Today of course, we do not have a legitimate currency. We have fiat currency. There is nothing behind the dollar, which is why people think, well, what is wrong with bitcoin? Because there is nothing behind the dollar and there is nothing behind bitcoins, there fore its the same.
Well, there is a significant difference. The dollar is legal tender in America. Other currencies are legal tender some place else. And even though I do not want dollars, the government only accepts dollars in payment of taxes, therefore if I don`t want to go to jail and I value not going to jail (that does have a value), the only way I can stay out of jail is to have enough dollars to pay my taxes. So, there is a legitimate use for dollars even though they do not have any intrinsic value, the way gold does.
But bitcoins, do not have any intrinsic value whatsoever. So here is the problem. People are advocating the use of bitcoins as if its a form of money. But it can`t be. Because bitcoins do not represent a store of value. You don`t know how much bitcoins will be worth next week, next year, in 5 or 10 years. Nobody knows. Will bitcoins be worth zero? They might because they don not have any intrinsic value.
Somebody may come up with an alternative digital currency maybe more attractive than bitcoins and people will use that one. Somebody might come up with a legitimate digital currency that is actually backed by gold. That is not hard to do.
Peter Schiff is an American businessman, investment broker and financial commentator. Schiff is the CEO and chief global strategist of Euro Pacific Capital Inc.
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