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"Real" things have uses that are independent of perceived value (often they correlate but not necessarily, as you say, things are worth what we agree they are). eg. I want gold to make connectors for my stereo, if the whole world decides gold is worthless I don't care, it still conducts signal.
Money doesn't have any use beyond it's perceived value. It's usefulness *is* its value, if the whole world decides it's worthless, it also becomes useless.