When I got into crypto and started buying some, I decided that I should think about where its value really comes from.
I realized soon that much of what sets the value is really just speculation: people buying and selling because they think its value is something, and that’s what actually ends up deciding much of how the price will move. Not all of it, but most of it. These are emerging assets, so there is a lot of uncertainty and hype, so people’s perceived value is not a reliable indicator of its true value.
So, when the dust settles, is there a true value? I had bought some ether, and I wondered, is this ether only valuable because people agree to value it, like gold, or is there some intrinsic value?
I think that it does have intrinsic value. There are some issues with regular fiat money, and there is the desire for some fixes. So people are figuring out the technology for a new form of money, whose transactions can be verified without a central authority etc. So the intrinsic value here is in the technology: the ideas that have been thought of and the algorithms that have been implemented.
That seems kind of a nebulous source of value. You know, the river originates from the melting glacier. And if we climbed the mountain and reached the glacier, we could see for ourselves the origin of the river. Where does the value of ether originate? Where can we see it forming?
The value is contained in the intelligence that is developed and programmed into the Ethereum system. And that intelligence originates in the minds of the people who are doing this work. So every time that Vitalik or his friends search in their mind for ideas and find them, right there is where the value is being created.
And where do new solutions emerge from in the mind? If you ask me, I think it is magical. Science, art, inspiration, innovation, they appear to come from some magical part of the brain when in the right headspace. An idea wasn’t there before, it was unknown even to the mind that was about to have it, and then it appears and becomes known. And somehow this magic happens for free. Where in the universe really do these new intelligences come from? Are they invisibly hanging out, waiting to blossom forth in minds? What do they ask from us in return? Seemingly not much, only perhaps it asks us to share.
It seemed very interesting to me, that on the one hand people are using this digital money to measure the values of things in a very zero-sum transactional sense, and sometimes fighting and swindling each other for it, but at its source the gift of the intelligence embedded in it is free.
I feel similarly about nature’s gifts of psychedelics. They come to us as a generous gift of concentrated powerful magic that simply grows on the ground, so I think we should be similarly generous and pass them on and their wisdom as gifts, and not build a selfish or greedy profit-based business with them.