What gives Crypto value? A letter to potential investors.

in #cryptocurrency5 years ago (edited)

Hey, my name is Aggroed. I've been in the crypto space for about a year and a half. I mostly work with the Steem blockchain. I'm a Witness for Steem, which is like being a successful miner for other coins. I'm also a witness for Peerplays and am working on setting up a witness for BTS and EOS (when it's ready). What can I say, I like Dan coins!

I've been working with new members to the Steem blockchain in an extensive and time intensive role for the past four months. I lead a group called the Peace, Abundance, and Liberty Network, which houses the Minnow Support Project, which is the Steemit official new member welcoming group. We have over 6,000 active Steemians who communicate in there and they ask a ton of questions!

I've been answering crypto questions for a while, been studying blockchains intensively, and feel like I have a fairly solid handle on how things work. I also have a PhD in chemistry so some of the complicated formulas and processes aren't entirely lost on me (some still are, but I get the gist).

All that is to say that I have some sense of what's driving value. I've been trying to get my dad to invest in crypto and he's wondering what gives it value. So, here I am to explain for a couple paragraphs what is a currency, what is a stock, and what is a crypto. Then I'll try to talk a little about why single crypto tokens are worth more than single printed dollars. I'm not a financial advisor, but I do like cryptos as a financial investment. Just make sure you do your own research and take ownership of your financial future.

A quick video

Here's a nice video that talks about what gives a standard government issued currency value. It's TED-ED so, it's a pretty mainstream explanation.

The basics is that:

Value of the currency ≈ total amount of goods and services

I like to approximate it like this

The value of the currency ≈ total number of people using the system

That's because I believe that the the total number of people using a system is a good approximation for the total amount of good and services in that system. This isn't entirely true as some groups of people are more productive than others, but I think it's ok when we're looking at global phenomena like government currencies and crypto currencies.

My key point here is that PEOPLE ACCEPTING IT AS VALUE IS WHAT GIVES IT VALUE! How much value we can talk about below, but the real thing to understand when stated as simply as possible is: People are the value!

Why do people even use currency?

Because it's so much easier than barter! Look I'm a chemist by trade. If I have to trade hours of chemistry labor for a certain amount of vegan meatballs it's going to be pretty challenging. I need to find a vegan meatball sales man willing to accept hours of chemistry labor to make the trade happen... Instead we all collectively decide it's better to have currencies we can all use and then trade for the currency as a medium of exchange. This makes life a lot easier!

Who gets to create currencies?

For 100 years or so the only people creating currencies that are adopted on a wide scale are governments (or the private banks they employ). They print money. They get to print the money because they are in charge. You're born under their rule and they print it as they see fit. Sometimes they do good things with it and you experience a nice life. Sometimes they enact horrible plans and you're stuck rioting as your national economy goes through a hyperinflated death spiral. Either way you're not really choosing your currency when you're born. You simply have the local currency and that's your option.

But an interesting thing happened with bitcoin, then it's clones, and then it's alts. Government currencies suddenly had a new competitor. They used to have some of that competition back in the Wild Cat Banking era, when private banks issued currencies all the time. This was actually a pretty good time for people. There were booms and busts in those currencies, but it was generally prosperous because people could invest as they saw fit in good private currencies and some fortunes were made. But the USG consolidated that back in the early 1900s. So, private currencies isn't a new thing. It's just that now there's new technology that allows it and makes it fairly simple to implement globally.

Blockchains and Crytpo Currencies

What's a blockchain? What's crypto? A blockchain is a big ledger. A ledger is basically a data table that keeps track of individual accounts, what's been issued, and who owns what. The blockchain starts pretty simply and over time it adds transactions and new people. The whole block chain is made up of individual blocks. Each block keeps information that was stored in it during that time period. Sally sent Jim 15 tokens. Jim sent Jane 10 Tokens. The platform generated 1 new token would be some of the transactions stored in an individual block. Every X minutes a blockchain will store what happened on the chain in that time period in a new block and add that block to the chain. Each block chain determines how much time is stored in each block.

It would be like saving just the changes to an excel table rather than the whole table every 5 minutes, and storing all those series of changes in lots of little linked files.

The crypto part comes from the fact that people could try to corrupt these data tables to show something like everyone transfers aggroed 10% of their money.' If you're aggroed that's awesome, but if you're everyone that's bad. So, to make that a challenging or practically an impossible task blockchain technologies also incorporate cryptographic techniques through "hashing" that make it extremely difficult bordering on impossible to crack the "crypto safe."

Let's talk about stocks for a second

Another investment type is a stock. Why would you invest in a stock? The simple answer is that you believe the stock can make more money than you can with the money that you have. You inherently believe that a group of a people working on solving a problem or set of problems by offering a product or service to the market can do a better job earning money than you. This is likely true.

You alone aren't a team of people backed by capital working on a project so it's more likely that a company could take your money and invest it into their projects and earn you more money back than you could just by yourself. There are obvious exceptions to this, but if you're not the business type, but happen to have some extra cash companies can put your money to work and so you're happy to buy shares in them. One of the main things determining the value of one stock compared to others is how much money can you expect to earn from owning one share of the company either through price increases or dividends.

Ultimately though you like stocks because they are a store of value, you think they will make more money than simply hoarding cash, and you think that the stock will likely go up in value as people work in the company.

