Shallow responses to even shallower claims that Bitcoin and crypto assets aren’t real

“Bitcoin and crypto assets aren’t real because they’re just information.”

If so, what about the majority of your paycheck that never gets converted into paper notes? And what about books present in one’s mind before they are expressed through spoken or written words?

“Yeah, but someone can always withdraw those as paper money or print them out on paper.”

In order for them to be printed, there must first be something to be printed.

And someone can always print out all the information required to unlock and spend a crypto asset.

Also: If digital assets aren’t real, wipe all of your electronic devices and swear that you do not experience the slightest feeling of loss. And if data does not exist physically, replace all your physical storage with blank versions and swear to us that absolutely nothing would have changed.

“Bitcoin isn’t real because I haven’t ever bought anything with it.”

You haven’t bought anything with most of the world’s major currencies. Does this mean that they, too, are not real?

“Bitcoin is not backed by a state so it cannot be used to pay for anything.”

Neither are iTunes, Amazon and Steam gift cards; phone credits; and loadable payment cards (e.g., cards used for transportation, toll booths, and parking). None of those are backed by the state, and all of them are used outside of their original intended marketplace.

“Bitcoin might exist, but it doesn’t have intrinsic value and therefore cannot be bought or sold!”

Neither does smoke or steam and yet both can be rented to use for heating.

And even if Bitcoin is not considered saleable property according to the Sacred Law, it could still be possessed, traded, and transferred similarly to manure and trained dogs – but it simply wouldn’t be recognized and protected as a sale (bayʿ).

“Digital worlds, digital acts, and digital assets ~ none of these exist.”

If so, why do you feel the need to react whenever someone says rude things to you online or another player impugns your mad skills and family virtue in the chatbox? A sane person does not get angry over the non-existent.

I wrote about some of these issues in one of my first Tabah publications: The Ethics of Virtual Worlds.

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