Why Do Bitcoins Have Value?

Bitcoin ( BTCUSD ) is frequently referred to as digital currentness and as an alternate to cardinal bank-controlled decree money. however, the latter is valuable because it is issued by a monetary authority and is widely used in an economy. Bitcoin ‘s network is decentralized, and the cryptocurrency is not used much in retail transactions .

One can argue that Bitcoin ‘s value is similar to that of precious metals. Both are limited in quantity and have select habit cases. precious metals like gold are used in industrial applications, while Bitcoin ‘s fundamental technology, the blockchain, has some applications across the fiscal services industries. Bitcoin ‘s digital birthplace means that it might even serve as a culture medium for retail transactions one day .

Key Takeaways

  • Currencies have value because they can function as a store of value and a unit of exchange. They also demonstrate six key attributes to enable their use in an economy.
  • The definition of value in a currency has changed over centuries from physical attributes to the velocity of its use in an economy.
  • Bitcoin demonstrates some attributes for a currency, but its main source of value lies in its restricted supply and increasing demand.
  • If the price of one bitcoin were to reach $514,000, Bitcoin’s market capitalization would reach approximately 15% of the global currency market.


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Why traditional Currencies Have Value

There are six winder attributes to a useful currentness : scarcity, divisibility, acceptability, portability, lastingness, and resistance to counterfeiting ( uniformity ). These qualities allow a currency to find far-flung use in an economy. They besides limit monetary inflation and ensure that the currencies are plug and safe to use .

currency is utilitarian if it works as a store of respect or, to put it differently, if it can faithfully maintain its relative prize over clock time. Throughout history, many societies used commodities or cute metals as methods of requital because they were considered to have a relatively stable measure .

rather than carry around awkward quantities of cocoa beans, gold, or early early forms of money, societies finally turned to mint currency as an alternative. The first such currencies used metals like gold, silver, and tan, which had long shelf lives and little gamble of depreciation .

Assigning value to currencies is a matter of argue. initially, their prize came from intrinsic physical properties. For example, gold ‘s rate comes from the costs of origin and sealed qualitative factors, such as luster and purity subject .

In the modern age, government-issued currencies much take the form of paper money, which does not have the same intrinsic scarcity as cherished metals. For a hanker time, the value of paper money was determined by the amount of gold backing it. even today, some currencies are “ representative, ” meaning that each coin or note can be directly exchanged for a specify measure of a commodity .

The mind of a currentness ‘s value began changing in the seventeenth hundred. big scots economist John Law wrote that money—currency issued by a government or monarch— ” is not the prize for which goods are exchanged, but the respect by which they are exchanged. ” In other words, the measure of a currentness is a measure of its demand and its ability to stimulate deal and business within and outside an economy .

This thinking hews closely to the mod credit theory for monetary systems. In this theory, commercial banks create money ( and value for currencies ) by lending to borrowers, who use the money to purchase goods and cause currency to circulate in an economy .

After countries abandoned the amber standard in an campaign to curb concerns about gold supplies, many ball-shaped currencies are now classified as decree. Fiat currency is issued by a government and not backed by any commodity, but rather by the religion that individuals and governments have that others will accept that currentness .

today, most major global currencies are decree. many governments and societies have found that decree currency is the most durable and least susceptible to passing of value over time. The measure of decree currencies is a affair of their demand and supply. The U.S. dollar is considered valuable because the world ‘s biggest economy uses it and it dominates the flow of payments in international trade.

The Value of Digital Currencies

Any discussion about the value of Bitcoin must address the nature of currency. Gold was utilitarian as currency due to its built-in forcible attributes, but it was besides cumbersome. Paper money was an improvement, but it requires manufacturing and memory and lacks the mobility of digital currencies. The digital development of money has moved away from physical attributes, and towards more functional characteristics .

hera ‘s an example. During the fiscal crisis, Ben Bernanke, who was then the governor of the Federal Reserve, appeared on CBS ‘ 60 Minutes and explained how the means “ rescued ” insurance giant American International Group ( AIG ) and other fiscal institutions from bankruptcy by lending money to them. Puzzled, the interviewer asked whether the Fed had manufactured billions of dollars. That was n’t quite the lawsuit .

” so, to lend to a bank, we simply use the calculator to mark up the size of the report that they have with the Fed, ” explained Bernanke. In other words, the Fed “ manufactured ” U.S. dollars through entries in its ledger. This ability to “ mark up ” an report exemplifies the nature of currencies in their digital shape. It has implications for the speed and use of currencies because it simplifies and streamlines transactions involving them .

Why Does Bitcoin Have Value ?

Bitcoin does not have the back of politics authorities, nor does it have a system of mediator banks to propagate its use. A decentralize net consisting of independent nodes is responsible for approving consensus-based transactions in the Bitcoin network. There is no decree authority in the human body of a government or other monetary authority to act as a counterparty to hazard and make lenders unharmed, sol to speak, if a transaction goes awry .

The cryptocurrency does display some attributes of a decree currency arrangement, however. It is scarce, and can not be counterfeited. The merely manner that one would be able to create a counterfeit bitcoin would be by executing what is known as a double-spend. This refers to a position in which a drug user “ spends ” or transfers the same bitcoin in two or more separate settings, effectively creating a double record .

