Some people are visionairs. Serial entrepreneur Wences Casares created Argentina’s first internet provider and later sold his online brokerage firm to Banco Santander for $750 million in 2000. He was 25 years old.
Now 40, Casares is a star of the Silicon Valley bitcoin scene, but his Argentinian roots inform much about him. The son of a cattle rancher, he sees the world in literary and philosophical terms, speaking of the arc of human existence over thousands of years.
Bitcoin has had a rough time lately, with its slumping value and high-profile flameouts, but Casares has no doubt that the digital currency will prevail. First, it promises efficiency and equality of access unlike anything the world has known. Also, he argues, technology has already created a leapfrog effect in the developing world. As cellphone usage shows, billions of people worldwide have cash but exist outside of the traditional banking and credit systems. Bitcoin unleashes that power.