile is changing media for the better

  • What you should be measuring with social analytics

  • How brands are outpacing publishers

  • The digital transformation of politics

  • How Facebook has reinvented the entertainment industry

Other influential speakers joining the summit include Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, Kay M. Matadi, head of entertainment at Facebook, Bonita Stewart, vice president of Americas Partner Business Solutions at Google, David Carey, president at Hearst Magazines, Joan Walsh, editor-at-large at Salon, and Tom Bedecarre, CEO of AKQA.

You can view the agenda online, and check out the highlights below of last year’s sold out Mashable Media Summit. Get your tickets now before it’s too late!

Amazon, Stop Messing Around and Ship Hachette’s Books


Portrait of American businessman and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos poses in an aisle of bookshelves with a shopping cart full of books and compact discs, Seattle, Washington, September 1998. (Photo by Rex Rystedt/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images)

Amazon is an amazing online retailer, capable of shipping products within 48 hours (or even less) from the moment you click “Buy Now with 1 Click.” It’s a miracle of modern logistics and technology.

So why, for one particular book publisher (Hachette), does Amazon appear to be using a horse and buggy for its deliveries?

Could it be spite?

Under founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ leadership, Amazon has become the world’s most aggressive retailer. It gives no quarter to any competitor and is always looking for ways to deliver products from its voluminous catalog as soon as possible. The company is actually investigating how to intuit in advance what products you’ll buy in the future, so Amazon can have enough of that stuff at a nearby fulfillment center and delivered to you even faster. Bezos is so concerned with fast, cutting edge delivery that he even went on CBS’s 60 Minutes and unveiled a completely impractical drone delivery service.

Bezos, it’s fair to say, is obsessed with fast delivery.

But here I am, thinking about buying the new book Good Talk, Dad by William Geist about conversations with his father, legendary CBS Sunday Morning commentator Bill Geist, only to find that it will ship in “three to five weeks.” At Amazon’s chief online book competitor Barnes & Noble I can get the hardcover edition shipped to me within 24 hours.

I’m signed up for Amazon Prime, which means I get two-day shipping on everything I buy from the site, so I’m not about to rush off and order from another service. Still, I’m willing to put aside Geist’s warm humor for something different.

Years ago I met Mariano Rivera, the Yankee’s legendary Major League Baseball closer; his autobiography looks intriguing. On Amazon, The Closer by Mariano Rivera is still in hardcover and, for Prime members, a good deal at $16.80. It ships in … two to five weeks.

Barnes and Noble beats Amazon’s hardcover price by a penny, and it ships in 24 hours (or I can pick it up at one of their hundreds of retail locations).

What is going on here?

Amazon, it appears, may be doing something awful. According to numerous reports, the retail giant is locked in contract negotiations with publisher Hachette, the company that — you guessed it — publishes both Geist’s and Rivera’s books, along with those of other well-known authors such as David Sedaris and Malcolm Gladwell. Amazon apparently wants better terms from Hachette.

Bezos’ company has said little about what’s going on here. The only on-the-record statement I got from Amazon was “we are not commenting on this.” Hachette has publicly stated that there are no supply issues on their end, and that Amazon is holding onto minimal amounts of Hachette books “for reasons of their own.

I don’t know what new terms Amazon is seeking — but if it’s doing what Hachette and others say it’s doing here is true, it’s petty and just plain wrong.

Amazon is unquestionably the most powerful book seller in the world. It is the de facto gatekeeper for new titles and a kingmaker for new and upcoming authors. A bestseller on Amazon (even on their Kindle Single platform) can make or break a book and its author. Fiddling around with the entire line of a publisher can also do its share of damage.

Oddly enough, there’s at least one Hachette book that is relatively easy to get via Amazon — and it’s about Amazon. The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, by Brad Stone, a tome lambasted by Bezos’s wife and published by, yes, Hachette, can ship to you in a few as four days.

Some observers have speculated that the alleged Hachette supply action is Amazon’s retaliation for the book, but that seems unlikely. It’s not much of a tell-all. Bezos is described in it as an extraordinarily bright child who grew into an “avid problem solver.” He also, apparently has “a chess grandmaster’s view of the competitive landscape.”

