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The main argument here is that at its current state, you have to invest not-so-small capital in order to be part of the bitcoin production system. If no one puts capital, no bitcoin will be created. In this regard, bitcoin is different from all other cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum (Yes, Ethereum also uses POW but there new blocks can be created much faster with less capital intensity). This has nothing to do with 21 million cap or scarcity. 

Corrected. Thank you for pointing them out. 

"what would really be useful is the valuation of a cryptocurrency relative to fields outside of it." Yes, this is something I want to explore more as part of the value of cryptocurrency in general. I am also aware of these types of projects, at least in the mission statement. But I really don't know if that is really something they want to do, or it is purely for the sake of attracting more investors.

I feel like the question of "what is the value of a cryptocurrency" should be different from "what is the value of cryptocurrency in general?". and I suspect that the answer will extend to beyond cryptocurrency. 

For me, it is the latter question that I am interested in. I agree that if the question is about price, it is relatively straightforward. But I do believe that price is an important component of the valuation and the article you shared seems a good start for this angle. Thank you for sharing it.

Thank you for your comments. Those are all really good points and they inspired me with several new points that I need to think about:

  • Value of something has objective (but not constant) components and high dimensional.
  • A new questions is: Can there be a universal/fundamental component for the value notion such that we can use an equation like this: value of something = universal component + objective component to represent value notion?
  • Regarding your last point, I can't help but think that when different people have different valuations for the same thing because of the human irrationality, what does that really imply? Does it imply there is a universal value notion for (some) things and people are bad at predicting that or there is no universal notion and people should have different valuations? 

For instance, a computer's CPU is measured in GHz, which is a proxy for the number of calculations the CPU can run per second. So it is about one billion () calculations per second. Now let's suppose the number of calculations your program needs to run is , then you can make a Fermi estimation about the program's run time as , which is millisecond. Usually we would expect the actual run time will be within an order of magnitude of this estimation. 

For Bayes Probability, Bayes rule is a great introduction. Yudkowsky’s intro also endorses this one.

I can relate myself to this post very much. I have not used a cell/smart phone for the past two years now, and I don't feel like I missed anything important in these years. I do have an office phone that I can use to call my family members several times a day. I faced the same problem in terms of setting up my university email earlier this year, but fortunately I could do it using office phone. 

Every time when I had a problem like this, I tried to find a solution and usually I was able to find one. So I don't see myself getting back to a cell/smart phone anytime in the near future. 

 Great points. Two comments: 

  1. Ability to generalize is something we would expect from deliberate optimizers. The point is that the strategies of accidental optimizers do not generalize well compared to deliberate optimizers. 
  2. Deliberate optimizers intend to optimize and they do in fact optimize by applying one or more strategies. We would expect those strategies work well when a different agent applies those strategies to optimize the same criterion. In that sense, if the observer is this different agent, then yes.
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