Cryptos are a combination of a stock and a currency

Most of the time you don't trade 15 shares of IBM for your kitchen remodel. There's not really anything stopping you from doing that, but it's really not convenient. That's because stocks aren't much of a currency. Yes they have value, yes they are transferable, but there's really no way to quickly or easily get them from one person to another.

A crypto currency has a neat role of being both a stock and a currency. It's a stock because essentially you own a portion of the blockchain in proportion to the number of shares you have vs everyone else. If you own 10% of the crypto tokens on a block you essentially own 10% of the blockchain. Unlike stocks though if I want to transfer that ownership to you I can do it quite easily. I click a button or type in a command and suddenly @aggroed transfers 100 steem to @minnowsupport. That was easy. It took 3 seconds and I didn't even have to leave my computer, call a broker, or god forbid write a check and schlep my way to the front entry way of my house to mail out the check.

Cryptos vs Government Currencies and deflation vs inflation

Before 1971 every government dollar was backed by a store of gold. You could walk into any bank and say "Hey, um, I don't like this dollar bill, and I'd like to exchange it for gold." They'd give you gold. You do that now and they give you funny looks. That's because the USG took the USD off the gold standard in the 1970s. Without the gold standard to keep printing in check the government decided to print and print and print money. The USG/FED now prints 160M USD a day. It's a lot of money, and it leads to a lot of inflation. Essentially the money in your wallet will be purchase fewer goods and service tomorrow than it will today!

Crypto currencies have a range of answers to this, but generally speaking they have a cap on the number of tokens that can be printed and the currency generation is slow. This makes crypto currencies deflationary relative to government fiat dollars. That means that the amount of money in your crypto wallet today will buy more goods and services tomorrow than it will today. This helps give crypto currencies value because if you have the choice of holding your money in a spot guaranteed to lose value or likely to increase in value it's an easy decision.

Other differences between Government Dollars (fiat) and Cryptos)

There are some key differences between these systems too.

Government Fiat Dollars are generally tracked and your ID logged everywhere. Crypto is psuedoanymous. If I want to buy weed with a credit card it will register everywhere. I might get arrested. If I buy weed with crypto then people might see that @aggroed made the transaction but it woudln't necessarily link to me in a government registry. Some people like crypto because of this layer of protection FROM government.

This is important if your government makes any retroactive laws. What you did that was legal at one point now gets you arrested. You made a political donation to the opposition! Poof! Jail for you... It would have been safer if it was anonymous or psuedo anonymous.

Taxes: Don't just take it from me:

See, on every single purchase I make with fiat dollars I get taxed. Salary is taxed, buying and selling is taxed, my taxes are taxed. I don't remember consenting to 40% of my income being taxed away so I tend to think it's pretty coercive. Luckily cryptos don't have this problem. Yeah, I'll likely pay some capital gains taxes on this stuff, but in the grand scheme of things that's cheap compared to the absurd amount of taxes that I'd otherwise have to throw at normal government dollars.

That's also assuming I'm going to pay taxes. If I'm successfully able to dump crypto for hard cash then I might avoid all taxes forever. That's good for my bankroll and good for the third world people the USG would be likely to bomb with the money I fork over under duress. It could be bad for me though if I'm caught. Some people do go to jail for this as it is generally considered money laundering by the people that want a cut of all your transactions.

Speed- I'm used to Steem and SBD where transactions are processed in 3 seconds. I tear my eyes out waiting the 30 min to several hours waiting for bitcoin and litecoin transactions, I laugh disgustedly at how long it takes to process USD through a bank. IT TAKES DAYS! You know how long that is in internet time? That's like a month of internet life. Ain't nobody got time for that!

Consensus- On the blockchain you get to decide how the blockchain will work. You typically have a say directly proportional to how much of the blockchain tokens you own. Want to change parameters then you and your like minded folks can get changes passed. It's a lot harder to do this with governments especially when they are corrupt and bribed extensively.

Choice- I guess ultimately one of my favorite aspects is my ability to choose the system I like the best. The block chains are different in terms of number of tokens, who runs them, current price, level of anonymity, reputation of the coin, and a million other things. I like being able to choose which ones I want to own and which communities I want to support or engage with financially.

The long term

One day I'm going to walk into Edward Jones and my financial adviser is going to talk to me about a range of investment options including stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds, cryptos, commodities, and properties. We're not quite there yet, but this is the wave of the future. Cryptos do this kind of stuff better and with more transparency than anything that's come before it.

The dot com bubble was $7T in scope and almost entirely a US event. Crypto is global and only sitting at 500B or so. I think we're at the very beginning of this. In fact I think at least 14x more money is going to pour into this place, and that these prices are going to have more 0s in them before long.

For now my friends and family ask me if I'm able to convert between government fiat dollars and crypto. Right this second it's an issue, but doable. I think in the longer term everyone will accept crypto. It makes commerce easier and as more people have them more people will demand merchants accepts them.


One thing that's worth considering is that cryptos are incredible volatile. They go up and down in price by pretty wild swings. There's money to be made from that, but especially if you're in need of weekly income from an investment then crypto has significant drawbacks if you can't out wait some of the swings.

More to come

Anyway, I'm still just starting to build the case for why crypto. So, I'll add some more points to this over the coming weeks in new installments.


"For 100 years or so the only people creating currencies that are adopted on a wide scale are governments (or the private banks they employ)."

May I suggest that you have the power relationship backwards here?


