Bitcoin as a “currency” may never be as popular as the dollar but no matter what happens, the technology it created isn't going anywhere. Think about it as the Napster of the payment industry. The original Napster program isn't around anymore but its innovations fundamentally changed the music industry. As the Washington Post's Tim Lee rightly notes, Bitcoin is both a decentralized payment system and an alternative currency, combining into a ground-breaking “platform for financial innovation.” So no matter what happens to the trading value of my purchase after this crash, as long as Bitcoin -- or a competing technology -- provides an affordable payment system to those who need it, there is a lot to celebrate.
Back in June, Reason TV's Tracy Oppenheimer talked with Jon Holmquist, who runs Bitcoinstore.com, about the real-world uses of this virtual currency. Take a look: