Wait, where'd my context go?
You couldn't have picked a worse example. A coin (of any fiat currency) has value entirely because of the banking industry.In order to do the laundry I need to put some banking industries into the machine. Good thing I have several banking industries in my pocket. --- There is clearly a difference between the object and the establishment behind the object.
You want to claim that I'm talking you out of context, but yet you were not addressing the the issue I was originally pointing out. Redyoshi repeatedly refered to -a- bitcoin not having intrinsic value. -A- bitcoin. Not the bitcoin network. -A- bitcoin. As in the singular object.
It's like if someone where complaining about the penny, and saying how pennies are essentially worth nothing. In fact, pennies are worth less then nothing because they cost more to produce then their monetary value, and they do not effectively do the job currency is meant to do: facilitate trade.
Your reply to redyoshi would be like someone replying to the above with "The banking industry isn't worthless". It totally misses the mark of what was being said. Just as you have totally missed the mark on what redyoshi was saying.
Ah, there it is. If you're going to quote me out of context, you should at least remove all the context. As it is, I'm left wondering why you're responding to a qualified statement as though it were unqualified. I don't even disagree that things that don't exist can't have value, I just don't see how it applies to my out-of-context statement. (And it definitely doesn't apply if you take my statement in context, in which I explained exactly how bitcoins do exist and how they get value.)
A bitcoin simply does not exist as a singular object.EXACTLY! And something that doesn't actually exist cannot have intrinsic value.
We commonly think of money as singular objects. And the very name "Bitcoins" supports conceptually thinking of them as singular objects. And like I said above, redyoshi was refering to -a- bitcoin. Not to "bitcoins" but to -a- bitcoin. Clearly referencing it as a singular object. Yet they do not exist as singular objects. And therefore, -a- bitcoin, the singular object, has no intrinsic value.
By contrast, a physical coin DOES exist. It does have some measure of intrinsic value even if the banking establishment behind it were to cease to exist. In fact, we have actual examples of this very thing in coins from ancient fallen civilizations. They do not have the monetary value they had within those civilizations but they still retain value in the materials they were made with. Plus they've gained historic value.
Maybe the seller intends to give them back to the same person in exchange for something else at a later date? Or maybe he thinks bitcoins will be more widely accepted in the future, even if nobody else accepts them now? Or maybe he just wants them as a conversation piece.
This is seriously stretching things. Is it really that hard for you to admit when you are wrong?
Okay. I should have specified that gold jewellery is a luxury good. But that doesn't change the fact that gold is more valuable than stainless steel because of its use as money.
Whether or not gold is more valuable than stainless steel is irrelevant. The point is that gold would be useful even if it did not have monetary value.
Bitcoin is the network protocol.
That's even worse. If they made the protocol, then obviously it is within the realm of possibility for them to make a new protocol. Unlikely, maybe. But you'll note that my complaint was not that they would
change it, only that could
change it, and thus you were overstating your case when you where claiming that NOTHING could ever change it.
Bitcoin has been attacked from all directions for over four years. There is over a billion dollars at stake. Exchanges have been hacked. Money has been stolen. Nasty bugs have been uncovered in the software (and quickly fixed). But nobody has ever succeeded in changing the protocol. Of all the things that could potentially happen, this is not one of them.
Completely and totally irrelevant. Neither of us were talking about people hacking into it. You specifically contrasted it with the chairman of the federal reserve choosing to have more money printed. Thus what we are discussing here is the establishment behind the money deciding to make more of it. Whether people can make counterfeits is a completely different topic.
Besides, if we go back to redyoshi's comment you were replying to, he said:
It used to be the case that the US dollar was backed by gold (you could exchange USD for gold at a fixed rate). That is no longer the case. The worth of money in use today *is* based on people's trust in it, in essence. Bitcoin isn't actually different from what's done now in that respect.
Notice those last three words? "in that respect". Redyoshi was pointing out one aspect where the US dollar and bitcoins are the same. He was not saying that the two are completely the same, only that bitcoins and the US dollar share the similarity of not being backed by anything of substance, and instead the value coming from people's trust in it. So even if you were right on this "they can never change it" nonsense, (which I maintain that you are overstating things with that), you still were attempting to cloud the discussion on what you perceived was an attack on your precious bitcoins.
If they are really that great, then there is no need to get defensive about it.