This was only true when the dollar was backed by gold. What gives value to the petro dollar now is the American war machine.

And even before 1971, what gave monopoly power to the dollar over other perhaps more efficient/convenient currencies was the forced by threat of violence insistence by government that taxes be paid in dollars.

Imagine a crypto with fees less than Western Union... transaction times less than a week, and you get your transaction really confirmed #bitcoinisbroken #waitcoin



It's called BitShares. Been around for quite a while. The founder, Dan Larimer, is behind Steemit. https://wallet.bitshares.org/?r=ddvw

this is a great post! very informative! I am definitely showing this to my family who is currently trying to understand Bitcoin and crypto currency!

Let's not forget that in cryptocurrency, we take out the middle man (banks and credit card companies). They are charging us to transfer our money. People do this because that has always been the way and we are accustom to it. With cryptocurrency, we take ownership of the transfer of money.

It is sort of like taking control of your health care. In the US, we have built a system of giving up control of our health care. With the exception of narcotics, if we wanted to get a medicine, chances are we have no idea what to get and it will take a doctor's visit to get a prescription. We pay heavily for this service. In other countries, people do research on what they should take and they don't need to see a doctor or get a prescription.

Ultimately switching to cryptocurrency, we will take ownership, and it would be like switching everyone from the current health care system to a system of health care found in other countries. The middle men will not like it because it would mean significant loss of business for them.

Not so fast there Skippy. I believe it was Paul Begala, a political consultant and advisor to President Bill Clinton who once said "Stroke of the pen. Law of the Land. Kinda cool."

That's exactly how long it would take to outlaw Bitcoin and Crypto in general.

Won't happen. There is nothing illegal about creating a token and a new business model that functions on the blockchain. Utilizing existing laws the US at least, may be able to shut down some exchanges for trading coins that were securities, or they could get some people for fraud, and or money laundering however they cannot legally stop the tsunami of change that will result from utilization of blockchain and tokens. The same way it was inevitable that taxi's would be marginalized by ride share , so will banks, insurance companies, fiat currencies and existing tech behemoths be marginalized by blockchain based networks. It's just a matter of time.

Just ask John F. Kennedy about that when he tried to create the Silver Certificate.
If you think the Evil Empire is just going to throw up their hands and say "Oh well, it was fun while it lasted", you're in for a rude awakening.

Right! And the hold that big banks and old industries like fossil fuels have on the current government run currencies as well as the technologies they "allow" us access to will no longer have an unshakable hold and influence like they do now. I love the Star Wars analogy of crypto being the Rebellion and government run currency being the New (world) Order. May the force be with you!


AI is going to render MONEY USELESS in the long term. What "the long term" is at this time do not know. What I do KNOW is that AI is progressing at an EXPONENTIAL rate and that sooner or later (5 years maybe 10??) the concept of "money" will fall. There is no need for "money" when EVERYTHING you WANT and NEED can be made WITHOUT HUMAN Labor. Why is nobody bringing this up. Ted Kasczinski was correct I believe, we are heading rapidly to becoming PETS. oh and EARTH IS FLAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Don't think the big boys will give up without a fight.

I beat you , are you ok.?

I think the term you are looking for is "technological unemployment". It's a real threat to the current paradigm of income for goods and services. We will either fight for the scarce remainder, or employ a different paradigm altogether where humans have access to goods via access to interaction with advanced computation logs of total resource allocation - but not in a scarcity-driven model. This shift requires moving past long-conditioned assumptions and beliefs about human behavior, though. Essentialy, human belief systems (outdated, influenced by religious and political ideas) are the true obstacle. I recommend looking into the work of the late Jacque Fresco (The Venus Project) to learn about this solution-focused concept. Crypto offers people a way to grasp possible alternate ways to shift resources, imo. It's an early step in a direction with many steps to go still.

@artmindvoice i followed you due to that comment! Your perspective is interesting to me and now i want to check out that book. Arrrg so much to read and learn! :)

Well, past the point money is rendered useless it really is not unemployment, its a paradigm shift in thinking and existing. So really the term "unemployment" becomes extinct. I would call it , Humanities Awakening to the ABUNDANCE that has always existed but always been hidden. For short: THE GREAT AWAKENING! Maybe that really is it, the point when ALL of HUMANITY realizes there was NEVER any scarcity all along, all thanks to crypto! Maybe crypto WAS DEVELOPED by a General AI ALREADY like some say and is helping us transition smoothly? I think the transition stage (the widespread adoption of using bitcoin & crypto will be shorter than most anticipate), but who knows, I now think the D Wave quantum computer is a LIE. So are we getting close with real general AI, who knows. Thanks for comment.

I think we could only grasp a post-scarcity concept at this point in history due to global communication and exchange of information.
For anyone wondering: what in the hell are they talking about? resources on earth have true limits...
I'll try to clarify: material resources are truly scarce, but resourcefulness is not (think workarounds/equivalents via design). Without money as an obstacle or barrier to access of information, we could possibly see the next version of a creative renaissance, if you will...'weapons of mass creation' and solutions to longtime problems. Not a utopia, just way better than our current model.

Blade Runner all the way!

These days with the high cost of Bitcoin transactions fees, your arguments kind of fail and lower transactions fees with or without the middle man seems to be the real concern. What's your view on the actual high costs of Bitcoin transactions fees which this time last year went from $0.29 cents (Dec/2016) to $41.00 this Christmas...