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What makes double-spending improbable, though, is the size of the Bitcoin network. A alleged 51 % attack, in which a group of miners theoretically control more than half of all network power, would be necessary. By controlling a majority of all network might, this group could dominate the remainder of the network to falsify records. however, such an attack on Bitcoin would require an submerge measure of effort, money, and computing office, thereby rendering the possibility extremely unlikely .

But Bitcoin frequently fails the utility test because people rarely use it for retail transactions. The main source of rate for Bitcoin is its scarcity. The argument for Bitcoin ‘s value is similar to that of gold—a commodity that shares characteristics with the cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency is limited to a measure of 21 million .

Bitcoin is much more divisible than decree currencies. One bitcoin can be divided into up to eight decimal places, with constituent units called satoshis. Most decree currencies can lone be divided into two decimal places for everyday use .

If Bitcoin ‘s price continues to rise over time, users with a bantam fraction of a bitcoin will still be able to make transactions with the cryptocurrency. The development of side channels, such as the Lightning Network, may far boost the value of Bitcoin ‘s economy .


Bitcoin ‘s rate is a function of this scarcity. As the issue diminishes, demand for cryptocurrency has increased. Investors are clamoring for a slice of the ever-increasing profit pie that results from trading its specify issue .

Bitcoin besides has limited utility like gold, the applications for which are chiefly industrial. Bitcoin ‘s underlie engineering, called blockchain, is tested and used as a payment arrangement. One of its most effective use cases is in remittances across borders to bump up speed and drive down costs. Some countries, like El Salvador, are betting that Bitcoin ‘s engineering will evolve sufficiently to become a culture medium for casual transactions .

marginal price of production

Another hypothesis is that Bitcoin does have intrinsic value based on the borderline price of producing one bitcoin. mine for bitcoins involves a great softwood of electricity, and this imposes a real cost on miners. According to economic theory, in a competitive marketplace among producers all making the same product, the sell price of that product will tend towards its fringy monetary value of production. empiric evidence has shown that the price of a bitcoin tends to follow the cost of production .

monetarist Theories

Monetarists try to value bitcoin as they would money, using the supply of money, its speed, and the value of goods produced in an economy. The simplest way to this access would be to look at the current global value of all mediums of substitution and of all stores of value comparable to Bitcoin and then calculate the value of Bitcoin ‘s projected percentage. The overriding medium of exchange is government-backed money, and for our exemplary, we will focus entirely on that. roughly speaking, the money add ( M1 ) in the U.S. was worth more than $ 20 trillion as of the end of 2021 .

Assuming this total remains stable, if Bitcoin were to achieve 15 % of this evaluation, its market capitalization in nowadays ‘s money would be approximately $ 3 trillion. With all 21 million bitcoins in circulation, that would put the price of 1 bitcoin at roughly $ 143,000.

El Salvador became the first nation to make Bitcoin legal tender on September 7, 2021. The cryptocurrency can be used for any transaction where the business can accept it. The U.S. dollar continues to be El Salvador ’ s basal currency.

The Challenges of Valuing Bitcoin

One of the biggest issues is Bitcoin ‘s status as a shop of value. Bitcoin ‘s utility as a shop of rate depends on how well it works as a medium of exchange. If Bitcoin does not achieve success as a culture medium of switch over, it will not be utilitarian as a memory of value .

passim much of its history, bad interest has been the elementary driver of Bitcoin ‘s rate. Bitcoin has exhibited the characteristics of a burp with drastic price run-ups and a fad of media attention. This is likely to decline as Bitcoin continues to see greater mainstream adoption, but the future is uncertain .

Difficulties surrounding cryptocurrency storage and exchange spaces besides challenge Bitcoin ‘s utility and transferability. In late years, hacks, thefts, and fraud have plagued digital currency.

Why Do Some People Believe Bitcoins Are Worthless?

Like any asset or thing of value, the price that people are uncoerced to pay for Bitcoins is a socially-agreed upon level that is besides based on supply and demand. Because Bitcoins are virtual, only existing within calculator networks, some people have a heavily time grasping that Bitcoins are scarce and that they have a cost of output. Because of this unwillingness to accept that digital traces can hold value in this way, they remain convert that Bitcoins are worthless. Others who understand the Bitcoin system agree it is valuable .

Are Bitcoins Fairly Valued?

The market price of Bitcoin is highly volatile and subject to large price swings. As a resultant role, the market monetary value at any given time may vary wildly from its average or intrinsic measure. calm, over time, oversold markets tend to rebound and overbought markets cool off. therefore, it is impossible to say at any given moment whether Bitcoins are reasonably valued without the benefit of hindsight .

Is Bitcoin Money?

While Bitcoin has respective money-like features, economists and regulators remain unconvinced that Bitcoin presently acts as money. This is because relatively few transactions are conducted in Bitcoins and very few things are denominated in Bitcoins. While people may trade Bitcoin in large volume and transfer value across the network, little commercial activity inactive takes place .

How Much Does it Cost to Produce 1 BTC?

The cost to produce one bitcoin depends on the cost of electricity, the mining difficulty, the freeze wages, and the energy efficiency of miners. With a block reward of 6.25 BTC, difficulty at 27.5 trillion, $ 0.15 per kWh, and energy efficiency of 45 joules per terahash, the cost to produce 1 BTC = $ 35,500 .
Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ( “ ICOs ” ) is highly hazardous and notional, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual ‘s situation is alone, a qualify professional should always be consulted before making any fiscal decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or opportuneness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the writer owns cryptocurrency .

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