Is Bezos playing chess here? For brand new Hachette books, at least, he’s not living up to Stone’s glowing description of the company: “[Amazon] has perfected the art of instant gratification, delivering digital products in seconds and their physical incarnations in just a few days.”

One quote Stone attributes to Bezos may offer some insight into his alleged actions here:

There are two kinds of retailers: there are those folks who work to figure how to charge more, and there are companies that work to figure how to charge less, and we are going to be the second, full-stop.

Whether or not he said it that way, this is clearly Bezos’ strategy. He sells his own products with virtually no margins so he can get more people shopping in his online store. Bezos himself told me that he sells his Kindle Fire HDX tablets at “break even.” Perhaps he’s still trying to push Hachette in that direction as well.

Of course, you can go elsewhere for hard- and softcover Hachette books and, if you really want to read The Closer today, you can order the Kindle Edition. Personally, I haven’t read a hardcover book in years. However, there are many people, like my daughter, who still prize physical books. If you’re lining up your summertime reading, a book retailer who can’t deliver before the first week in July is unacceptable.

Amazon’s relationship with publishers has been fraught with animus from day one. While hardcover books on the site now range in price from $9.99 to $24, at first Amazon sold nearly all books, no matter how new, for $9.99. Publishers who wanted to be on the vital new platform had no choice but to acquiesce. They were not happy, nor were authors who saw returns tumble. Some, like James Patterson, kept their books off Amazon for years.

In the end it was Apple that turned things around. When the company launched iBooks, it went with the more traditional agency model, which let publishers set the prices and gave Apple a 30% cut. But if Apple found out that the same books were being sold more cheaply elsewhere, the publishers would be contractually forced to lower the price for Apple, too.

Oddly enough, this price gerrymandering resulted in Amazon switching to the agency model as well — and in the end, both online retailers ended up selling books for roughly the same price.

It’s not clear what Hachette is doing to upset Amazon, but it is clear that something here is amiss. The retailer cannot afford to have even the appearance of impropriety when it comes to stocking and selling partner books. It’s simply too powerful.

My suggestion is for Amazon to stop messing around, and pledge that it will never use its position as the world’s number one bookseller for leverage. You can’t play hardball on a world stage unless you expect to get bruised.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/05/23/amazon-hachettes-books-op-ed/

Is This What it Takes to Market Vodka? Pitchmen Pose as Window Washers


How do you reach white-collar professionals who routinely work 80-hour weeks? Ultimat Vodka offered one answer to that question, though it’s not clear how scalable it is.

The vodka brand dispatched a dapper-looking gentlemen in New York and Chicago to pose as a window-washer outside office buildings. Peering in from the windows, they shook the workers out of their stupor with an honest admission written on a placard: “You people are hard to reach.” The spokesmen then beckoned the workers to get out in the fresh air — preferably before 6 — and have a drink.

If the video above is to believed, the technique worked: The office drones cracked smiles and met the Ultimat pitchman later for cocktails.

Though sending Ultimat’s window washers out to recruit more fans would be challenging on a grand scale, thanks to the magic of YouTube, a million or so people have been won over since the video went up on July 26.

What do you think? Would you take Ultimat’s spokesman up on his offer? Do you give the brand points for cleverness? Let us know in the comments.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/30/market-vodka-pitchman-window-washer/

Sometimes Fat Cats Are Actually Fat Cats

You might’ve suspected that a fat cat runs your bank. Now you know for sure.

A new ad from Affinity Federal Credit Union puts a real feline face on that well-known trope, creating a character that’s a mix between Grumpy Cat and Ebenezer Scrooge. Instead of helping you reach your financial goals, this plump pet would rather bleed you dry, using the spoils to set himself up with a tricked-out condo, a wheelbarrow full of catnip and an age-inappropriate girlfriend. Bad kitty!

Affinity, on the other hand, is “100% fat cat free,” the ad says.