Look into the bitcoin hard fork re bitcoin cash. Original bitcoin is although hard to believe, is already out dated for that very reason.

it's not hard to believe. Most of the blockchain technology is already obsolete, legacy coins like bitcoin will continue to occupy a niche so long as they remain uncorruptible.

It's the post blockchain era! IOTA's "Tangle" is an example. There are lots of others. BTC is nearly a decade old. RIP Grandpa!

Good comparison. Health care system in the US is definitely flawed and all about the 💰

You are a nice steemite.nice upvote sir. Please upvote me too i solicite. Am mew here and nobody is noticing me.... Show a brother some love. My user name is LEXZYDUDU

Hello! can someone answer me on this importang question:

Today on Binance was added Nav at 11:45,
but on other exchanges it was already pumped on 20% before 11:45
This is happening every time almost on every exchange, does someone know is it cuz of some loophole on exchange whitch can gives u earlier info about new coin be added to exchange or this is just selling inside to some vip clients??

As I see it, the high fees for transferring btc show that we didn’t successfully eliminate the middle man :/

" I don't remember consenting to 40% of my income being taxed away....."

Sure you do. When you believed those evil fools on Capitol Hill were only interested in "Taxing the Rich" and "Making them pay their fair share".

How did you think Bernie Sanders was going to be able to give out free college tuition to all Americans?? Tax increases maybe?

Did you really believe Cryptos were going to be able to stay under the radar???

Many of our politicians (in the US) ran on a platform to "Tax the Rich".

Well, if you have 10 Bitcoins, congratulations, YOU are now "The Rich"!

Time to pay your "Fair Share".

Taxification is Thefification

I'm not disagreeing with you, I'm merely pointing out that Conservative Republicans have been saying the same thing for decades. Now that this younger generation of crypto investors has a few dollars in their pockets (or more than a few in many cases), they all of the sudden see the light.

Interesting article. Very interesting thoughts.

This is an absolutely fantastic piece that everyone needs to read regardless of their familiarity with crypto and fiat currencies.

Absolutely. Sharing with family and friends and my facebook world. The more we share it and help get others on board the better!

I hope we’ll see crypto spring again

Very nice explanation and breakdown of crypto and fiat. Crypto unlike fiat, increases in value when kept over time. Same cannot be said for fiat, which simply answers the big question. Investing in cryptocurrencies will always be the best option.

The ultimate goal for me is to be part of what seems too be the future money. Without that idea, i wouldnt invest a buck in cryptos

And which one will be the future money ? All of them :) ?

MOST of them, so invest in many?

Why would we need all of these currencies ? Would be a bit strange no ? Like currently we have like 3/4 fiat coins dominating the world. Imagine all the exchange costs if we want to buy a bread and need to change our BTC for bakery coins :)

a big problem is when you try to explain to someone why crypto will replace cash money and other currency, nobody believes that the government will set us free most of people are used to get ripped of by guverment

I started to introduce the young people to the nice things @dan and @ned builded. I gave my daughter (12)a steemit account as christmas gift... I didn't start with explaining the crypto systems yet..lol
soon it will be harder to get a steemit account ;-).. so she is in. She made her first post today and she is so happy.. https://steemit.com/@creatisa

Cool post; these kids are the future of this platform.

I like that price discovery is more effective

Wow, great post! You deserve a follow and upvote!

Amazing overview!!!

This is a great post.
So much information, so much knowledge.
Really thank you!

Thank you Aggroed, I enjoyed reading your article. I also finally understand what the cap is on the crypto currencies.

Really good bunch of infos... good work

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you are totally right and we should totally act upon what ever you have said because its really important to know everything about cryptocurrencies

To be honest I still don't see why we should attribute value to crypto. If there would be only one (yeah Highlander I know :)) I could see the value. But now it's too easy to copy for me to have any value.

I agree on the part of avoiding taxes I just wonder if we will be able to keep our current society if crypto becomes more important. Government taxes people and prints money to support the weaker/build roads... How are we going to pay for that ?

Crypto is more and more turning into a capitalist/gold digging vehicle. The irony :)

But nice post !


please tell me why steam dollars have no value

This is a really valuable post, thank you very much @aggroed. I have been telling everyone about crypto and most ask is it money, and I say kinda, and they say is it like stocks, and I say kinda. Your entry here is very helpful and I will use this as a resource for my friend and family.

Resteemed, upvoted, and Im gonna share on other platforms too.

Merry Christmas!

Very interesting. Thank you.

Very good post!

thank you for nice post. It was interesting

Great post! Thanks for sharing as learning from a knowledgable others will certainly build up newbies like me. Recently have been thinking about crypto as most crypto are really volatile like what you mentioned so I am planning to sell off everything that I am holding in 2018 and focus just on steemit since I can continue to build it regardless of the price of steem. As long as I build and increase in my steem, the price will eventually go up so don't need to worry about how much invested and everything will be by posting and curating to earn my steem and keep for profit. Anyway, this is just my random thought as a newcomer to steemit.

@aggroed Thanks for the very informative article understanding cryptocurrency and comparing the benefit of it to our current system. More power to you and keep on posting educational piece.

This article is one of the best ones on this topic that I have read so far. Very engaging writing style, well-researched, top-the-point and thought-provoking. I hope this might be very helpful for my followers. Shared.

Awesome job @aggroed. Keep spreading the awesomeness.

