According to Coindesk, bitcoin is currently worth about $13,000, but Business Insider reports that Morgan Stanley’s James Faucette suggest the true value of bitcoin might be zero.
Though Faucette’s report, entitled “Bitcoin Decrypted,” did not give an actual value for bitcoin, a section called “Attempts to Value Bitcoin” gave some insight into his thoughts on the currency and why it can be so difficult to determine bitcoin’s value.
The first point that he considered was whether or not bitcoin could be considered a true currency. He concluded that due to the fact that there is no interest rate attached to bitcoin, it could not be considered a true currency the way the dollar or the euro are considered currencies.
He did concede that bitcoin shared some similarities with precious materials such as gold, but noted that, unlike gold, bitcoin has no real-world applications. Gold is used in jewelry and electronics, whereas bitcoin exists only as data. That being said, he admitted that the cryptocurrency held some value due to the fact that investors were willing to give it value.
He discussed the value of bitcoin as a payment network and conceded that it did hold some value in that regard. However, he also noted there were some limitations to its usefulness. The two issues Faucette cited were the fact that it is a difficult payment network to scale and does not charge a transaction fee.
Bitcoin is accepted by a small number of companies, but, as Faucette points out with his chart, that number is small and getting smaller over time.
“If nobody accepts the technology for payment then the value would be 0,” Faucette said.
Of course, bitcoin currently does hold some value solely due to the fact that it can be exchanged for currency. However, the question that Faucette seems to be trying to address is whether or not bitcoin has intrinsic value. Is it truly worth anything or is its value constructed? To an extent, one could argue that fiat currencies such as the dollar hold no intrinsic value, but the faith and full credit of the United States government is still a very real thing, and there is no such institution supporting bitcoin.
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