The campaign from ad agency DiMassimo Goldstein, New York, is its first work for new client Affinity. While conveying the message that Affinity is not a traditional bank, agency executives also aimed to tap into the Internet’s ongoing kitty love.


Video: YouTube, Affinity

“We wanted to personify that big bank mentality in a way that people would respond to,” said Tom Christmann, chief creative officer. “So we thought, ‘Cat video plus I-hate-banks equals fat cat,’ which might be the algorithm for a viral video.”

Even though the country is six years post-recession, consumer sentiment still leans toward the banks-are-evil mindset, he said. That creates an opening for a business like Affinity at a time when credit union membership is growing steadily.


Video: YouTube, Affinity

Not to deflate the image, but the star of the campaign isn’t actually fat. The exotic shorthair kitty, named Elvis and chosen after a casting call of more than a dozen felines, bulked up with a custom-made fat suit, Christmann said. And those aren’t his paws, either. Puppeteers provided the tiny cat “hands” and gestures in the ad.

Nor is Elvis a greedy megalomaniac. He is, after all, just playing a character.

He’s the Robert DeNiro of cats. He’s the sweetest guy, Christmann says.”

Look for another ad in this series, coming later this summer, where the “fat cat” tosses potted plants off a desk, mimicking another Internet sensation. It’s all about waste and how, of course, Affinity doesn’t use your money for needless overhead.

The campaign is focused mostly in New Jersey, Affinity’s home base, with cable TV spots and billboards. But its social media tentacles will reach much further, via online banners, search and YouTube. There will be a Fat Cat Tinder profile, and the character will take over Affinity’s Twitter account. Also in the works: a music video about Fat Cat and his paramour, Shailene.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/07/18/fat-cat-bank-ad/

Experts discuss extreme weather and climate change reporting at the Media Summit


Image: Alexander Gerst/ESA/NASA/Associated Press

Climate change is a critical discussion in this day and age, and communicating its intricacies can be a challenge. At the Mashable Media Summit we’ve added a session on telling the stories of climate change in the digital age.

Eventbrite - Mashable Media Summit: Formats of Creativity

The session, titled “Talking About the Weather: Telling Extreme Weather and Climate Change Stories in the Digital Age,” will be led by Mashable’s Senior Climate Reporter Andrew Freedman and will analyze the most effective ways to communicate climate change given the multitude of perspectives on the climate change issue.

Speakers joining this session include:

  • Neil Katz, Editor in Chief/ V.P. of Digital Content, The Weather Channel

  • Bernadette Woods Placky, Meteorologist and Climate Matters Program Director, Climate Central

Other previously announced sessions at Media Summit will include media experts like Pete Cashmore, Mashable‘s founder and CEO; Jill Abramson, Harvard University lecturer; Joanna Coles, editor in chief of Cosmopolitan magazine; and Piper Kerman, author of Orange Is the New Black in conversation with Larry Smith, founder of Smith Magazine.

The Media Summit is a one-day conference analyzing the impact of technology on the media industry, with an emphasis on the evolution of storytelling. Speakers will discuss media trends like the rise of big data and mobile, the impact of global social media campaigns, how to use visual platforms to enhance your story and much more.

For a full list of speakers and agenda, check out the Media Summit website. Ticket prices will increase on Thursday, so make sure to reserve your spot early.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/11/25/climate-session-media-summit/

50 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


Has your love of Mashable‘s newest channel Watercooler turned into a full-blown addiction? You’re not alone, and you don’t need help. It’s perfectly healthy to be obsessed with Nyan Cat, stripper parody videos and Pee-wee Herman dubs — at least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

There is, however, one possible side effect: In the whirlwind of memes, you just might have missed out on some of Mashable‘s features coverage this week. If you’re looking for the cure, you’ve come to the right place; here’s the roundup of the week’s top digital media resources.

Editor’s Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/07/14/digital-media-resources-48/

With 2 Weeks to Go, the Net Neutrality Battle Heats Up


Protesters march past the FCC headquarters before the Commission meeting on net neutrality proposal on May, 15, 2014 in Washington, DC.
Image: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post/Getty Images

With less than two weeks until the end of the comment period on proposed Internet regulations, both sides of the debate are pushing publicity campaigns aimed at swaying the net neutrality debate.

