then i realized, i was describing deflation.
But I don't think it means people won't spend it or trade it for some other currency or asset. If you held a bunch of bitcoin while the price in USD doubled, and you happened to want a new smartphone, you're sure you wouldn't buy one?
If you were absolutely confident the price would quickly rise even more, maybe you would prefer holding, but if you really want the phone and you think BTC/USD has some risk?
I think the presence in the market of an asset that many people believe is continually underpriced would have a general effect on spending, not just on the utility of that asset as a medium of exchange...
Only if obtaining BTC is frictionless and fee-free, something far from universal.
Which is kind of crazy and defies all logic - cryptocurrencies can be manufactured without any limit, even Bitcoin can be cloned and rebooted, creating a new currency space/ledger that's fresh.
Fiat currency can also rise and fall 10% in a single day. Problem is that moving the market that much in every day is impossible due to a huge market cap, which BTC does not have.
All cryptocurrencies are not user friendly. Cold, hot wallets, privacy issues, what is the best way to store them, how not to accidentally lose everything etc.
Mass adoption depends a lot on user friendliness which a bunch of cryptographers aren't concentrated on solving.
So, it won't be used as a currency not because of its deflationary nature but because it's just not as convenient as fiat currency.
Scaling issues are also a big blocker. Currently, BTC transaction fees are higher than those imposed by banks. It's no longer a cash, just a store of value.
Core devs are behind a private company, trying to milk the blockchain even more, which will also lead to bitcoin not being used as cash, but they'll sell their own sidechain and offchain solutions, probably just to enterprise.
Blockchain tech is great tech. Cryptocurrencies like Monero are absolutely brilliant. But I'm doubtful of mass adoption, mostly because torrents, free software, as amazing as they are, and convenient for superusers, don't have mass adoption too.
If Bitcoin does get mass adoption and becomes THE worldwide currency then that also means that the volatility will decrease significantly to the point where I wouldn't have any problem transacting using Bitcoin.
I realize the idea of that actually happening is pretty insane and it is probably more likely that the value will go down to zero, but it is hard to predict the future.
When Bitcoin was $100 then a $1 move in price was a 1% change.
When Bitcoin was $1000 then a $1 move in price was a 0.1% change.
If Bitcoin gets mass adoption then the price per Bitcoin could be $50,000 (assume $1 trillion market cap) or higher. At that point a $1 market movement would be a 0.002% change. To get the same 10% movement as at $100 would require a $5,000 market price swing which while possible is less likely.
It means a lot more money would have to be bought or sold to cause the same percent movement in price.
Bitcoin is already much less volatile today than it was in the past.
That a big IF. And with the transaction costs it has, I don't see it getting mass adoption any time soon.
Why is this? Do people fear what they don't understand? Are they mad because they feel like they missed out? Does Bitcoin's success mean their loss (like the banking folks and the government establishment)?
Did people hate the internet this much in its early days?
And claiming that bitcoin's success would be bankers loss indicates that you don't quite get what is the utility finance sector creates. One of the main things banks do is they convert short term deposits to long term loans. There is nothing in bitcoin that reduces the need for that service in our economy. There were banks at gold standard times and there will be banks in the extremely unlikely world where bitcoin is main currency in a society.
There is no mechanism in bitcoin that would manage the volatility of the currency (against the price of bread and butter, not other currencies) That in itself makes it DOA as a proper currency. Further, even if that was sorted out and a society would want to have bitcoin as their currency, why the f*ck (pardon my french) the society would want to give the seignorage to bunch of cryptonerds? It is not like it is difficult to make a fork.
I am not mad about missing one more tulip bubble/ponzi scheme. I am mad that people never seem to learn.
Modern money is debt. It is a marker who in the society is owed and how much. Thinking that those markers should have fixed supply is just not smart.
Give me a cryptocurrency whose supply is adjusted based on the needs of their users and I am interested. Give me a cryptocurrency that allows heavily negative interest rates for savings to embrace current consumption in the economy over hoarding of "money" and I am interested. But these are complete anathema for the current cryptocurrency folks.
I'm not going to mention it by name lest someone thinks I'm here to "shill" it (which btw I'm not, I only hold BTC and ETH currently).
Points at Facebook/Twitter and Trump+Russia abuse of this tech
We're quite used by this point to new frameworks, technologies, and scientific developments promising to "CHANGE THE WORLD!!!!!11!1~~". From this perspective, Bitcoin looks no different: we have people claiming decentralized proof-of-work consensus-finding will solve all our social / societal ills. Currency isn't as internationally portable as it should be? Use the blockchain! Voting systems are broken / poorly designed? Use the blockchain! The NSA is spying on all of us? Use the blockchain!
