Computer scientist Andreas Antonopoulos, one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency analysts and Bitcoin advocates, says money is a form of free speech. In a new London Real interview, Antonopoulos looks at how money functions in society and tackles one of the key criticisms of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies – that they have no value and that they are worthless imaginary playthings invented to extract real money from unsuspecting people.
“Money is a language. If you look at it from a very raw perspective, money doesn’t have value. This is an important thing that most people don’t immediately understand: that money itself doesn’t have value. Money is a vector for transmitting value.
It’s how you express value. But the value isn’t in the money. It’s in the product or service you bought with it and it’s in the labors you gave in order to acquire it in the first place. That’s where the value comes from. There’s nothing intrinsically valuable in the money.”
The hyperinflation of certain national currencies has tested this theory, exposing that money has no intrinsic value, with piles and piles of devalued paper Venezuelan bolivars and Zimbabwean dollars offering little utility beyond making arts and crafts.
While some forms of money in the past had intrinsic value, such as gold, Antonopoulos says that that was the best way to establish money as a social construct when it first began. But the purpose of value is communication.
“What you want money to do is communicate value. And it allows us as a society to coordinate markets and behaviors by saying, ‘This is important to me and I’m going to express that to you by giving you three tokens of appreciation that I had to work for.