From a bitcoin reality check; also see a16z Podcast: Blockchain vs./and Bitcoin
"One threat to bitcoin is that banks could render it superfluous by co-opting the blockchain, its main innovation. That’s the encrypted database, distributed among users’ computers, enabling transactions to be recorded without the help of a central authority. If big companies set up distributed databases to transfer dollars or euros quickly and cheaply enough, there’d be no need for digital currencies. “Blockchain is like any other technology,” JPMorgan Chase Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in November at the Fortune Global Forum. “If it is cheaper, effective, works, and secure, then we are going to use it.”Bitcoin Can’t Escape the Dark Side of the Internet - Bloomberg Business
Meanwhile, the currency seems destined to remain the stuff that get-rich-quick dreams are made of. Fred Ehrsam, co-founder of the bitcoin exchange Coinbase, believes in the currency’s future. For now, though, he says, “Most people who are buying and selling bitcoin don’t fully understand it. They have it ingrained in their heads that it’s just going to keep going up.”"