What underpins the value of Bitcoin?

Unlike fiat currencies, Bitcoin is a decentralised digital currency that is not subject to the control of a government or central bank. Its value is not defined by an entity but is derived from consumer confidence. But what underpins this trust?

 

Despite the differences, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin share some similarities with the traditional fiat currencies we are all used to. Therefore, it is important to understand what gives fiat money its value before analysing why there are many people who see Bitcoin as a store of value.

Long gone is a monetary system in which the value of currencies is underpinned by their convertibility to gold, and since President Richard Nixon assembled his team at Camp David to announce that he was suspending the dollar’s convertibility to gold. The dollar went from being a currency that based its value on the existence of a gold counterpart, to being a fiat currency, with its value derived from the relationship between supply and demand and the stability of the issuing government.

Thus, governments and central banks can create money to expand their money supply and stimulate spending through economic mechanisms without worrying about having sufficient gold reserves, at least this is the theory. Therefore, although these fiat currencies are not backed by tangible assets, their value is given by the collective confidence in the currencies. On the other hand, the monetary policies of governments and central banks, as well as economic developments, can cause this confidence and the value of the currency to fluctuate.

 

Decentralisation, security, and limited supply

The Bitcoin monetary ecosystem is fully decentralised, i.e. no central authority regulates the monetary base, eliminating the need for intermediaries and giving users more control over their financial transactions. By eliminating central authorities, the creation of currency is democratised, giving more power and freedom to the user community.

The creation of Bitcoins follows detailed rules in a very strict protocol that is based on blockchain. This blockchain technology uses cryptographic algorithms and makes it more secure than physical currencies and highly immune to crises. Moreover, if the user wants to make a transfer or a payment, he has total freedom, neither the bank, VISA, nor Mastercard have to authorise it. These characteristics, and the fact that thousands of merchants already accept Bitcoin as payment for goods and services, have given it a helpful value.

On the other hand, since its introduction, a maximum limit of 21 million coins that can be mined was established, which introduced an element of intrinsic scarcity that also contributes to its value, when we consider the relationship between price and scarcity. This is why many people regard Bitcoin as a store of value, despite its volatility. Global regulation of crypto-assets and competition with other digital currencies will shape the future of Bitcoin, but ultimately it will be people’s trust that will ensure, or not, its existence.

 

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  1. Jordi MorenoJordi Moreno says:
    Jordi

    Descentralitzaió

  2. Manuel Bullich BuenoManuel Bullich Bueno says:
    Manel

    Un article molt interesant.
    Merci

  3. Joan Santacruz CarlúsJoan Santacruz Carlús says:
  4. Pere Maria EstremPere Maria Estrem says:
    Pere Maria

    Relativament entès…

    • Jordi CollJordi Coll says:
      Jordi

      Sí, jo també ho penso, perquè sí a nivell personal li donem valor de zero, doncs, serà zero, més que res per la falta de confiança… Moltes gràcies pel teu comentari, Pere!!!

      8 months ago
  5. Francesc Estafanell PujolFrancesc Estafanell Pujol says:
    Francesc de Borja

    Simple i aclaridor. Només la confiança és el valor

    • Jordi CollJordi Coll says:
      Jordi

      Doncs sí, Francesc, és un tema de confiança, res més, i moltes gràcies pel teu comentari.

      8 months ago

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