Bitcoin Intrinsic Value Definition – Bitcoin Magazine: Bitcoin News, Articles, Charts, and Guides


Dr. Rettler is an assistant professor of Philosophy at the University of Wyoming.

In this essay, I want to clarify and respond to a prevalent assertion regarding bitcoin — that “bitcoin has no intrinsic value.” Two preliminary things to note. First, this is not used merely as a normatively neutral descriptive statement; it’s stated as a criticism. It usually appears in the following kind of argument, often with premises elided: it’s bad to lack intrinsic value. Bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. So bitcoin is bad. Or maybe: it’s not worth investing in things that lack intrinsic value. Bitcoin lacks intrinsic value. So, it’s not worth investing in bitcoin.

Second, “intrinsic value” has a particular meaning here — one that’s used in investing. Owning bitcoin is often put in contrast to owning stock in a company that produces a good or service. In virtue of the company producing a good or service and receiving money for the good or service, stock in that company is said to have intrinsic value. Methods of calculation of the intrinsic value of a stock usually involve calculating the value of the assets the company has and/or the expected future earnings. Bitcoin is not a company and produces no goods or services — so it lacks intrinsic value. So goes the criticism.

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