What’s amazing to me is how passionately people are against a pice of technology.
I mean just look at the moderation of this thread! People are up voting repetitive posts about Enron, and tulips and generally uninformative fear while not upvoting objective explanations of the technology, or economics. It’s bizarre. People say things like /. is pushing bitcoins. Clearly it’s not. Every up voted comment is antagonistic towards the technology.
You act like I’m trying to pull a fast one. I am not. I’m trying to explain what bitcoin is and why/how it works in exactly the same way that I would try to explain public key cryptography, or java script programming. It's like I'm saying "You don’t think public key cryptography will work, ok well in your mind what’s the failure mode of public key cryptography?"
After one understands how bitcoins work then by all means argue the finer points of why it will stop working in the future.
Saying something like everyone might just suddenly stop wanting to use it is perhaps a valid failure, but it’s silly. It’s like saying Apple might fail because people might suddenly stop liking Apple products. It might be more compelling if there are some clever indicators as to why this would happen, but you didn’t provide any. The fact is right now bitcoin is popular. Maybe not to you, but that’s not an argument for why they will fail, some people don’t like Apple products. So what? As long as there is even a single bitcoin node on the internet then bitcoins will continue to exist.
As far as I can tell people are having a vicegeral reaction to it. Almost all arguments against it are emotional, not factual. It *feels* like a scam, or a pyramid scheme or a new religion or just something is wrong about it. Well I agree it does feel that way at first, but when you look into it and understand it better you realize it is not those things. It may have flaws, but those are not them.
I also agree that bitcoin might be experiencing a valuation bubble right now but so what? We didn’t stop using houses because there was a housing bubble (or even tulips for that matter). So the value will correct in the future, no big surprise there, free markets always do that.
Even if you never hold bitcoin (and I generally don’t think people should speculate on bitcoin), it is a useful piece of technology.
And by the way I am not even remotely equivocating about the facts, previously I was just rhetorically asking the question: “Could bitcoin store value?” and the answer is a fact: yes they can because they currently are doing exactly that.
What is theatrical are all these emotional arguments that they will stop holding value in the future, and so far no one has put forward a lucid well informed argument for why that would happen. The non lucid or ill-informed arguments have all been addressed and disproven with proofs provided in the various FAQs.
Here are other useful facts:
Bitcoin uses the same cryptography as the banking industry and the secure web.
Transactions are instant, they only take 10+ minutes before you can start spending the money. They are much faster then credit card transactions that take 30 days before you can start spending the money.
They work around the world, and thereby enable business to easily have a world wide audience.
The costs of moving them around is very low.
No one can freeze, or take your money.
You can use these features without ‘holding’ bitcoin, simply convert to the currency of choice immediately upon receipt or before sending.
Never mind the current or future value of bitcoin on a purely technical level these are really interesting and useful features.