Comment: The "value" of Bitcoin.

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The "value" of Bitcoin.

As has been noted elsewhere one bitcoin could be said to be the nominal equivalent of one million dollars, or indeed any other decimal currency consisting of one currency unit divided into one hundred sub-units.

This is not a value as such, merely a way of conceptualising the unit of account. If we want to come up with some kind of value then it would be useful to perform the same exercise relative to gold which most members here believe to be a store of value.

At the present time the total weight of above ground gold in existence is estimated to be approximately 210 billion grams. Coincidentally, or perhaps intentionally, the total permitted issuance of bitcoins will be 21 million. It can be readily seen that each full bitcoin is therefore the equivalent of 10,000 grams of gold at today's estimated store of above ground gold. At today's relatively low price of $40.28 per gram this would give a single bitcoin a value of $402,800.

As to whether Bitcoin is Money, I personally believe that, all other things being equal, it can be viewed as such. Bitcoin represents a complete system of exchange not merely a medium of exchange. It is the product of Labour upon Land in an economic sense. This makes it a marketable commodity cum service and in the market it will be assigned a value relative to other goods and services on offer there. Since it is a digital commodity cum service it is not subject to wear and tear and as such has a near infinite marginal utility assuming only the continued existence of some kind of electronic network.

Bitcoin is subject nevertheless to all the other risks associated with having a market value just as are precious metals or any other Money substitute. It also has peculiar risks associated with its method of production and its dependence on an electronic network for its existence.

It is in assessing these risks that I personally decided to avoid buying into Bitcoin which I could have done when it was trading below $5.00. I do not regret my decision since it was made for sound reasons and for all I know any bitcoins I purchased may have already disappeared into the ether from whence they came. It was my speculative plan at that time to accumulate bitcoins and at some time in the future to exchange them for precious metals since there are dealers offering to do this. It was a good plan but my risk analysis prevented its execution.

"Jesus answered them: 'Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.'" (John 8:34-36)