Ryan, CoinJar co-founder, hosted the first session of a bitcoin workshop series by the Melbourne Accelerator Program last week.

Ryan presented on the Bitcoin ecosystem and how its technology makes Bitcoin a secure way of transmitting value over the internet. The workshop’s highlight was the Q&A session – almost every single attendee had a question, even the event organisers. There were quite a few bitcoin-savvy folk in attendance, but here are my three simple key takeaways.

1. Bitcoin is doing better than other crypto-currencies because it was the first so it received a lot more attention.

Ryan believes a network effect is essential for any currency to succeed. Bitcoin has the strongest community with the most number of people using it and number of places that accept it.

2. Bitcoin is not expected to completely replace fiat currency, but it is a useful medium of exchange in our globalised world. After all, it is a borderless currency offering almost instantaneous transactions.

Compared to the US Dollar, the Bitcoin economy is much smaller, valued at $6 billion. Keep in mind though that Bitcoin has only been around since 2009.

Here’s a slide from Ryan’s presentation comparing the two – and it’s to scale.

Download the rest of Ryan’s presentation here.

3. The technology behind Bitcoin is revolutionary.

Between using digital signatures and blockchain technology, it is not easy to understand how Bitcoin works. For the everyday Australian, it’s still quite mysterious.

However, many of the attendees at Ryan’s workshop were familiar with bitcoin already so there was a great level of detail covered in the Q&A section. Ryan answered close to 15 detailed questions about the Bitcoin protocol, its future and benefits. In fact, there were so many follow up questions that Ryan stayed back to answer them one by one.

One of our key priorities at CoinJar is to make bitcoin understandable, accessible and useful for everyone. We’re so keen on it that we’ve absorbed a lot of the fees for our newest product and Australia’s first bitcoin EFTPOS card, CoinJar Swipe.

Our team loved the idea of taking something familiar in how people spend their money everyday and using it to show the efficiency of bitcoin. It also increases the liquidity of our platform, and gives our users more options on how to use their bitcoin.

Find out more and sign up to CoinJar DNA, our early access program.

Thank you to the organisers at Melbourne Accelerator Program for having Ryan and we’re looking forward to the next one! It would be great to see you there too.