In this hype cycle atmosphere, I think a good measure of skepticism is healthy: it reminds us that Bitcoin, like other technologies, has limitations, and that those hyping the technology have a vested interest in downplaying those limitations while promising the moon.
While the underlying technology might in fact be part of a reasonable solution to each of these problems, it's easy to forget that the technology is only part of the puzzle. Technology is always embedded in a human context: modifying the habits, social pressures, incentives, laws, etc. that support a broken system is as important, if not more so, than changing the technical implementation. (In fact, I'd argue changing the technical implementation is impossible without addressing some of these social / psychological factors.)
> Are they mad because they feel like they missed out?
Eh, I doubt it.
> Does Bitcoin's success mean their loss (like the banking folks and the government establishment)?
I don't think so. It's not a zero sum game.
> Did people hate the internet this much in its early days?
Some parts of it, yes.
In the end, Bitcoin is still a wildly insane proposition and technology. It forces people to question longly held assumptions (on a millenium scale) of what money is. HNers are probably more likely to question, critique, and debate new things, and Bitcoin doesn't get a free pass simply because it's cool and exciting.
> Eh, I doubt it.
I think there is something to this. If you've been on HN for 5+ years and have followed the progress of Bitcoin, but never dived in - but then gone on to watch non-tech people make 10x+ returns while not understanding the currency - there must be something about that which grates some people.
I also think it's easy to dislike the "down with central banks", "fiat money is fake money" faction of bitcoin
Thats the most appealing part. Most people dont like the government, they just want it to do something different.
I think you are a little off base in the original intentions. It was designed to solve a real problem, and its creator was likely someone who had a background in academia although we may never know for certain.
It is true that maybe a lot of the proponents today want to bring down central banks, but I think it's a little unfair to imply that that was the original intention.
I am referring 'Bitcoiners', the social entity, which have a separate life from the original intensions and white papers , and why there is "vitriol towards Bitcoin", as the OP requested.
I really doubt this. I have never seen a convincing argument about how BTC would solve any of its many technical issues, and the political ones are even larger.
I would gain a lot from Bitcoin's success. Really. Just by making it possible to do business without the gov being a bottleneck it would already change the lives of mostly everybody around here.
I just don't see it happening, for obvious and important reasons, that a bunch of people insist on ignoring. It's hard enough not to pass judgment on the people making an effort to ignore the obvious, now those same people trying to paint the others in a bad way is a bit too much.
All the fantasies and benefits it was originally promoted for have fallen by the wayside and only greed remains. It's an inefficient protocol and is now simply a store of speculated value and can't perform any other function by design.
The bitcoin ecosystem is eager to sell out to the very financial establishment they were ranting about throughout its history. News of any bank even thinking about crypto sees thousands of excitable news articles and soaring prices.
For its original purpose as a digital currency, USD value should not matter (as long as it doesn't fluctuate too much)
Bitcoin is the killer app. Similarly, the internet is great not because of TCP, but because of the information (which is what gives it value).
To store wealth in Bitcoin you are committing to the constant burn of energy in perpetuity.
Statements like this are, IHMO, the driver behind the BTC hate. It's the pure hyperbole typical of the tech scene.
It's not world-changing, it's just a payment processing platform. The decentralized aspect is interesting, but doesn't add value for most use cases. Venmo is free, super easy to use and there's little risk of my Mom permanently losing all of her funds from the account.
For the general public, the only thing BTC has changed in the world is it has given hackers the facilities to extort them.
Also, no need to talk that much down on the rest of us with your last paragraph.
We get what Bitcoin is all to well (heck I even have a research paper published for hashing algorithms). some of us are decently well off to not need to gamble for cash. If Bitcoin hit 10m a piece, I don't think I've lost anything (same if tulips or dogs are sold 10m a piece). I did SETI cpu donating time in the olden days, ran a BBS, and brought email to a small mountain village. I loved internet in the early days and now.
Sometimes, people like me, just want to stop the fools being burned on a pyramidal snake oil, because we are older, and have seen the shit in various forms.
On this forum, I assume the rest are similar to me, but perhaps a bit younger, so the anti Bitcoin sentiment is just a sentiment to maybe save you some of your hard earned money. That is my reason. I won't guess the others.
Tldr, we get it all to well. There is no hate. But do ask yourself why we still maintain our stance/advices.