Steem On!

You wanna learn time value? Trade options! You learn real quick!

Reading this now...so glad you are in my feed. Thanks for writing this up in an understandable way. We were talking to my brother in law last night and the info they are getting (people who are just hearing of crypto) is it can be stolen, is of no value, and other one sided views.

We can learn and help get the right info out to our families.

Wishing the best holidays... ❤️

It's amazing how much misinformation is out there. I think it has gotten some level of mass adoption, but the lack of understanding makes me think there's still room to grow.

Great article. Right now the volatility is a HUGE obstacle for mass adoption. Couple new projects are trying to solve that issue but we are nowhere close..

btw. I was surprised you spent only a year and half in crypto world. When I came to steemit about 7 months ago you were already runnin this shit so I figured you must be one of the veterans :)

Great post! Well done and learned a lot from it. Appreciate you taking the time for all this crucial crypto info!

Hellow. My name is ubay. I think cryptocurrency is very interested to invest our money. Many developer of cryptocurrency do some develop to their coin. And i think in this times everything become easy. Every transaction, buying something and others make our life better than before. And i very happy to live in this year

The practical part of all this for investment is similar to the dot com era question of how does it all shake out in the end. Being apart of the rise of crypto and the anticipated bubble phase is exciting, potentially lucrative but fundamentally necessary as a means to the end. We are participants in the transformation of money. We have store of value coins, utility coins, transactional technology/coins, "banking" platforms, anonymity tokens, community coins, etc. So far these sectors haven't been formally defined by any authority but with time they will and that will be a helpful evolutionary process. Then we can start to parse out the winners in each sector as was the natural process with stocks in particular with tech stocks that crossed the dot com chasm and remember many great tech companies were actually created after the dot com bubble burst. They learned from the pioneers.

Perhaps a thread could be started here on steemit to work on officially categorizing these sectors. From there indexes and critical comparisons could form.

Interesting to know. I've been explaining cryptocurrency to my family, friends and to people who have no idea what cryptocurrency is. It's kinda frustrating sometimes but it feels good when you know they're now on track:)

This is one of the best (if not THE BEST) articles I have ever read about cryptocurrency.

I think one of the biggest questions potential investors have is "What is it backed by?" I was talking to my father about investing in it a few days ago. He's 73 but he is very good with money and has made a ton of great "traditional" investments. In his lifetime, he's invested in stocks, mutual funds, real estate, CDs, savings bonds, money markets, IRA, etc.

Anyway, when he started asking me about what gives crypto it's value, I couldn't really answer him. That pretty much ended the discussion right there, which is too bad, because I know if he gave me some money to invest I could easily double it with crypto.

Thanks to your article, I think I could actually have an educated conversation about what gives crypto it's value and could probably convince someone to invest. Great job! As a matter of fact, I think it deserves a resteem!

get your dad a steemit account!

What give steemit value: the people. This is the kind of value that I like

This is the most comprehensive and informative post on cryptos and everything in between I've seen in a while. I'm definitely looking forward to the next post!

Fantastic article that articulates the value of cryptocurrency and it's potential in the world today. The sections on taxation and privacy are incredibly relevant, and many people in the US today worry about the these elements on a daily basis. Cryptos are the way of the future!

We live in the early era where blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies are taking off, in the not too distant future these technologies and their main advantages will be adopted by most companies and countries therefore it is very important to remain well informed of what is happening in this exciting world. @Originalworks

This was a brilliant read, good luck on your start out and I hope your right. one day Cryptos will be so easily used! hope we see more 0000s and are at the beginning :) really enjoyed this.

I just added u as a witness. I love the article! Thank you for the information! I will continue to follow and learn!

as a newbie in to the crypto world, this is a well explained post steemit brings me to it. Thank you for sharing @aggroed

Good article, @aggroed.

I wrote on a similar theme in part of an article introducing Twitter to Zappl (and STEEM and the blockchain). My contention is that value is supported and generated by trust. And in this way, cryptos are no different from fiat.

A couple of other thoughts from your article... Alternative currencies are definitely not new and are in fact commonly adopted after economic calamities (like the GFC, where a large number of local alternative currencies emerged). Crypto is just a more technologically advanced form of thousands of other alternative currencies that have come before.

I like your analogy to stocks and currency in combination.

Regarding inflation/deflation, keep in mind that despite the massive expansion of monetary supply in the western world, we still struggle to maintain a necessary amount of inflation to drive investment and repay (yeah right ;) ) money created as debt. One of the primary reasons for this is something known as 'technological deflation'. Essentially, technology just gets cheaper and cheaper in time. This can be best seen in the abstract by the huge decoupling of wages with productivity over the last 30-40 years. Supply has increased massively while natural (by this I mean non-debt fuelled) demand has not changed that much.

Oh, and I just wrote a post about an hour ago about my fears for the future of crypto. I'd love to hear your thoughts if you've got time to check it out. I won't post it here to further spam your thread. ;) It can of course be found at my blog.

Cheers mate!

Excellent post @aggroed thank you for the detailed explanation I've been trying to explain it to family members but always get in a muddle and lose track, I think if I read this over a few times I might be able to pull it off and start convincing people to give steemit a shot!

That's my goal in writing it. I hope it's helpful!