The battle has coalesced around a particular issue: the reclassification of broadband Internet, a move that would either maintain an open and equal web or destroy it, depending on which side of the debate is lobbying. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has publicly stated that it could vote to reclassify broadband as a utility, bringing Internet providers under more stringent regulations.

A new “don’t break the Internet” campaign launched on Tuesday with a website that seeks to push back against calls for the Federal Communications Commission to reclassify. Drawing on the words of net neutrality advocates like Tim Wu, Lawrence Lessig and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the site makes plain its stance at the top.

“Dear Mr. Chairman, don’t break the Internet! Cat videos aren’t megawatts and the net’s not a series of tubes, so don’t treat it like a utility,” the post states alongside Photoshopped images of the FCC chairman with cats.


The FCC is currently considering new regulations about how data flows on the Internet, an issue that has sparked debate about the role or regulation and Internet providers. Advocates of net neutrality — which dictates that all data should be treated equally so as to maintain and open and competitive Internet — have called for the FCC to consider the Internet a utility, which would bring it under more stringent regulation. The deadline for comments on the FCC’s proposed Internet regulation and replying to earlier comments is Sept. 15.

The initial draft of the rules built in allowances for “commercially reasonable” deals between content providers and Internet companies. This allowance caused a flood of concern from net neutrality advocates who worried this could lead to “fast lanes” that would make the Internet more similar to cable television.

Those concerns led to calls for the FCC to change how it regulates the Internet by switching to “Title II,” which would treat it similar to utilities.

The “don’t break the Internet” campaign is backed by TechFreedom, a nonprofit think tank that says it is backed by Internet providers as well as content providers. It is calling for congressional action to limit FCC power and explicitly detail how it can regulate the Internet.

“Democrats and Republicans should join in a bipartisan compromise that sets out clear, but specific and narrow, authority over core net neutrality concerns. Congress should bar the FCC from ever applying Title II to the Internet,” the site states.

There is no shortage of advocates of reclassification. Democratic Senator Carl Levin is the most recent politician to back reclassification, stating it is “the best and clearest way to ensure an open and free Internet.”

Fight for the Future, another nonprofit think tank “dedicated to protecting and expanding the Internet’s transformative power,” has organized an “Internet slowdown” on Sept. 10 to bring attention to the issue.

“On Sept. 10th, sites across the web will display an alert with a symbolic ‘loading’ symbol (the proverbial “spinning wheel of death”) and promote a call to action for users to push comments to the FCC, Congress, and the White House,” the site states.

The final push over net neutrality comes after a particularly active comment period, including a John Oliver video that went viral and sparked thousands of comments through the FCC’s online system.

The Sunlight Foundation, a nonprofit that advocates for government accountability and transparency, found that around two-thirds of comments were against allowing content providers to pay for better service and about the same number supported reclassification.

The study found that those against some effort to ensure an open and fair Internet were in the extreme minority.

“We estimate that less than 1 percent of comments were clearly opposed to net neutrality,” the organization wrote in a post.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2014/09/02/dont-break-the-internet/

Intel’s Dubious Plan to Take Over TV


When Intel lifted the veil from its stealthy media division in February, many outsiders scratched their heads. Why was the chip manufacturer, which has tried and failed to sell consumer products before, trying to launch a TV service, one of the trickiest consumer markets of all?

Computer companies including Apple, Google and Microsoft have wrestled for years with how to become Internet TV providers.

They see a massive “pay TV” market ripe for Silicon Valley-style disruption. Today’s TV interfaces are exceedingly complicated, and content packages are bloated with channels that most subscribers don’t watch. Furthermore, there are new business opportunities in the progressively more social and mobile nature of TV-watching that tech companies are well-positioned to exploit.

Intel’s ambitions make sense given that the company needs a new growth business and has cash to spend. PC sales are slumping—research firm IDC recently reported the worst quarter globally since it began tracking data in 1994—as mobile devices become more powerful PC replacements. Intel’s first quarter earnings report this week reflected this decline, with revenues dropping 6% in the PC division that accounts for $8 billion of its $12.6 billion in quarter revenue. The company’s mobile chip business, meanwhile, is only in its infancy.

