A great deal of the discussion focuses on what I would describe as "policy issues" – e.g. what market and policy mechanisms are needed to ensure price stability, combat financial crime, ensure tax compliance, and provide adequate protections to consumers holding these assets. While important, these issues are distinct from a more imperative discussion around the essential characteristics of the underlying asset itself.
One of the most common statements made about Bitcoin is that it holds no intrinsic value. Gold, under popular perception, holds immense intrinsic value. Fiat money holds value because it is backed by the credit of the governments who issue it.