The British Press and Getting It All Wrong About Bitcoin

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The British Press and Getting It All Wrong About Bitcoin

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How accurate the news is when it comes down to Bitcoin may just depend on where the reader chooses to source the information, especially if reliant on the British press.

Bitcoin is unquestionably a readable topic, whether in the daily newspaper or online; “finger bait” as it’s then called. But where does the reader turn to for accuracy? Clearly, judging by reports, not the British press.

Mainstream media still struggle with the facts when it comes to cryptocurrency, as numerous examples continue to show, which for crypto space as a whole is troubling due to the part popular media plays in forming public opinion. Those who absorb the facts and figures are rarely those in the industry itself; it’s those outside who are left to form their own opinions based on what they feed on, and facts are frequently far from a prominent feature of that reading.

Wired UK’s piece last week on how “perilously slow” Bitcoin was used by Russian hackers contradicted itself by saying it was a “breeze to spend”.

UK tabloid the Daily Express gives a great example of news which in fact is “no news”, not to mention inaccurate. Claiming that on a given day that 1 XRP was worth USD 45 (a leap indeed, and corrected since) instead of 45 cents, it then went on to focus on the fact Bitcoin had dropped or gained in a day to the tune of USD 100 as if it were a stock market crash. All was good, as the report concluded with “Bitcoin has turned losses into gains and is currently up USD 1.07 on the day so far”. Bitcoin holders would have been ecstatic as that’s a 0.01% movement in a day.

Another incredulous report from the last week, this time, The Sun, published two articles by two different “journalists” on the same day quoting “A single Bitcoin is worth over GBP 12,000 today”. The error was duly noted, but as this comment showed, it would be unforgivable if reported thus on international money markets:

“If the stock price of Microsoft or Apple were reported at more than double its current value, or the USD to GBP exchange rate was published at twice the level it should be there would be hell to pay – sadly the cryptocurrency markets are yet to command the level of respect the traditional FIAT world has come to rely upon.” points out that even more even-handed reporting from the Financial Times slips into a sort of niggling rhetoric after a while. It uses the example of Financial Times’ Jemima Kelly on universities’ moves towards crypto courses:

The news will continue to be covered in this way as it stimulates and entertains, but one can imagine a point at some time in the future if cryptocurrency hits the mainstream, the dissenters in the British press will turn around and say: “We told you so!” and “We knew it would be good!”.


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