This is very well explained, the first time that I am interested in the history of money. The best thing with crypto is this can be transferred anywhere in the world in minutes without the knowledge of Central Bank and definitely without excessive charge. Crypto is the next big thing and I don't think the govt can stop it. There is news that the Central Bank of the Philippines wants to ban cryptocurrency transactions because they are not earning from the transactions.
Thank you very much @aggroed for sharing this very informative article.

Thank you so much for this article I'm actually getting a hang of this crypto currency thing now.

Great post, though I would recommend paying taxes on any value you earn from crypto, as any tax evasion is just more ammunition that lawmakers can use to try to outlaw cryptocurrencies as a whole.

I want to know if conversion from Crypto to Fiat is possible or not in the future.

very informative. when would we see the dot com bubble burst in the crypto space?

How do you value a cryptocurrency? Traditional model will base it on net income or cash flow. I think we have a paradigm shift going on where this metrics is no longer being used, and a new valuation will take it's place. By guess would be based on network value and transactions will be the new Wall Street model. Facebook has 6 billion users worldwide, so you base their valuation not on it's quarterly net profit, but how many people interact with their network per day, hour, second. If this is the case, how many users interact or transact with BitCoin or any other cryptocurrency per day, hour, second will determine it's valuation. What's your thought?

Facebook and other traditional companies use discounted cash flow not just current net income. The difference is that discounted cash flow takes into consideration the value of future cash flow. For example, Walmart has 5x the revenue of Amazon but a smaller market cap (https://www.forbes.com/sites/gregpetro/2016/08/25/amazon-vs-walmart-clash-of-the-titans/#3ea163228844)

Crypto is hard to value because you could either say that it will replace currency or all financial products. If crypto only replaces currency, then the market cap is around ~10s of T. If it replaces all financial products, the value could be much much higher. Some estimates put the value of the derivatives market at 1.2 Quadrillion (https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/052715/how-big-derivatives-market.asp). Why are the sums of financial products greater than the sums of currency? The main reason is because people are making bets on bets on bets. For example, let's say I bet that the Golden State warriors will win the NBA Championship. A second person may make a bet that I win my bet and so on. This means the actual value of all bets is much higher than the original bet.

I feel bitcoin has a strong potential to displace significant amounts of traditional currency and various smart contract platforms could replace many financial products.

I'm in agreement that traditional model is based on current and future discounted cash flow, or in other words, future potential net income or earnings. Either way, it's difficult for anyone to wrap their mind around that fact that you are no longer evaluating earnings of a company, even though most of these companies do look like a regular "company" stock. In fact, what are we really buying on an ICO, if it's a currency and not a stock. I heard Dan Larimer of EOS says for legal reasons with SEC that he calls it "revenue". If it's indeed "revenue", what is the product we are receiving when we buy it. A handshake trust that he will give us some tokens of the network that EOS will operate in?

If it's indeed a currency and we are evaluating based on usage of the network, then as a conservative estimate, we need to consider the global money supply and not the derivatives. The source has the global narrow and board money supply at over $100T USD.
With cryptocurrency being about $600B, I say we have quite a bit of room to grow!

I agree. There's quite a bit of room to grow. It's hard for me to agree that blockchain is a currency though. It can do so much more. It can be real estate, it be derivatives, it can be debt and things we haven't thought of yet. I'd put currency usage as only the first widespread application.

Hello and thanks for your question @rockdog. I guess I side with those who say there is not one type of valuation, as emphasized in my video.

However, my video strongly supports your focus on network strength, and I feel that (despite its brevity and over-simplifications) it does a better job of outlining what’s involved in network strength than most expositions I have seen.

For example, network strength goes beyond the extensiveness of utilization. Regulatory support, as well as support from linked institutions, are also important — Japan being a case in point. (Another example is Veritaseum (coin is Veri), which has been “impacted” by not getting good support from linked institutions, IMO. Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) are “in heaven” on this dimension of valuation.)

One key aspect that I forgot to include in my video is the production function approach to valuation of cryptos. This relates to mining costs, mostly. Prof. Adam Hayes at Cornell has several papers where he exposits this approach re. bitcoin valuation.


I appreciate your views as always and you are right, in future every one will accept this crypto, and in future this currencies will work, Exactly not .
Only one authority is there to ruin our dream and it it is government and they will not allow us to do transect in crypto in future . Suppose you can't transect between Crypto and dollar in future, then what will be the value of crypto. Big regularities are involved with big fund speculators, and allow people to come in and pour money from many countries. Then one Notice to BAN is enough to tank this hype and pour others money to their pocket.

Hello @errajesh! I wish more analysts (professional and amateur) would spend more time on the implications of the fact that there is a crypto-to-fiat bridge that is not controlled by any centre/people in Cryptoland. In crossing it, you are given “revocable permissions” by people on the “other side”. (A few stories are now going around about people having their bank accounts closed due to the banks discovering that they were trying to cross the bridge with the help of the banks.)

Now let’s add another big variable. How many of us with crypto “riches” will try to cash in large parts of our riches within a few days? We have seen over and over that it takes mild net selling/buying pressure to bring bitcoin down (or up) by 10%+ within a day. So if we all tried to cash in large parts of our crypto riches in a short period, we would probably get about 25% (or even less) of what we thought those “riches” were worth.


you have just clarified the argument made two days ago with my friend. let's cryptonize the world @aggroed. Resteemed!

good article and analyse

It just crossed my mind and I am new to cryptocurrency. I hope this question may not sound stupid. Do we have to file taxes on our cryptocurrency earnings? Say like bitcoins, etherum and other altcoins.I apologize for being clueless I just want to be on the safe side all the time.

