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"Kingpin of the Virtual World": Brock Pierce Remembers Digital Currency Before Bitcoin

The blockchain pioneer recounts his own path to Bitcoin adoption.

Brock Pierce has been part of Bitcoin from its infancy, and few people have had a better seat to watch it grow from the inside. Suddenly there's not a person around who doesn't know what Bitcoin is. They may not understand it, but still that's a big difference from 10 years ago. The challenge now is turning publicity into participation, or as Pierce puts it, awareness into adoption. To help, Pierce sat down with Roundtable’s Rob Nelson at the Bitcoin 2020 conference in Miami to offer a simple onramp for the crypto-curious

The innovator's path to Bitcoin began with digital gaming, long before the blockchain existed.

"I was one of the first people in the world to recognize that just because something was intangible, didn't make it less valuable," he explains, recalling that he began collecting digital cards in the online game Sanctum, then moved on to MMPGs. "I became the main market maker in all of those things, World Warcraft, Second Life, Lineage, Dark Age of Camelot, Final Fantasy. I had hundreds of thousands of people in China that would play video games to mine digital currency. I was the main market maker for all digital currency before Bitcoin with a pretty large user base."

Though Pierce sees his own path to Bitcoin as "inevitable," he continues to urge non-adopters to take the plunge.

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"If you're already a part of the movement, the other thing here is, how do we make it easy for people? The reason this is taking so long is because of the intimidation," he says. "If you want to facilitate faster adoption, it's the network effect. How do you explain this to your friends and your family and make it easy and better?"

Watch the full discussion below:

Roundtable Participant:

Brock Pierce, Futurist, Philanthropist, Economist, Creator