It's interesting that the system can be configured to only allow a certain maximum number of coins ever to be generated. I guess the idea is that the amount of work needed to generate become more difficult as time goes on.
One immediate problem with any new currency is how to value it. Even ignoring the practical problem that virtually no one will accept it at first, there is still a difficulty in coming up with reasonable argument in favor of a particular non-zero value for the coins.
As an amusing thought experiment, imagine that Bitcoin
is successful and becomes the dominant payment system in user thoughout the world. Then the total value of currency whould be equeal to the total value of all the wealth in the world. Current estimates of total woldwide household wealth that I have found range from $100 trillion to $300 trillion. With 20 million coins, that gives each coin a value of about $10 million.
So the possibility of generating coins today with a few cents of compute thime may be quite a goog bet, with a payoff of something like 100 million to 1! Even if the odds of Bitcoin succeeding to this degree are slim, are they really 100 million to one against?
Something to think about...