Elon Musk, a legend in high tech business circles, is the founder of Tesla Motors and SpaceX.
With the first project, Musk wants to revolutionize transportation on Earth with high-performance all-electric cars, and with the second he wants to revolutionize transportation to space.
The Bitcoin-related discussion begins shortly after 30 minutes in the video. Here is a transcript provided by a Reddit user.
Some Things Maybe Shouldn’t Be Illegal
Walter Isaacson: Do you think Bitcoin will be disruptive in that way? I mean now it’s a speculative currency, will it be something that will be what normal consumers will use and will disrupt the banking industry?
Elon Musk: My opinion on Bitcoin is, I mean I think Bitcoin is probably a good thing. But it’s essentially, its main thing will be [inaudible] I think it’s primarily gonna be a means of doing illegal transactions [laughs]. But that’s not necessarily entirely bad. You know, some things maybe shouldn’t be illegal.
Isaacson: A combination of Silk Road and Bitcoin will save us?
Musk: Well, it will be useful for legal and illegal transactions. Otherwise it would have no value as a use for illegal transactions. Because you have to have a legal to illegal bridge. I don’t own any Bitcoin.
In the discussion on Reddit some people express disappointment and think that Musk, by focusing on Silk Road and similar episodes of illegal use of Bitcoin, shows that he doesn't get Bitcoin and its revolutionary aspects. It's possible that Must hasn't paid too much attention to Bitcoin so far - he is, after all, a very busy leader who wants to save the planet, take us to Mars, and then colonize the planets and live in outer space.
But I think Musk's observation is worth listening to. Some things shouldn't be illegal. Laws are a product of their times and evolve with time. All serious politicians and lawmakers know, though they seldom mention it in public, that some degree of creative experimentation outside of the laws, and even against the laws, must be tolerated to permit the evolution of the laws themselves and society as a whole. In other words, society needs bridges between legal and illegal.
What do you think? Comment below!
Images from Phil Stafford, Dong liu and Shutterstock.