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Tasso Inc. believes that these unpleasant pricks can be removed from the equation completely
Great. May I recommend the firing squad.
Bitcoin in of itself has no real-world value
Some economists such as Carl Menger make a compelling argument that there is no such thing as "intrinsic value":
Principles of Economics by Menger, 1871
"Value is thus nothing inherent in goods, no property of them, nor an independent thing existing only by itself. It is a judgement economizing men make about the importance of goods at their disposal for the maintenance of their lives and well-being. Hence value does not exist outside the consciousness of men."
A crude way of interpreting this is coming to the realization that if all humans were dead, nothing would have any value left. Value thus exists because humans assign value to goods, but value is not an intrinsic property of any good itself.
it has no worth of its own
That is false - the market value of a bitcoin is USD 236 currently. This value is established through supply and demand. The demand is created because value is assigned to bitcoin for various reasons:
- Speculative: people are buying and holding on to bitcoin because they believe its price will rise in the future;
- International money transfers: bitcoin can be used to do cheaper cross border money transfers. This is currently mainly useful in remittance markets where Bitcoin based remittance startups offer lower prices than for instance Western Union and MoneyGram;
- Trading: people who like to trade currencies and currency derivatives can do so very easily using bitcoin. This happens a lot in China;
- Payment processing: companies such as Coinbase and BitPay let merchants accept bitcoin at significantly lower costs than accepting credit cards or PayPal. These benefits are sometimes handed back to the buyers in the form of discounts, which in turn increases the demand for bitcoin.
it doesn't have any strong central backer with an authority to reinforce it like national currencies do
This is the entire point of Bitcoin - it can not be manipulated by a central authority. This is exactly where bitcoin derives its speculative value from - the believe that a currency that cannot be manipulated (by means of unpredictable inflation or by manipulating interest rates) is a better form of currency than existing fiat currencies.
Right now it has some vigorous supporters, but those are truly very, very few in number
Citation needed. Hundreds of millions of venture capital and hundreds of bitcoin companies say otherwise.
Contemptuous lights flashed flashed across the computer's console. -- Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy