I had a chance to speak with Rob, the co-founder of Bitcoin Web Hosting, which is a site that provides services like hosting your website, VPS, dedicated servers, etc. and you pay with Bitcoin. This helps with keeping your anonymity intact. Rob is an entrepreneur and Bitcoin enthusiast and he has some very interesting thoughts to share about the crypto-currency universe and its use in small businesses. Read on!
BTCGeek: Give us a little background about yourself.
Rob: I am originally from Northern California, lived in the Bay Area, Frisco, Hayward; stayed in Oakland for a bit. I also spent a good deal of time north of Sac in a small town called Chico. It’s a small party town, plenty of good times, although it’s pretty slow paced – and it’s hot as hell during the summer.
I went to school at CSU, with a focus on Business, and ended up leaving after a year and a half. I really didn’t think I was learning anything that I couldn’t learn on my own, so I left. I had plenty of friends that had Bachelor’s and were still working dead end jobs and didn’t really see the value. A lot of people told me I was an idiot, but you know what? I don’t have no debt and they’re still trying to pay theirs off working for someone else. Go figure.
BTCGeek: What was the philosophy behind Bitcoin Web Hosting and how did you get started?
BTCGeek: What fascinates you about the whole Bitcoin idea?
Rob: What fascinated me the most about it was that some unknown person had a single idea can have an impact around the world to the point where it is actually being used for commerce and that kind of really speaks to the power of the internet. It’s like the whole open-source community where they tinker around with things and make them better.
BTCGeek: Do you see any drawbacks to using Bitcoin or any impediments to its mainstream adoption?
Rob: I am fully behind it. How I look at it, the volatility, although I do speculate on them. It really needs to be broken down in a way where the average Joe can understand it. There are lot of things in there that isn’t going to appeal or be understood by a broad spectrum of people. Maybe it’s a good thing, maybe it’s a bad thing but regular people off the street, they don’t really know about Bitcoin.
BTCGeek: Where is the big push going to come from? The tech entrepreneurs?
Rob: I think with most things – you can even talk about iPhones, tablets, Google glass, any type of new innovation that is right on the cusp of something new, it’s always the tech crowd that adopts it first and they are the ones who make things mainstream. I am not saying the volatility or not a lot of people knowing about it is a bad thing per se, it’s just the natural thing. Especially with the new currency thing not controlled by a government, it’s a monumental thing in history.
BTCGeek: What do you think of alt-coins? Any of them promising in your mind?
Rob: I wouldn’t say I am an expert on Bitcoin and certainly no expert on alt-coins but with alt-coins I look at it like this – because Bitcoin hasn’t reached a critical mass yet, and because there are so many things to deal with such as regulation, we need major advocates, even lobbyists for Bitcoin who can get things moving. I think alt-coins kind of distract from Bitcoin because all these resources and all this time spent on creating alt-coins could be spent on making Bitcoin a better system and protocol and getting it into the hands of people.
BTCGeek: But don’t you think alt-coins are easier to experiment with considering it is very hard to experiment with the Bitcoin protocol because of its size? Maybe we can have more innovation in the crypto-currency space with alt-coins, no?
Rob: Yeah, that was actually a conversation I had with another person and in that regard, I do see it as a good thing because you can’t just do any types of wild experimentation with something that is already in use. Litecoin does sound interesting to us.
BTCGeek: Do you have any plans for introducing Litecoin for your business?
Rob: It’s something that we are kinda looking at and watching it and learning more about Litecoin but it is not something that we are ready to jump into yet, so not a yes, not a no.
BTCGeek: Tell us a little more about your business and how you operate.
Rob: We’ve got VPS locations across the US, UK, Ireland and dedicated servers in Romania, Germany, UK and US.
BTCGeek: Do you have any other startup experience or is this your first time?
Rob: I would say it’s my first startup in a sense but my first company was Status Engage. I am still doing that as well. It’s my first startup and my first partnership with someone else.
BTCGeek: How hard was it on the technical side of things to integrate Bitcoin into your site?
Rob: I would say it was as easy as setting up anything else. We use BitPay as our processor. Another friend of mine in the travel industry who does wine tours and world travel tours and he’s going to be accepting Bitcoins as well.
BTCGeek: Can you share any numbers with us in terms of how many websites you’re hosting?
Rob: I’d rather keep a lot of that private. We’ve got really good feedback and have got quite a few customers in the VPS space. We also partnered with Andrew Bently, the author of Bitcoin Unveiled and have a sweepstakes going on right now for another week.
BTCGeek: Do you have an active Bitcoin community in San Diego?
Rob: There are small meetup groups. I bring it up with everybody I meet and I haven’t yet met many people who really know about this.
BTCGeek: Bitcoin can tie in closely to people’s political beliefs; how do you describe your political beliefs?
Rob: Well political beliefs wise, I think politics is just a mess these days. That’s why I think Bitcoin is a good thing because people should have an option to have an alternative. I think borders, nationalities, races and even religion do more to divide people than bring them together. Politics wise, I think the government is too big and too overreaching.
Just wanted to say I enjoyed the interview! I had a good time talking about Bitcoin, and learning more about your background and BTCGeek. Hope you’ve been doing good, Sid!