The Subjective Theory of Bitcoin

By Michael Accad MD



In a recent article on the Mises Institute’s Power and Market blog, Kyle Ward appealed to the subjective theory of value to castigate Peter Schiff for his notorious skepticism of Bitcoin:


Schiff is quick to point out that gold has uses outside of being money. It is used in electronics, dentistry, and jewelry, to name a few…This leads Schiff to claim that bitcoin is unlike gold in that it has no fundamental (or objective) value. His mistake is obvious: there is no such thing as objective value, whether we’re talking about gold or bitcoin. Value is subjective and determined internally by individuals…Yes, gold can be used to build electronics, but that only has value because consumers subjectively value electronics. (emphasis in the original)

I believe Ward errs in how he relates the subjective theory of value to Bitcoin, but his error stems both from an ambiguity in phrases like “objective value” and from an ambivalence in how the founding fathers of Austrian economics themselves considered the relationship between the human agent and the good being valued.

In this article I will argue that the “orthodox” Austrian school position regarding the emergence of sound money from commodities—first proposed by Carl Menger, subsequently developed by Ludwig von Mises, and presumably adopted by Peter Schiff—is the correct one. But I will appeal to a Scholastic notion of the good to defend that view. That notion of the good is also critical to secure the foundation of a sound economic science.




EDITOR’S NOTE: Florida Podiatry Practice Now Accepts Bitcoin 

JAWSPodiatry is now one of the first medical practices in South Florida to accept Bitcoin! Bitcoin, as you know is a virtual currency that has generated a lot of headlines and has been growing in use and acceptance across the country and around the world. It is a distributed, peer-to-peer digital currency that functions without the intermediation of any central authority. 



Thank You

Subscribe to the Medical Executive-Post



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: