Yes, you are wrong. Let's keep using my analogy.
Let's say there are 10,000 people on the internet who think Max is a great artist and that a Max original artwork is worth $50,000. Of course Max can keep making new artwork (it just takes a pen, a piece of paper and about 10 minutes of time). The reason that Max artwork is worth $50,000 is because that is what people are willing to pay for it.
1. Sal bought 10 Max artworks for $50,000. Maybe he bought it from Max directly, maybe he got it from Tina. Maybe he bought it for less money (say $2000 because Max wasn't so famous then). It doesn't matter. it is worth $50,000 now because that is what people are willing to pay for it
2. You need $1,000,000 worth of cryptocurrency to pay the ransom, so you go onto a market and say you want to by 20 of the things (now worth $50,000).
3. Sal and Ursula respond saying that they will sell you their cryptocurrencies. You pay the $1,000,000 to the market. Sal and Ursula get their money. This is anonymous... Sal and Ursula get the money and have no further obligation.
4. You then give the cryptocurrnecy to the criminals.
5. The criminals then go to the market and say. We have 20 cryptos, we want to sell them.
6. Bob goes to the market saying he wants to buy 20 cryptos. The criminals give Bob the cryptos. Bob gives the criminals the $1,000,000.
At this point, the criminals have their money, and (if you overlook the crime) no one owes anyone anything.
So at the end of this.
- You are out $1,000,000.
- The criminals gained $1,000,000.
- Sal and Ursula sold 20 cryptocurrency (Max art) for $1,000,000
- Bob bought 20 cryptocurrency (Max art) for $1,000,000
Everything balances out.