Thanks aggroed for your eye opening post. Been Following since I joined here recently. Look forward to learning more from you

The letter is utterly beautiful, a courteous innocent associates behind the choice currency is discussed, I love it, I adoration to know tally things. @aggroed

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And would appreciate all the support like resteems and upvotes as I'm new to steemit and looking to build my following and network with others.

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Fiat is rotting, decaying leper currency, the medium of slaves, manipulated, inflated, controlled by statists to silently and secretly use the inflation tax to rob the people and steal their labor. Crypto is in essence anti state, anti establishment, anti slavery.

I have key issues with the video:

  • inflation, how many times currency exchanges hands is only good for those who control it, remember with each sale you pay VAT tax and every worker pays income tax.

So when you hear people talking that it is good for the economy thing about this. And that the AVG BTC transaction fee was or is $42.

My guess without reading or listening nothing but your comment, is that he referred to the equations here:
"MV=PT" as a matrix product.
In reality these days taxation curbs inflation and gives a fiat currency its value within the scope of MMT.
What you mean, and are correct about, is that inflation causes taxed entities to lose real value due to increased taxation due to higher nominal gains.
Regarding the avg BTC fee, it should be only addressed along with the avg size of BTC transaction, otherwise it is only partial information, because the relative fee is what matters.

Since you want it to be a letter to potential investors, let me start with a thought that I read somewhere way back when: when you hear without a good reason family, friends or people in the street talking about any given financial asset - sell instantly. Sadly, can't remember where it was, maybe somebody can point me to the author...
With that off my chest... I don't think that you can draw a parallel between stocks and crypto. After all, stock value is a function of future cashflows of an enterprise but, in principle, crypto has none. The only similarity that I see is that you can speculate with stocks and crypto but speculation has little to do with value.
So, what do we do? What is value? I like to think of value as an amount of resources that would be required to live comfortably for some length of time. We may put a dollar, euro or Swiss frank number on it for convenience but that's what it basically is.
If we take BTC as an example, in the long run the supply is fixed at 21M BTC. That amount of BTC units will serve as means of exchange and as store of value. If we could say with any degree of confidence what proportion of the total value that exists (or will exist in the future) people will put into BTC, we could divide that value by 21M and we would have known what BTC valuation should be.
I've seen a number of models that attempt to answer this question and I don't have any confidence in any of them.
What I can say is that I don't see any particular reasons for the utility of BTC (thus, its dollar value) to change since January 2017:

You may argue that due to increased visibility its future utility is much higher now than back in January. That might have been true if we knew that we are somehow going to avoid a spectacular (and equally publicized) crash.
I don't think we could argue that Bitcoin's utility as a store of value has increased, given the volatility I'd argue that the opposite is true.
As to the altcoins - given where BTC is now (yes, it is a bubble), I believe all crypto are on the same FOMO wave right now. We may discuss why Ethereum, EOS or IOTA are awesome but that's a different discussion. Learning Solidity might be a good investment of your time but I don't think buying ETH is a good way of investing your hard-earned cash at this point in time.
Bottom line - I believe there is a model that can be used to value a cryptocurrency but I don't believe the market told us anything of value in 2017 to go on with. The real question is: how much of new information is hidden in the noise that we see?

What a deep comment @gbalnis!

Please allow me to struggle to add some value to it, not only because of its excellent points; but because we are building, with the post and the attached comments, some really useful discussion in my view.

I've pondered your point about discounted future cash flows from another viewpoint. I've asked myself the following question. If we regard bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency as being just a special type of currency, like the USD or CDN or YEN, why should we expect its long-term price pattern to be substantially different from those that we already see in the Forex market?

My answer to this question is that there may be a temporary, though potentially very major, loss of confidence in fiat currencies to the benefit of certain internationally accepted crypto's. But this process has a near-to-medium-term boundary, even if it might make us who hold the crypto's fantastically rich, assuming that we can either buy goods and services by paying with our cryptocurrencies or we have a viable bridges to cross from our cryptocurrencies into fiat moneys.

So your point about discouraging analogues to stocks is an absolutely major one, from my viewpoint.

Here's an interesting point, to me anyway. I can envisage a massive increase in the absolute number of people around the world who will regard BTC as a relatively safe haven compared to the other monies that are available to them and can afford to pay to get into a certain amount of bitcoin.

The ability to get into bitcoin to, for example get out of Zimbabwe dollars, is something I see as a definite example of utility. But I regard that utility as being a qualitative variable in the sense that it either exists or doesn't exist for a particular individual; but it doesn't have a quantity that allows us to think about this particlear utility increasing/decreasing over time.

Finally, I offer my two cents about the model to value a crypto currency. I argue at https://www.marketstatsanalytics.com/valuingcryptos.html that there are valuation dimensions measured at different levels of measurement (including some ordinal or nominal), and therefore we cannot get to a single-valued variable to measure that value. The closest we can get is a vector , where at each position in the vector there is a single variable or a function of variables that are measured at the same level of measurement.

The upshot, then, is that the valuation is inherently multidimensional, and the sooner we recognize this the more sophisticated will be our investing behaviour, in my opinion.


And when you are using steemit you are actually using your tokens, getting to know the blockchain and seeing a real decentralized project in action. It's a tripple win!

