Personally I don't understand enough about Bitcoin to hold a strong opinion of it either way. I own a little (and I mean little) bit of it, but I don't keep up with the news or really care. I'd rather have 'real' money, and being someone who also enjoys precious metals it's hard to beat the whole, "If you can't hold it, you don't own it" mindset.
I thought it was an interesting idea, though academics and researchers are usually rewarded for being clever, not necessarily right.
Had it been an explicit pyramid scheme, it would look the same. e.g., if "Santoshi" had designed it so he could mine the first 10% of coins (which are much easier than the last 10%) and then they'd rise in value. Not sure that happened, but it's possible the next batch of miners or those who bought early on looked at it that way.
Its not a pyramid scheme. Bitcoin was designed as a medium of exchange and like a fiat currency it has value as long people agree it has value - it is a fiat currency, just not one backed by a state.
It it does look like the price is the result of a speculative bubble (so the tulip comparison may be a valid one) - the price seems to be driven by people who buy it speculatively (to sell at a profit) rather than people who actually use it as a medium of exchange.
That is very true, anything that people think will raise in value tomorrow is perceived as a good investment, no matter the mechanics behind it.
That being said, whoever created bitcoin could have not anticipated it will ever be so popular, or at least not fast enough, maybe a PoC for the future. Even if that was the goal, there is no denial Blockchain technology and bitcoin per se have a lot of applications and utility, but yeah, the value it has now is completely not supported by the actual level of penetration and usage, so I believe 90% of it is speculation.
Not really, soon bitcoin will be used in real life shopping. These type of things are being created because they do not want Bitcoin to be used as a payment method. Though since the price is too unstable, it is very hard for the the providers.
I don't think that bitcoin is a pyramid scheme because that implies evil intent, which can't be proven. I do, however, consider all of the well known crypto currencies as a) technically unsound, and b) as not long-lived.
From what I see only very few crypto currencies, typically with at least some governments acceptance, will stay/become/survive relevant. And obviously some billions of real money will be lost.