As cryptocurrency enthusiasts look to build out the future of money, some are looking back for inspiration. Dee Hock, the Visa Inc.
founder who died this summer at 93, has a fervent fan club among people developing cryptocurrency products. They devour Hock’s writings about organizational theory and the notion of electronic value exchange, while drawing lessons about how Visa’s history can inform the future of digital finance.
“The general inspiration is really, how do you build and redefine money in such a profound way that the company that has done this is still so relevant half a century later?” said David Marcus, the chief executive of Lightspark, a company that’s looking to “extend the capabilities and utility” of bitcoin
See more: Next time you swipe your credit card, thank this legend There are also more specific parallels between Visa’s origins and modern cryptocurrency initiatives. While Hock designed and pushed for the structures and technologies that saved credit cards from the brink of failure, he also thought deeply about money in a way that went beyond cards — and in the bitcoin era, his writings sound prescient. “Money was not coin, currency, or credit card,” Hock wrote in “One From Many,” a book in which he chronicles the history of Visa. “That was form, not function. Money was anything customarily used as a measure of equivalent value and medium of exchange.” Furth …