Intel does have an impressive 300-plus person TV team, led by former BBC executive Erik Huggers. And it has some interesting technology, too—including a front-facing camera that allows for viewing suggestions based on who is watching and a cloud-based DVR that lets viewers scroll back in time and watch shows they missed without actually having to record.

But many in the industry are skeptical that a U.S.-only TV service will be the multi-billion-dollar growth market that Intel needs to lift its bottom line, partly because of the challenges of negotiating groundbreaking live content licensing deals. “This is an expensive undertaking with very little chance of success,” says Bernard Gershon, a former Walt Disney senior executive who developed the company’s digital business strategy for TV content and is now a consultant.

The problem so far with all tech companies’ dreams about changing how we watch TV is that new entrants need the go-ahead from one major part of the established industry: companies like Disney, MTV and Time Warner, which own many shows and channels. TV programmers’ biggest fear is the idea of a cheaper, more customizable service that ends their ability to package together popular and unpopular channels for one price. But without breaking up these “bundles,” any new TV subscription service ends up looking very similar to what’s already offered by Comcast or AT&T.

The economics of the TV business could be especially hard for Intel. It doesn’t own the underlying broadband delivery infrastructure, so it can’t attract customers by bundling Internet and TV service as Google has done with its experimental gigabit fiber network in Kansas City. And if it does succeed in negotiating innovative content deals, other companies like Apple—which, unlike Intel, already have set-top box TV hardware in people’s homes and billing and customer service relationships with consumers—may swoop in from behind and sign similar agreements.

For Intel to succeed, its aggressive push into the living room must be timed perfectly. TV programmers are starting to experiment with new Web and mobile delivery formats, and they want to attract a new audience of young people who still like to watch TV but may not want to do so on their couch every Tuesday at 8 p.m.

When DirectTV launched its satellite service a decade ago, it took off because it spent billions to land exclusive rights to many NFL games. Though no content deals have been announced, Intel’s service is already being tested internally and with some limited partners, and is expected to launch this year. It may just need its version of the NFL.

Image via ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

This article originally published at MIT Technology Review

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/04/18/intel-tv/

52 Digital Media Resources You May Have Missed


It may not have been a good week for Big Bird, but it was a good one for Detroit Tigers infielder Miguel Cabrera, who won the first Triple Crown since 1967. Over the past few days we’ve witness the beginning of debate season and the end of baseball’s regular season.

With all that going on, it’s understandable if you lost track of what’s happening in the social media and tech world. To get you up to speed, we’ve rounded up all our best feature stories from the past week.

The Lifestyle section was particularly active with resources that could help improve your ever-important quality of life. You can also start crossing names of your holiday shopping list with gift ideas such as geeky wine racks, funky iPhone cases and a high-end coffee maker that brews the perfect cup of java.

For you political junkies, be sure to check out our new special feature on how the digital sphere is shaping modern campaigning and elections. There’s also plenty of information regarding social media and business. It’s all here; dig in.

Editor’s Picks

Social Media

For more social media news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s social media channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Business & Marketing

For more business news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s business channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Tech & Mobile

For more tech news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s tech channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.


For more digital lifestyle news and resources, you can follow Mashable‘s lifestyle channel on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2012/10/06/digital-media-resources-57/

Bitcoin Millionaires Become Investing Angels


Early investors in Bitcoin got rich. Now they are the cryptocurrency’s most powerful gatekeepers.

Every time you spend bitcoins to buy a drink at Evr, a swanky bar in midtown Manhattan that accepts the digital currency, you make its co-owner, Charlie Shrem, a little bit richer.

And that’s not only because a chamomile sour costs $17 (or 0.16 bitcoins). It’s because whenever someone new uses bitcoins, the electronic currency’s value tends to increase. Shrem has bought thousands of bitcoins for about $20 each, starting in 2011. Since then, the digital coins have soared in value to $109.