Question: if anyone can create a new typ of currency/crypto won’t it lead to the same problem we have today with fiat currency?

Not really because you have choice. I can't choose to trade in the USD or not. I have a mortgage and that's the only thing accepted here. There's nothing that forces me to use a shitty crypto. I'll get the ones that make sense and hopefully avoid the ones that don't. If anything I think we have way too few choices rather than way too many.

i am new learner ......trying to understand crypto currency and how steemit work ..
thanks for information ......
already following you..
waiting for more information ...

Thank you for this great introduction post on crypto. It really helps people like myself who are still trying to figure it out how all this actualy works.

Sometimes i sit and think about what would we be do without cryptocurrency. Crypto changed a lot of people lives, financial freedom is the best thing to have, people take this for granted. I'm 17 years old and i accept what cryptocurrency has bring forth. The global elites do not like this 1 bit but its time we get a fear chance!

as always, you explained it brilliantly. BTW, I also like Dan coins ;)

@aggroed all governments around the world will gona be accept cryptocurency sooner or later when they find a taxation system and then the basic manifesto of cryptoanarchist will lost

I would still buy crypto or atleast used it, like in steemit, gonna look for stable coins in the future other than steem.

follow ne
then i will follow u back
upvote my all post then ill upvote yours

Crypto is new money. I think it destroy traditional fiat. Now a days only few people start to use it, but it dramatically increase day by day. Let see what happens when most of people come in this awesome digital system.

The world will be saveed by the cryptosystem.
.. )

I love the idea of crypto currency and I really feel the pull to invest now before it becomes unaffordable to invest for most. I appreciate this post because it helps to explain what people are having a hard time understanding about crypto. Though my #steemit account is building slowly I know sticking with it long term is in my best interest. Its only going to grow and increase in value. I will be sharing this with family and friends via facebook... the old way 😉😁

Really uplifting content. Finished with some extra knowledge, really appreciate your effort Chief.

This is an excellent post with a lot of great info. It cleared up a lot for me as someone relatively new to crypto.

I'm going to save this to send to others who have similar questions in the future. Thanks for sharing! Upvoted, resteemed, and followed.

Thanks for that big article :) ... and the work you do with it ...

Very good insight on understanding simple inception. Cyberspace with coins everywhere base on interaction rewards on all levels of life.

Steem could be really valuable if the main stake holders were more caring about the platform.
First thing a cryptocurrency should do is neutralize the exploits instead of brushing them under the carpet.
Steem is supposed to be Proof of Brain. What we are seeing however is a lot of Proof Of No Brain when lots of no effort posts/comments are being self rewarded handsomely:

@aggroed What really gives Steemit value is the possibility that it provides the user to reward another user substantially for their work. That is a breakthrough in social networking!

very good article with in-depth analysis, very well researched. i like your thoughts, followed ;)

great content , this certainly answered a lot of questions that some of us might have , thanks for sharing

In the long term, I think it's also worth noting that the value of a cryptocurrency will come from what you can spend it on.

So Steem's value is as at least the value of influencing what people see & post on this social network, Bitshares BTS's value is tied to the ability to quickly and liquidly buy or sell smartcoins. A lot of Bitcoin's value at the moment is that it is one of the easiest ways to exchange between the crypto and fiat worlds. And so on.

You have said a mouthful here, @misdoma, IMHO. I feel that there is a "fight to the death" coming over "official acceptance" of cryptos in many countries, and that at the end of the day, cryptos will have indefinite longevity where there is a large set of goods and services that can be bought directly with crypto coins (i.e., people do not have to cross the crypto-to-fiat bridge). Japan is one country where this process is already advanced.

SO STRANGE when I comment and it will just be lost amongst the tide of time...

The Great Aggroed, WE R NOT WORTHY!

Wow great advice and very important ones. Thanks

You got a 5.71% upvote from @upme requested by: @aggroed.
Send at least 1.5 SBD to @upme with a post link in the memo field to receive upvote next round.
To support our activity, please vote for my master @suggeelson, as a STEEM Witness

If this is a bubble, I'm going to be filling this sucker until it pops. And hopefully take a few profits out in the meantime.

If not, I'll keep riding the wave!

good post, nice and simple for someone like me who is starting out and trying to figure the whole thing out .

Its amazing that an like this arises opportunity. Completely disruptive to our financial system with plenty of doubters. Any new technologies have received criticism and the more criticism arises the more valuable cryptocurrencies are.
Cryptocurrencies are transferring wealth to a generation of individuals that were effected by the financial crisis. I feel like the people investing in this space not only care about making money but the technologies doing good for our society.
Very exciting space to be in right now!

Excellent post, I liked it, I follow you to read what you publish, you pass by my profile, maybe something that interests you too, keep posting like this :D

Hello colleague @aggroed, I hope you feel very well :D. I would like to invite you to follow me on my page @emmanuel250998 where I will be uploading every day the latest news about the world of cryptocurrencies. I would very much appreciate your support. A big hug and greetings from Venezuela ;)

I'm follow you, @emmanuel250998. I would like to get a lot more details on how cryptos are being used to help people in Venezuela. I see general comments about this from time to time; but some more details on how people are using cryptos to "buy bread" would help a lot, I think.

Excellent post !! Definitely one of the best articles that I've read about the topic. Keep up with the great work.

You made it easy for me to understand. Nice post.

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