Bitcoin would be nothing more than wild conjecture if it lacked this base. However, even if the process of price discovery were to be completed and an exact estimation of Bitcoin's true value could be made (there would be no more "mooning"), the situation would still be problematic. There is still a justification for making the acquisition. After interest rates plummeted, consumers bought equities, real estate, and even Pokemon cards for the same reasons. https://funnyshooter2.com

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You make a couple of assumptions:

1. Bitcoin is useful to people because its nominal value rises.

2. Exchanges who custody Bitcoin *own* that Bitcoin.

If people were solely purchasing Bitcoin for nominal increases in price, as a pure speculative asset, it would be true that all they seek is to hold wealth over later adopters. Whether you accept it or not, the narrative is that they are both getting in on a novel asset in price discovery, and, all importantly, that the asset has store of value guarantees not available elsewhere.

Without this foundation, Bitcoin would be pure speculation, but even if price discovery were finished and the fair value of Bitcoin accurately appraised (no more 'mooning'), there would still be reason to purchase it - it's the same reasons people purchased stocks, real estate, and Pokemon Cards after interested rates tanked; Bitcoin is the superior version of what those purchases sought. No fantasies of feudalism required, but if people want to risk getting in early they can pay the price and reap the benefits - we are still early.

Secondly the figure on ownership is slightly misleading. During the last massive price run-up about 2.5 million Bitcoin, 10% of the supply was held by exchanges. Much of that is actually owned by users of the exchange, if not custodied by them. Exchanges will certainly use their supply to accumulate, but there is at least a large group of frozen holders not susceptible to it - the counter-play is to not play the trading game.

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