Mainstream media’s relationship with cryptocurrencies has had many chapters. Initially, most outlets bashed cryptos as just another bubble that would fade in no time. That was back when it was cool to trash the new technology that not many understood. Things changed quickly and the market started being receptive to cryptos, and so did the media outlets. CNBC began running segments dedicated to cryptos, Fortune had ‘The Ledger’ crypto and blockchain segment while Bloomberg had all the breaking crypto news.
However, every once in a while, a mainstream media outlet decides to go on an anti-crypto rampage. The latest is the reputable New York Times, the second-highest selling newspaper in the United States. In a report titled ‘Amid Bitcoin Uncertainty, the Smart Money Knows That Crypto Is Not Ready’, the publication dug into how institutional investors have failed to invest in cryptos.
There were signs that Wall Street was quite interested in cryptos, the report said. However, most of the early entrants have stalled or quit crypto altogether. It cited Goldman Sachs’ failed crypto desk, Bakkt delay and delisting of Bitcoin futures by the Cboe as some of the key indicators that Wall Street was having a second thought.
Part of the report read:
“Some cryptocurrency enthusiasts had hoped that the entrance of Wall Street institutions would give them legitimacy with traditional investors. But their struggles — and waning interest — illustrate the difficulty in bringing Bitcoin from the fringes of the internet into the mainstream financial world.
The report by the fifth-most visited news website globally irked many in the crypto community. While it is true that some of the Wall Street titans have had to re-strategize, it certainly doesn’t mean cryptos are flawed or have lost their potential to overhaul financial systems.
We Won’t Take it Lying Down
One of the first to respond was Asiff Hirji, the president and COO of the leading U.S crypto exchange Coinbase. Hirji took to Twitter to call out the NY Times, describing the report as ironic since Bitcoin had just hit $5,000.
More irony on the day bitcoin spikes https://t.co/c05g3cadYf
— Asiff Hirji (@AsiffHirji) April 2, 2019
Crypto is more than ready. Coinbase offers a scale, insured, Qualified Custodian; the deepest compliant pool of liquidity and agency-only execution (we do not trade against our clients). Smart money is already in crypto.
And yet, this wasn’t even the worst attack on cryptos this week. Tech news website Gizmodo published an even more scathing article in which the publication blatantly attacked Bitcoin. Why should you care what Gizmodo says, you wonder. Well, it’s because according to some estimates, it rakes in over 23.5 million unique viewers a month. Spreading FUD to such a high number of people can have a significant effect on Bitcoin’s overall perception.
The controversial article stated:
“To be clear, Bitcoin is absolutely worthless by any real measure. It’s fake money that’s about as practical to use in the real world as Monopoly bills. Bitcoin is backed by nothing and requires tremendous amounts of energy to mine using computers. As it becomes more difficult to mine, it saps more and more energy, causing millions of tons of carbon dioxide to be pumped into the atmosphere and accelerating climate change. Bitcoin is little more than a speculator’s death cult at this point.”
In an era where fake news has become the order of the day, you’d be forgiven for thinking that reputable media outlets such as the New York Times and Gizmodo would do better.