A common argument is that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have no real value because they have no backing asset with intrinsic value. Call these kinds of cryptocurrencies “Intangibles.” The conclusion of this arguemnt is that Intangibles are really just thinkly-veiled Ponzi schemes, since their only value is that in trading them to suckers for fiat currencies. I disagree with this line of argument, and in this article I defend the following theses in refutation:

  • I. If a cryptocurrency is backed by something with intrinsic value, then it suffers undesired complications in its public valuation.
  • II. An Intangible derives value through the utility it provides without relation to specified backing assets, similarly to fiat currencies.

Contentious Complications

Cyclic Evaluation