The supply of Bitcoins is restricted, sure, but what if...
" Either Bitcoin ultimately fails and the individual Bitcoins end up worthless. Or Bitcoin takes off and Bitcoins are worth hundreds of thousands of paper dollars, paper yen, paper euros, or paper pounds. Maybe more." - http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-25/guest-post-bitcoin-cryptographic-gold
"Bitcoins could be worth thousands of Dollars per coin" - http://www.runtogold.com/bitcoin-price/I haven't had a cab driver tell me he's buying Bitcoins yet, perhaps because I'm too cheap to take cabs, but we are heading that way. The key to the fevered speculation is the absolute limit to the supply of Bitcoins, set at 21m. If there were no limit, if a new cyber-seam could be discovered tomorrow, the current speculation would be madness. It probably is anyway. God, maybe if the upside is infinite that's actually a good risk-reward opportunity.
Whoa! No it isn't. The problem with the limited supply argument was staring me in the face: May I present:
ZinbcoinWTF is Zinbcoin? Zinbcoin is not Bitcoin! Geddit? *
Bitcoin has first-mover advantage but guess what? It's easily replicated. What if Goldman Sachs backed a rival to Bitcoin, Zinbcoin? Zinbcoin would still live in the cloud - a peer-to-peer mediated currency. But the Goldman imprimatur and perhaps some attractive sounding twist (a shrinking supply?) could see it overtake Bitcoin as the speculator's weapon of choice.
There's no limit of the number of Bitcoin rivals. Another degree of uncertainly will have undermined the mine.
The domain zinbcoin.org etc are available. Will someone register it? What will be the next puncoin? Will Google create one? How about Nioctib? Why Nioctib? Nioctib is often compared to innovator Bitcoin.
* Older geeks will remember an operating system called Xinu. Xinu is not Unix.