Here’s The Answer To Paul Krugman’s Difficult Question About Bitcoin

answertokrugman30 Dec 2013 / Seattle pi – Paul Krugman set off a new firestorm this weekend with a post about Bitcoin that asked a fairly simple question: What gives a bitcoin its worth?

The post drew a ton of angry reaction from the Internet community and tech people for a couple of reasons.

One is that this question — why is a bitcoin worth anything — is a difficult question to answer. The other is that the post is bizarrely titled “Bitcoin Is Evil” even though the post doesn’t say that. But on the Internet, people don’t read past the headline and so, outrage!

But back to the question of trying to establish an “intrinsic value” for Bitcoin. It’s not simple. The dollar has intrinsic value because you need dollars to pay taxes in the United States. The government accepts no other currency. So if you’re going to engage in any kind of commerce whatsoever, you need to use dollars. This creates real value for the currency. Gold has real value because it’s shiny and can be used for jewelry. Other commodities get their value from industrial purposes.

But what about Bitcoin? If you ask Bitcoin believers why a bitcoin is worth anything at all, they will tell you about how amazing the technology is, and how it’s “programmable” and how cryptography and pseudoanonymity are so great. But none of these are very satisfying answers…… Read more

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