That’s turned the 23-year-old into a millionaire and into one of a handful of early bitcoin investors who’ve decided to sink their windfalls back into the bitcoin economy — starting their own companies and investing in others.

“Infrastructure is what we need,” says Shrem. “We’ve gotta build, build, build — financial software, exchanges and different payment products.” In addition to his investment in the bar, Shrem founded Bitinstant, a company that makes it possible to buy bitcoins at Kmart and 7-Eleven, and is a member of BitAngels, an investment group created this year to help Bitcoin startups evolve from garage operations into real companies.

Bitcoin angels like Shrem don’t have pockets nearly as deep as entrepreneur-turned-investors who’ve made it big in Silicon Valley — some of whom, like Steve Case and Vinod Khosla, have net worth in excess of $1 billion. But their influence is substantial. As conventional investors begin to show interest in Bitcoin startups, it is small-time tycoons like Shrem who are acting as gatekeepers and ambassadors.

“The early guys are the ones that run everything,” says Shrem. “In this space, how long you’ve been around matters.”


Bitcoin originated in 2009, when its source code was posted online by persons unknown. Despite its mysterious origins, the way it works is transparent: The currency is produced when people carry out difficult cryptographic operations on computers, and then it’s exchanged over an open-source peer-to-peer network. Bitcoins are immune to counterfeiting and don’t rely on any central authority. Image courtesy of Bitcoin Charts

Initially, Bitcoin was mostly a curiosity. Among the first businesses to accept it were gambling sites, narcotics delivery services and a farm selling alpaca socks. Yet Shrem and others have been thinking strategically, creating companies that comply with the law and intend to make Bitcoin a widely used form of money.

One reason to do so is that the number of bitcoins is limited; there’s a theoretical maximum of 21 million, and 11.3 million have been “mined” so far. That means the more people buy and use bitcoins, the greater their value becomes. Anthony Gallippi, CEO of Bitpay, an Atlanta company that helps online stores accept payment in bitcoins, says one reason early buyers are reinvesting in the technology is to “ensure future returns” on the currency’s value.

“You didn’t get that dynamic in the dot-com days,” says Gallippi, who claims that he and business partner Stephen Pair are sitting on “thousands” of bitcoins they purchased for $1 or $2. He reasons that anyone who now buys even one bitcoin is in effect betting “on the whole space.”

The easy windfalls earned by Bitcoin’s early promoters are attracting interest from mainstream venture capitalists. In May, Shrem’s company received $1.5 million from the investment firm of the Winklevoss twins (who famously sued Mark Zuckerberg over the idea behind Facebook). Also last month, the venture fund operated by Peter Thiel, Facebook’s first major investor, invested $3 million in Gallippi’s company.

Those deals have been important endorsements for the online currency (see “Big-Name Investors Back Effort to Build a Better Bitcoin”). Yet what they mean for the philosophy at the heart of Bitcoin isn’t as clear, says Roger Ver, an important early investor.The 34-year-old electronics entrepreneur says he sank his life savings into the currency and has used the gains to invest more than $1 million in more than a dozen Bitcoin startups, including Shrem’s. “The typical investment size has been around $100K USD,” Ver wrote in an e-mail from Tokyo, where he lives. “I’m motivated by the positive ways in which Bitcoin use being widespread will make the world a better place.”

Like many early enthusiasts, Ver, who once ran for the California senate and later spent 10 months in prison for selling fireworks on eBay, was attracted to Bitcoin because of his libertarian, antigovernment views. He believes such currencies, if they replaced national ones, could make it impossible for governments to “finance their wars” by printing money.

With mainstream investors arriving, Ver says, the Bitcoin economy could become a lot less idealistic. Yet these new investors may be unwittingly boosting the political and economic implications of the decentralized currency, not just its face value. “I don’t think they fully understand how revolutionary Bitcoin will be,” he says.

Composite by Mashable, images courtesy of Bitcoin and Vyacheslav Argenberg/Flickr

This article originally published at MIT Technology Review

Read more: http://mashable.com/2013/06/13/bitcoin-angel-investors/