Why I love the OpenDime!


Innovation doesn’t happen overnight

One of the most difficult things in a new industry, is to truly innovate.

When a new industry emerges, you will often see that the first use cases will blindly follow its predecessor in form.

The first cars closely mimicked horse carriages, even though it certainly did not turn out to be the most efficient form for the new technology.

Duryea automobile (1893-94) first operated in 1893 with a friction drive, one cylinder, four stroke, four horsepower, weight 750 pounds. --- Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

Likewise, the first mobile phones tended to retain features native to the landline phone that were not directly useful to the new tech. They have evolved quite a bit over the years:

Mobile phones over the years

This is not to disparage the pioneers who created these first versions, far from it. It takes time to see something new on its own terms. And once that has happened, you see completely new and undreamt of things emerge.

When the public internet became available in the nineties, no one could have completely foreseen the impact it would have on our world. The potential was recognised by a choice view, but one can make a good case that even they couldn’t have foretold Facebook, Google and the qualitative change in communication that has gone with them.

Bitcoin is no different

For Bitcoin, this is no different. Most of the use cases we now see for Bitcoin are still based on a view it is somehow akin to “money” as we know it.

And we all know that for money you need “wallets” and you need “vaults”, hence all software that is created for it tends to echo those concepts.

Of course, Bitcoin doesn’t really have all those things. They are useful ways to relate to what is actually happening.

And they can also stifle our creativity in thinking up new ways to use it.

It’s for this reason that I just love the OpenDime.


The OpenDime is a USB-stick “hardware wallet” that can only be opened once. You can add a Bitcoin balance to it and give it to someone else. Until the break the middle pin, you can only see the balance, but not spend it. Once it’s broken, the device will display the private key once inserted and the balance can be spent.

So, why is this new?

A lot of people I have talked to do not think this is very special. However, I really think it is.

OpenDime represents a new way of thinking about Bitcoin: you don’t just store it on a wallet spend it on the network: you can also use it as a direct full reserve for cash.

An OpenDime could be described as a dollar bill that actually has a small safe attached that covers its face value!

You do not need to unlock the dime for it to be of value, because the value can be read easily with an app, thus proving the funds are available should one wish.

IF you want access, you can get it, but because you know this to be true, you don’t need to.The OpenDime is a true store of value and can easily be exchanged.

What is even cooler is that the OpenDime can be transacted with without performing a transaction on the blockchain.

To me, this is NEW. The OpenDime represents a shift in how you think about Bitcoin. It’s not “just a digital coin”. It shows it can perform the function a bank performed better and at much smaller scale very efficiently.

I am hoping to see a lot more initiatives like OpenDime. Bitcoin does not need to mimic anything. It is its own thing.


Bas Wisselink
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