The statists are fundamentally opposed to bitcoin on many levels, so the vitriol runs hot and heavy there.
The Libertarians love bitcoin like their forebears liked gold and distrusted the government.
What is money today but the ultimate manifestation of politics in everyday life?
Then there is the constant use of strawman like you did here with internet question.
This is even more obvious for the disaster that is the DAO: the idea that the nuances of human life and its conflicts currently settled by courts can adequately and unambiguously captured in code is, as has now been shown repeatedly, laughable. Personally, I also consider it somewhat frightening that people would actually subscribe to a philosophy so myopic as to completely deny the value of anything that isn't technology.
Technologically, bitcoin it is certainly fascinating. And a decentralised, electronic competitor to cash does seem more attractive than a future where VISA and PayPal control all that data. Unfortunately, bitcoin has completely failed in that regard. Adoption as an actual means of payment is declining. Even experts frequently lose money to hacks, hardware failures, or inattentiveness. Settlements take longer than many competing technologies, and the one area currently underserved, namely micropayment, is also priced out of bitcoin.
Bitcoin evangelist are also not doing the technology any favours. See, for example:
> Do people fear what they don't understand?
This implies that bitcoin critics are stupid. They're not.
This implies that they are jealous. While that's obviously something that happens, I can assure you it is in no way a significant in the opposition. I do own a few dozen bitcoin, for example, because I used mining to get into cuda a few years back.
That implies some sort of conspiracy, and also portraits any critic as being a shill, or bot, or similar, whose opinion can then be considered illegitimate.
It's interesting to see how the bitcoin community was, from the start, driving by this antagonism versus government and the financial system. Bitcoin was considered as some sort of grand threat to the established order, and the government was expected to come down hart on it "any day now". In reality, however, regulatory bodies have almost without exception taken a rather relaxed approach. Questions of taxation were clarified, and existing rules such as KYC enforced to discourage the use of bc for illegal activity, yes. But overall, governments' reaction was nowhere near what the community expected, or what would be expected from a corrupt system trying to defend its power against a credible threat.
It is only with the rather obvious overheating, and widespread fraud, of ICOs that scrutiny of this market has somewhat increased.
The reason it cannot be valued or invested-in is that it is a currency, and as such it only has a price. The difference is a bit murky to me (value v. price) but I think it's because as a currency it has a 'fiat' kinda representation.
He has a solid set of valuation videos on YouTube and offers a large library of finance teaching materials that most business students are sure to encounter during their studies.
> The only exception that I can think off is that if it becomes a necessary component of smart contracts, it could take on the role of a commodity; that may be ethereum's saving grace, since it has been marketed less as a currency and more as a smart contracting lubricant.
This applies to bitcoin too, but he doesn't seem to be aware of it. So when he later claims
> You cannot value Bitcoin, you can only price it: This follows from the acceptance that Bitcoin is a currency, not an asset or a commodity. Any one who claims to value Bitcoin either has a very different definition of value than I do or is just making up stuff as he or she goes along.
It's just not true. There is obviously some actual inherent value to being able to do escrow via multisig rather than via mutual complete trust in some third party. You can argue that the value is very low, but obviously there's some inherent value to the system.
People don't buy technology, they buy the experiences technology creates.
If the price remains this volatile I have no reason to sell it, or to use it as a currency to purchase goods and services. The real problem is that the technology wasn't designed to increase the value of the coin, it was designed to create a currency for use in purchasing goods and services. In other words, if I can't use the technology for what it was intended for (purchasing goods and services) than I can't experience what the technology creates.
The Mississippi Bubble is an interesting one to invoke here. It was a share bubble fueled by France's overprinting of paper money and habitual currency devaluation.
The idea was to create a monopoly that would exploit the vast riches of France's territories in North America. The company never got off the ground, but the shares were sold and began trading anyway. Investors starved for returns flocked to the trading of the shares.
So yes, it's entirely possible that the overproduction of money by the world's governments is fueling a speculative bubble in stocks, bonds, Silicon Valley startups, and even digital currencies - not unlike the Mississippi Bubble.
Unlike the other inflating assets, however, the supply of bitcoin is rigidly fixed. As world governments produce ever more currency in an attempt to keep the other bubbles inflated, we can expect the bitcoin exchange rate to respond accordingly.
It's worth noting that the basic idea behind the Mississippi company was sound. The Mississippi was set to become a hub of world economic activity and valuable almost beyond measure - but not on the time scale of the day's short-sighted investors.
