I remember this old argument for cryptocurrency being that (unlike digital fiat) cryptocurrency has value independent of its value as a currency, because it fuels transactions on the blockchain. My understanding was that I could borrow the computing power of the Ethereum Virtual Machine to run an application/contract by spending Ether, which is burned in the process. So the difference is that I can spend Ether out of existence, while I can't do that with USD.
Am I thinking about this the right way? Like I could power a sterling engine by burning paper cash, but I can't do that with digital fiat. Can I do that with Ether? Is its value tied to a function other than what the users think it's worth? I know the EVM isn't very efficient or powerful right now, but imagining where it could be in 10 years...
from Ethereum https://www.reddit.com/r/ethereum/comments/dwiqqs/question_about_ethereum_as_computing_power/