Hopefully a few sound bites you can use below:
Q1. What does Bitcoin mean to you?
Bitcoin is a potentially revolutionary technology very much in its infancy due its complexity, much as the Internet was in the early 90's. Consider that with Bitcoin every person who mines Bitcoins is
a central bank and transaction clearing house. It is a Anarcho-Capitalist and Libertarian dream come true.
Q2. What do you think of Bitcoin's potential future?
Dim, unless significant convenience, security, and trust issues are resolved, or alternatively if there is a major global crisis with government-backed fiat currencies. The key issues are that the exchanges could easily be closed and confiscated by any government under money laundering, anti-terrorism, or banking deposit laws. If it did become very successful it would be competing directly against privately-held central banks, which governments have given monopoly of currency issuance to.
As a historical example, central bankers don't like gold because its price is an indication of how fiat currencies are being debased. People trust gold in times of crisis. Check out "The Golden Constant" which reviews gold's surprising constant purchasing power for 500 years of Western history:http://www.gold.org/download/pub_archive/pdf/GoldCons_Summary_Final3_US_med.pdf
However, it is rather difficult to transact with physical gold over the Internet. GoldMoney.com recently stopped inter-account transfers, likely due to FACTA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_and_Accurate_Credit_Transactions_Act
Bitcoin is currently flying under the radar because it is not legally defined and governments have bigger problems to worry about. If the Bitcoin economy was a US company it wouldn't rank in the Russell 2000 small cap. index. Remember what happened with Wikileaks donations via Visa, Mastercard and Paypal once it came to the attention of the US Government.
Q3. What are the best uses of Bitcoin that you've seen so far?
It has to be Silk Road - the eBay of illicit services and products. As an enabler to extend the black and grey markets across the Internet worldwide it is a very interesting development. About 1 billion people have entered the middle class in Asia and South America. Few have credit cards. Have a look at this article which estimates the unlicensed unregulated market in products and services worldwide to be more than $10T in size: http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/12/mf_neuwirth_qa/
What I am waiting for is seamless and secure NFC wireless proximity payments between smart phones and Point Of Sale (POS) systems. Bitcoin is ideal for micro-payments due to its low transaction costs.
Q4. Do you think Bitcoin will become a mainstream currency or investment asset type or both? Why/why not?
No and no. It is not liquid, secure, or trusted by the non-technical and investing public. I did a correlation analysis between weekly Google Trends for the keyword "bitcoin" and the price of Bitcoin in 2011 and found a 0.84 positive correlation. Bitcoins have value only due to (hacker/nerd/geek) sentiment. With that said, the price has been surprisingly resilient with an annualised inflation rate of around 37%.
Q5. Does Bitcoin need to be improved? How?
Security, trust, and user-friendly interfaces. Also, if just one government recognised Bitcoin as a global currency it would provide for a level of legitimacy that all government-backed currencies have now. The Bitcoin protocol itself is surprisingly robust. It is the interfaces to the real world (e.g. the exchanges) that are the weak point.
Q6. Any other thoughts on Bitcoin?
By some with pizza money, encrypt the wallet, and store it securely online, out of reach of the TSA and IRS as a nest egg. Don't you wish you bought gold in 1971, or MSFT in 1986?