Bitcoin hit its highest price ever in the past few months, going over $19,000 for a brief moment. In just one week, the cryptocurrency then crashed down more than 30 percent. The topic has made it to mainstream news, and almost everyone has a take on it.

Although many people on the Internet claim that they can correctly predict Bitcoin’s value years in advance, their claims should be taken with a grain of salt. Bitcoin’s value isn’t its power to make transactions or its investment appeal. It is the power to make people think about money and the relations that happen around it and the necessity of it being controlled by the state or any other authority.

What Is the Value? What Is the Worth?

What is the real value of Bitcoin? Is it $1,000 or $100,000? Some say that the price for one unit of the cryptocurrency will go well beyond $50,000 in 2018. Others are certain it is a bubble, that it doesn’t have any real value and is therefore bound to soon “pop.” It is not in my interest to determine whether it is a bubble or not; Bitcoin’s ultimate value has nothing to do with its current price in US Dollars or any other currency for that matter.

Bitcoin is much closer to being an asset than an actual means of exchange.

The digital currency was officially introduced in January 2009, and a brief explanation of the ideas behind the technology was presented in Bitcoin’s white paper, which is interpreted by many today as Bitcoin’s “constitution.” The ideas that led its mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto to create the cryptocurrency aren’t important in this analysis, but the consequences of the cryptocurrency are pertinent.

Over the years, Bitcoin has been adopted by people with very diverse backgrounds. Investors who look to make money with it, drug traffickers who benefit from its anonymity, and defenders of libertarian ideas who adopted the currency for its decentralized system. Currently, Bitcoin has barely any use as a currency as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto. The great majority of transactions are purely speculative, and Bitcoin is much closer to being an asset than an actual means of exchange. So why is it valued so high?

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