“Bitcoin has no utility, so it has no value.”

Initial claim:
@22:38 - 22:57

Peter Schiff: "If you [have] Bitcoin, you have nothing. If you divide it into two halves, you have half of nothing. So you're not "dividing" anything. You're not "storing" anything. When [someone] says, "it's a store of value": you must have value in order to store. Bitcoin has no value today - there's nothing you can do with it, so it doesn't make sense for you to store it for the future, because there'll be nothing you can do with it in the future either."

P1. For something to have value, it must have "utility" (i.e. the ability to accomplish something useful or practical).

P2. Bitcoin has no utility.

Therefore:

C3. Bitcoin has no value.

Evaluation:

P1. Dubious, but let's suppose we Agree. (I would tend to argue that anything can have value under the "right" conditions, but we can overlook that point for this Argument).

P2. Disagree. Bitcoin does, in fact, have utility (i.e. the ability to accomplish something useful or practical).

The Bitcoin network provides a solution to each of the following problems:

  1. How do I prove that I own something, especially in a country with tenuous titles to land or other property?
  2. How do I secure my purchasing power so that it can't be physically stolen or confiscated?
  3. How do I store my purchasing power so that my government cannot steal it via inflation (or bail-outs), and banks cannot steal it via bail-ins?
  4. How do I transfer ownership of my property to a family member or friend - possibly in another country - if one (or both) of us does not have a bank account?
  5. How do I transact when and where it's convenient for me (e.g. 24/7, anywhere there's internet, worldwide)?
  6. How can I participate in the global economy without trusting corruptible institutions (e.g. corporations, governments, or other intermediaries)?
  7. How do I protect my privacy and my data from faceless and remorseless entities?
  8. How do I buy a product or service that I believe to be safe and ethical, but that my bank, my government, or some other intermediary prohibits?

Of course, there are some existing solutions to each of these problems. The point here is not that Bitcoin is unique in solving these problems, but rather that Bitcoin is simply an "available alternative."

Since Bitcoin provides a solution to at least one problem, then Bitcoin has utility (i.e. the ability to accomplish something useful or practical).

Therefore:

C3. Disagree. Since Bitcoin has utility, Bitcoin has value.

What is the "fair value" of Bitcoin, and is it currently undervalued or overvalued? That question is - and always will be - answered by the sum total of the opinions of every person on the planet: i.e. "the market" and the current market price.

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