Nelson’s vision incremented into actuality by another step thanks to 21.co. It’s focused on the core constituency at the moment, situated in the intersection of coders with 21 Bitcoin Computers, but it looks like a significant beta version of something much bigger.
Marketplaces and currencies tend to go well together. Paypal famously got to scale by becoming the currency of choice for eBay buyers and sellers. The US dollar grew to its current international predominance in part on the back of the large, integrated US market. And it thus stands to reason that a digital currency like Bitcoin might be well suited for a digital marketplace based on Bitcoin. […] But the exact nature of the products being sold in such a marketplace is important. Unlike a traditional physical market localized to a nation state, the digital currency community is dispersed around the world. Moreover, most users hold relatively small balances, especially relative to their reserves of fiat currency. Finally, the community has a disproportionate share of engineers and computer scientists relative to the general world population. […] Taking these constraints into account, we’ve built what we think of as the first micropayments marketplace: a marketplace that allows buyers and sellers to trade in digital goods using micropayments, initially specifically focused on APIs for developer use.
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