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Bitcoin Believers Keep the Faith

Stocks in this article: OSTK

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bitcoin is being boosted, according to a survey by Simulacrum, by some Ron Paul diehards.

The survey indicates they have an average age of almost 30, they are nearly all male, they have money to spare and most feel themselves to be part of a global community, not a local one.

Their politics are highly libertarian, even anarcho-capitalist, meaning they have enormous distrust of any government, according to a survey of libertarians by, and they generally have enough money to toss at something that may be worthless, like a bitcoin.

In other words, they are a lot like Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong.  Armstrong, 31, is a graduate of my alma mater, Rice University. According to his Crunchbase profile, he previously co-founded University Tutor, which puts students together with qualified tutors.

In a commentary posted last week at TechCrunch, Armstrong insists those who have invested in bitcoins "remain totally confident" because it's an open-payment network, a protocol such as e-mail, and he noted that bitcoins are gaining merchants, such as (OSTK)

Bitcoin isn't gold, but as with gold, there is a limited quantity of bitcoin. Bitcoin believers think that makes it safer. But as with everything else involving bitcoin, that, too, is a matter of belief. There's no governance structure underlying any of the believers' claims.

There is no inherent value in bitcoins, which are "mined" by computers. Their value is determined through an ongoing auction process. There is nothing real backing them -- no physical product -- just the faith and credit of corporations backing the trading process.

Companies like Mt. Gox.

And these corporations, such as Coinbase, are not really people, despite what the Supreme Court may say. If Coinbase goes away, Brian Armstrong goes merrily on, and the same is true for all the other bitcoin exchanges -- Bitstamp, Kraken, BTC China, Blockchain, Circle, The Bitcoin Foundation -- now piling into the market.

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