>When the crash comes, and it cannot be too far away, it will be dramatic.
People have been saying that Bitcoin was going to crash for years now. And it has, multiple times, but always recovered so far. Seems like there's no shortage of "fools" willing to pump the currency even if for the most part they probably don't completely understand what it is, what it does and how it works.
The summary is a coin flip in essence.
It did, however, get me to think about this question:
Is there a point where enough "fools" get involved that Bitcoin becomes "too big to fail"?
But the way more usual outcome is that a bubble pops, not that it is lifted into infrastructural status. (But yeah, both happen, just with widely different rates.)
At this point the most anxious investors will start selling their coins, fearing a crash. This in turns causes the value to start dropping and then you have a runaway effect as more and more people want to dump their coin, crashing its value more and more.
The Economist is not really written having crypto enthusiasts or HN crowd in mind. The article is a decent summary of the current state of affairs to someone who's just curious about what the hell is bitcoin.
- that bitcoin is an important tech that will eventually gain widespread adoption
- current high price of bitcoin is due to speculation and is a "bubble"
We already have exchanges and clearinghouses like Coinbase for example. It's easy to imagine a Bitcoin-backed payment infrastructure offered by Coinbase or a Visa-like consortium of exchanges.
Of course this taps into a huge and messy ideological debate about what kind of thing Bitcoin ought to be.
I hear people preaching wider adoption by all means, but none tackles the limits.
I apologize, but it looks like the proponents want money in, and scarcity remaining.
That line of reasoning is especially risky in finance: right now, very few people are invested in Bitcoin. If it became popular, all of the early users would become very rich. The major players all know this and I find it extremely unlikely that they wouldn't make a serious play to avoid that line of money going to someone else. Say a few major banks, Apple/Google/Square/Venmo, etc. setup a competitor: on day one it'd be accepted by orders of magnitude more vendors and they'd presumably have paid attention to the endemic security, reliability, and performance concerns. How many people have enough of a stake in Bitcoin that they wouldn't jump ship – hundreds, maybe thousands?
> If everyone tried to realise their Bitcoin wealth for millions, the market would dry up and the price would crash; [...]. And because investors know that could happen, there is every incentive to sell first. When the crash comes, and it cannot be too far away, it will be dramatic.
Let's try this with something else:
If everyone tried to realise their Google stocks for millions, the market would dry up and the price would crash; [...]. And because investors know that could happen, there is every incentive to sell first. When the crash comes, and it cannot be too far away, it will be dramatic.
If everyone tried to realise their hoarded gold for millions, the market would dry up and the price would crash; [...]. And because investors know that could happen, there is every incentive to sell first. When the crash comes, and it cannot be too far away, it will be dramatic.
Look, I'm an economist! Sell your Google shares NOW!
(Or, to make the point directly, yes "that could happen", but that doesn't mean that it's likely. And if it's not likely, the conclusion doesn't hold. And if the conclusion doesn't hold, the author is not justified in saying that it's likely. The argument is essentially a circular one: If I assume that Bitcoin is likely to crash, I can "reason out" that it is likely to crash.)
Bitcoin has no intrinsic value. Its value is just what you can trade it for at the moment.
I'm not up to date on Google specifically, but for a long time in its existence, it did not pay a dividend, so its shares did not represent a meaningful stake in Google's revenue stream. Did they have an intrinsic value anyway?
But regardless of your answer to that, my statement stands. If everyone holding Google stocks suddenly started selling them off, the price would crash. It's just very unlikely that it would happen. More likely for Bitcoin? Maybe, but people have made this doomsday argument for quite a while now, and so far it's not proven right.
If everyone would race to sell Google stocks for no reason, the price would quickly drop to a level where it would make huge sense to start buying. Imaging having a dividend to price ratio of 1000%. Even with no dividend, buying stocks (preferably with voting rights) in a company at a price to profit ratio of 1000% would be a great deal as it'd be a small thing to start paying dividends with those profit levels.
This does not mean that there aren't overvalued stocks and physical assets which does not make sense to buy at the current price. Bubbles has occurred before...
So no intrinsic value then. Just the expectation of possible future earnings. That obviously cannot work!
> the price would quickly drop to a level where it would make huge sense to start buying
Like for Bitcoin. Yes, there would be enough Bitcoin fans who got rich enough on Bitcoin to have spare cash to start buying if it dropped a lot.
Thanks for playing.
