As someone who has spent the last couple years trying to explain how awesome Bitcoin is to all sorts of people, I’ve come to realize that there are 3 common arguments people make against it:
You Can’t Print More!
Yes, this is a serious argument that even some of the most renowned “economists” routinely shout against Bitcoin. The logic is that when financial crises occur there must be someone with the ability to print a heck of a lot more currency, and ASAP!
Ironically, this is the argument made by those who have gone through college-level economics courses. Common misconception is that pre central bank era there were regular, destructive boom and bust cycles that hurt a lot of people.
This is true, but these booms and busts were caused by the same things we see today: governments borrowing a ton because they always spend more than they have, and colluding with State chartered banks to fund these debts by printing money.
The gripe was that there was no centrally controlled monopoly, so the spend-borrow-print game only went on for a fraction of the time it does today.
There was nothing natural about those credit expansions and collapses, and so there is no reason anyone needs to be given monopoly rights over a currency to counterfeit it at will.
Bitcoin Can Be Used To Buy Illegal Things!
So can US dollars, euro, yen, rubles, rupees, afghanis, and every single paper currency. In fact, about 22.7% of global GDP is black market activity, which is almost exclusively conducted in cash.
Contrast this with the dominant illicit service for Bitcoin, Silk Road, which has an estimated annual revenue of $22 million. This represents about 1% of total bitcoin market capitalization.
Privacy is not just for criminals!
There’s Nothing Tangible Backing Bitcoin
The tangibility argument is a good one, since the purpose of a currency is to be able to buy things with it. Bitcoin is a start-up currency, which explains why you don’t see it accepted all over the world just yet. As a start-up, it has both high risk and potential for high reward.
There are a lot of really smart people devoting their energy and capital to solving this problem. Be patient!
We are in the early stages of a bitcoin gold rush. At first, bitcoin was being developed almost exclusively by open source enthusiasts, but that phase has matured into an influx of professional venture capital investment. It is only a matter of time before the innovations currently being funded hit the market.
In the meantime, take a look at this register of all the things you can buy with bitcoin.
When it comes down to it, money is a unit of measure; an accounting ledger that identifies relative value for real things. This is true for any paper currency, or precious metal. Ultimately, we want to know how much one thing is valued in relation to another, so that we can trade. Bitcoin solves this problem better than anything that has yet been devised, including gold. What gold has over bitcoin is a few thousand year history of success, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement!