Re: I still don't get...
Why there are people so enamoured with Crypto? I've got a long standing "debate" going with a work colleague who admits bitcoin has no intrinsic benefit but still sees epherium as being of merit.
I blame marketing. So I have a few tokens in my wallet. They're mostly promissory notes that I can take to the Bank and they promise to exchange my 10GBP for.. 10GBP. Or as that's not exactly useful, I could wander into a shop and convert my note into 3GBP of happy meal and 7GBP. This works, because thanks to custom, practice and government big sticks, pretty much everyone agrees that 10GBP is worth 10GBP.
So I could wander into a shop with 10 eels. Shopkeeper may refuse the transaction, because what's a stationery store want with a bag of eels? They won't fit in their till, and most customers won't want them as change. So to make it more convenient, I create the EEL. 1EEL=1GBP, because I'm worth it. Shopkeepers may disagree and refuse my trade. But if I can convince enough people that it is worth it, 1EEL could become worth 60,000GBP.. providing there are enough suck.. I mean people that agree.
Other tokens are available, including physical. So I could exchange £1 for 7.98g of gold in a handy token form. Well, I could try, but although a gold sovereign's only 'worth' £1, I can't buy them for that, because the market values them for their gold content and prices accordingly. Plus taxes. Which was the subject of a great Hogarth(?) cartoon displayed in one of my favorite museums at the Bank of England. Some fat gentleman swallowing gold coins and pooping out paper. New forms of money have always been a bit controversial. Some gain acceptance, some don't. Sterling's secured by people with guns and a lot of legislative firepower to assign value, FTT tokens.. weren't.
So basically a huge market correction when there was a disagreement over value and security. Bitcoin's weathered the storm better since it's inception because enough people are convinced it has value, and can be exchanged for goods & services. That was a problem when it first appeared because I could print my own money. Except it wasn't worth anything, and I couldn't really exchange it for anything I wanted. Especially legal things. But that was one of it's 'benefits', ie transactions could happen without the authorities knowing about it and interferring, and it's much easier to stash $1bn in bitcoin under the mattress than $1bn in banknotes awaiting laundry day. There are risks of course, ie the value fluctuates based on perception, but the same is true for any currency. As bitcoin's become more legitimate and regulated, trust has grown though.. Except when people discover depositing their crypto in a 'bank' offers no real security.
It's perhaps a strange role reversal where the largest bank robberies of recent times have been by the banks, like FTX.
T'other aspect is the whole blockchain thing. I think that has value in providing trusted and authenticated audit trails, and reducing paperwork. So I sometimes buy old share and bond certificates because I think they have art and historic value, despite having no real intrinsic value eg-
Which despite being 'worth' $1,000 in 1886, is worth less now. But would look nice framed and stuck on the wall. But in it's day, it would have been very valuable, and need to be kept safely. Now, it could be a digital bond secured by a block chain so the provenance is trusted. Mostly.