Apart from the lack of legal structures, is Bitcoin that different from bonds or holding stock options which you bought for pennies? Alaska was purchased for mare $7m in 1960s which is worth $100m in today's money. You no longer can attach a price for Alaska because it not for sale but it is certainly worth a lot more. Similarly, Bitcoin is by far the largest wealth distribution most of us will experience.
Now you may disagree that with the fact that Bitcoin is currently traded for prices way above to what it used to be worth 6-7 years ago but similarly from the 1960s to 2017s the average inflation is about 1430.1% Keep mind that the 60s were neither globalised nor connected as much as today. And in a global, connected world everything happens at much faster pace.
Btw, I am not an economist, neither I claim that I have a good grasp of cryptocurrency. I just have an opinion :) and that all it is.
But I think it’s wrong to think of Bitcoin as a commodity, or that it needs some killer application. I really think Bitcoin is best thought of as a currency. Fiat currencies work because as a whole, we agree on its value. Usually, it’s backed by a country’s government, which represents the country’s populace. It’s value is inherently determined by the size of their economy.
Right now, Bitcoin isn’t backed by a government at all, but it’s still backed by people. Those people obviously feel that Bitcoin is worth what it is today. Of course, that can change, just like any currency.
But eventually, Bitcoin will reach a value high enough that more and more people will start accepting it alongside fiat. I mean, go to any border town along the Canada-U.S. border, and they all accept USD and CAD. Clearly, they do that because it’s advantageous to attract customers. That could eventually happen with Bitcoin. Then we’ll stop worrying about Bitcoin’s valuation so much, insofar as we stop worrying about the values of fiat currencies. It matters, but not that much.
When that will happen, and at what value, I have no idea. But until then, I’m hodling.
I think you've got the causality there a bit backwards. The exchange price of bitcoin is mostly irrelevant to a business deciding whether to accept it as a currency or not. What businesses care about is stability, transaction fees, customer convenience, and the difficulty of implementing and maintaining the payment system. They couldn't care less what the _current_ exchange rate is.
Whereas on the other hand I suspect Bitcoin speculators care very much about mainstream acceptance of Bitcoin, and therefore wider adoption by businesses is indeed likely to drive the price up.
Fiat currencies work because as a whole, we agree on its value.
When you start off your thought with a category error, as you have here, it's hard to get anywhere useful.
how much you need to buy a loaf of bread is purchasing power.
The price of a $1USD is always relative to another currency, you can't price it in isolation.
None of these things are valuations.
Why spend a thousand dollars on an item when that thousand dollars could be worth more tomorrow by buying btc with it.
Its the same choice. The currency you use is irrelevant.
If someone want's to start a business there is next to no point in me lending them bitcoin in the hopes of getting it back with interest. My bitcoin would increase in value regardless.
>Bitcoin will reach a value high enough that more and more people will start accepting it alongside fiat.
It has value now yet it isn't being accepted by many places. If amazon adopts it i'll change my view here. For now it's just a commodity to me.
Bitcoin is worth only its intrinsic value - which is essentially the value of the electricity used to create it.
While we're on this topic, why are all Ethereum projects so damn meta? Like, the top dapps are all recursively related to Ethereum in some way (like wallets for ethereum, different ways of spending ethereum etc.) If a technology is new and exciting, shouldn't it be relevant outside of its own little meta-bubble? Like Amazon, for example. Buy stuff without going anywhere. It uses the internet but doesn't somehow recursively relate to it. Where's a similar dapp today?
The difference is that the average person doesn't have a need which would motivate them to use it. As soon as networks became available, people jumped on them because there were tons of things they could do: download software, chat, shop, find a date, read the news, etc. Bitcoin hasn't found that draw yet — literally the only time I've heard a non-technical person mention it was because they'd heard about a VC investing in a startup and they were wondering whether they should buy some in case the price goes up.
If only that use case were to become successful, it would provide tremendous value.
In a world where bitcoin is actually use as currency, its value would crash into the ground.
Some people do indeed believe in them, whether for technical reasons or for simply being invested, while others just keep thinking that it will crash. Both sides have a point, and majority of the people are convinced that they are right, but there's no way to predict the future.
Let's just see what happens.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, doesn't perform its simple functions well in the short term, and seems to have very little idea on how to scale long term:
1. Transactions are still pretty expensive and take a good while to settle.
2. Proof of work as a long term consensus strategy just doesn't work. The amount of energy required to mint transactions is immense.
3. Bitcoin hasn't made the headway with corporate partnerships that I think will be critical for larger adoption.
On Ethereum's end: a movement to proof of stake, sharding with global consensus, and the corresponding lightening and whisper networks all are really exciting domains of exploration. My two primary worries here are:
1. There has not been much work yet to bring well designed languages to the EVM at this point. Well designed languages, with good testing frameworks (QuickCheck from the Haskell landscape comes to mind), and formally verified fundamentals (e.g. wallets) are critical for contracts to be viable for anything other than playthings.
2. I worry about regulation totally hammering down innovation in this arena before it can sufficiently get past the rough early days. I do cautiously applaud Russia's hesitance to regulate, in an attempt to avoid destroying innovation.
On (1), I would love to get involved writing adapters for languages or subsets of languages like OCaml or Haskell to compile down to the EVM. If anyone knows of any resources I could jump into to explore this type of project, I would love it if you linked them.
I suspect that this is better solved by more domain specific languages instead of an existing FP language
I don't disagree, but with the current state of current Ethereum languages: Viper and Solidity, I feel as though using the good thinking in an existing well designed language might be more worthwhile to explore in the short to medium term.
I honestly don't see any cryptocurrency being used as a currency possibly ever but at least not until it stabilizes in value. You have to look no further than the real world to see what happens with unstable currencies. In countries like Venezuela for example a secondary economy forms around something stable like the US dollar.
The big problem with cryptocurrency is one of the things that many advocates claim as an advantage: there's no central bank who can affect the money supply. As much as people might, say, criticize the Fed for QE policies and central banks in general for "printing money", these things are actually necessary.
Bitcoin (et al) are like "digital gold". Gold as a currency had its place but there are huge problems with it and good reasons why the world went the way of fiat currencies.
So I see these coins being used ephemerally. For example: seller converts USD to BTC, spends that BTC on something. The seller immediately converts it back to USD so neither party has a holding period of BTC as there's too much risk attached.
That's all fine and there are definitely use cases for that. Unfortunately many of them are illegal so even though the tech is agnostic to such things, illegal uses are and will continue to be a big driver in cryptocurrency usage. This too will hurt widespread adoption.
As for the stellar rise in Bitcoin, I do think it will settle at some point for this reason: there has been a proliferation of other coins. At some point people are going to realize that these are interchangeable so you can just use whichever one you need to (again, ephemerally). New coins will fill the demand and they'll simply become another commodity.
Maybe that's the solution to the central bank problem.
Still, I can't help but wish I'd bought some Bitcoin at some point.
I make purchases using Bitcoin or credit cards. I then sell enough Bitcoin to pay the credit card bills.
I would hate to be on the hook for btc denominated loan.
Why should Uber be valued higher than Lyft?
That's a pretty crude comparison, but I'm just pointing out that just cause someone comes along and makes a clone of something doesn't mean it will be worth more than the original even if it is technologically superior.
It's true that forking a cryptocurrency required much less work than starting a company, but I don't think that the value comparison is that different.
If people believe Bitcoin should be valued higher than a clone of Bitcoin even if the clone is better, Bitcoin will be valued higher.
Yes. It's easier to find shops that accept Bitcoin than it is to find shops that accept other cryptocurrencies. That's the utility: Being able to use it to buy stuff.
This utility is not because Bitcoin made superior technical choices, it's simply due to first mover advantage and network effects. If every place that accepts Bitcoin today started accepting other cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin would be likely to lose against those with higher transaction capacity and cheaper/more transparent fees.
Right now most cryptocurrencies trade against Bitcoin. If that were to change it would require all exchanges introducing new trading pairs against some other coin. Not saying that won't happen, but it would take some time.
Also, yes those companies have revenue, expenses, earnings which can be used to value them. My point was let's say tomorrow I release my own uber competitor. Even if it is better in every way than Uber: Better UX, faster, easier to make payments, all robotic cars (debatable if that is better :]), etc, etc.
That does not mean that my app will gain adoption and end up becoming more valuable than Uber. Some of it has to do with brand recognition, first mover advantage, press coverage, etc.
A lot of people thought Ethereum would take over as the dominant cryptocurrency cause it can arguably do everything bitcoin and more, but that didn't happen and Bitcoin is still going strong.
I know that you can buy fractions, but somehow it does not feel right to buy 0.2347 Bitcoin, and I actually heard people say that they are buying virtually any other Coin because it is cheaper. It is not rational, but nonetheless it is happening.
Well no. A limited supply of something doesn't guarantee value. There has to be a need and a want for it in the first place. I could issue one of my socks a day for 20 days claiming a limited supply, but that doesn't mean they are going to be worth anything by the end of it.