The first step in any recovery, even an economic or political one, is the admittance of an actual problem. In the grand scheme during our present day, this is politically or economically impossible due to the fickle nature of markets and the increasingly fast nature of the press media. Were Bitcoin or something like it to eventually, as it were, take over the economy, this would inflict both political and economic consequences on the people at large. Namely, the value of all money would rise if transactions were primarily conducted with a fixed-supply asset.
Such things seem obvious to us now, having had years of experience with Bitcoin in practice. The first question of many is: is Bitcoin a store of value, a currency, or is it a digital currency? We understand that it does, in fact, work as all three currently, despite what some believe. If you had earned a lot of bitcoins in 2015, for instance, when Bitcoin’s core price dropped as low as $200, or even lower on some exchanges, and then had recently decided to sell them, you’d have made a handy 400% profit on your work. Such is an incentive to buy and hold, or accept and hold – which is really buying with goods, anyhow – bitcoins, and then sell them when the price rises. There are charts currently showing Bitcoin capable of reaching $1200.
But, our dear reader is not surprised to hear such things from the likes of CCN.com. After all, this is what we do. It is our wheel house. If it is crypto related, we are there. But what of the mainstream financial press, who cover many of the same aspects as us? Over the past five years, the mainstream media have gone through several steps of the recovery process with Bitcoin. First, they had to acknowledge that it existed, and that it may be solving a problem they didn’t know existed: the desire to transact privately, with cash, without a trace and without actual cash – as in, online. Thus was born the currency aspect, and this was most blown out of proportion during the Silk Road times. Just before that time, 2011, Financial Times wrote of Bitcoin:
We like the currency trader’s rather more nuanced take, and also Simpson’s own appraisal after using bitcoins to buy lunch (houmous and olives, if you were wondering) at a New York restaurant: “My Bitcoins have lost value since I bought them, but I’m not writing this to ask you to buy them from me. I’m completely content to be the greater fool. I’m writing this to emphasize that Bitcoin is an experiment, which is something very different from a Ponzi scheme. This experiment will probably fail at some point for reasons other people have already enumerated, and that’s fine. We’ll have learned an enormous amount from it.”
Then, during that time, in 2012, the Financial Times said of Bitcoin:
Bitcoin halved in value on other exchanges after Mt Gox posted a message on its website saying: “Orders will not be accepted for the moment as we need to upgrade our database to accommodate the trading volume.” The question now is whether merchants and Bitcoin users abandon the nascent economy because of the volatility.
This is a running theme with the Financial Times versus Bitcoin: Bitcoin’s volatility on trading markets is a liability to it as a currency. Meanwhile, said volatility is also what makes it most attractive to traders, who ultimately produce its value at market. Therefore, the single thing that makes Bitcoin most valuable at this time in terms of dollars is also the thing which the Financial Times likes the least about it.
In 2013, the publication took a more in-depth look at the currency. This is the year that made Bitcoin, in many people’s eyes. Everyone was talking about it, from the crime beats regarding the Silk Road to the financial press. The publication had no choice, and so said of it, on deeper review:
If Bitcoin has value, thus, it’s in its ability to dodge taxes and its antisocial nature.
Yes, forget about the soundness of the figures – the impossibility to counterfeit, and the myriad of other positives that Bitcoin represents. Obfuscation of funds from government agents is its only value, this particular article. Perhaps in 2014, we’ll get a more honest assessment of the thing, but instead we
Perhaps in 2014, we’ll get a more honest assessment of the thing, but instead, we find:
To wit, something which originated as pirate code for the purpose of extending the durability of illegitimate cash claims has turned into a veiled public extortion mechanism.
Several times, the publication has wrongly named Bitcoin a “pyramid scheme,” and these acts of intellectual dishonesty are not consistent. As we see, in 2011, the publication accepted that Bitcoin was experimental, rather than a scam. After all, the technology itself prevents money from being stolen in ways that banks can simply never achieve – properly done, it’s infinitely more secure than handing your funds over to someone else in plain text (cash). Yet, in 2015 and again this month, FT has gone full sour grapes.
FT seems incapable of making up its mind about Bitcoin as a currency, a tradeable asset, or even a technology. Here in the cryptosphere, we’ve long since decided that there is something worth investigating here. We spend a lot of time researching and talking about this thing, because it is in our wheelhouse. Given that FT does not consider Bitcoin as an actual threat to the banking system, or a valid way to do currency, or even a particularly novel technology, what have they to gain by writing about it at all?
There is a possibility that coverage in the Financial Times has more to do with influence than information – that is, perhaps a wide swath of its readership need to be influenced away from Bitcoin. So long as the masses of investors are stuck in the status quo, so too can the fiat money system, and so too can the many layers of rent-seekers who exist around it. Perhaps this is explanation: it is against their better interests to be in any way kind to something which could bankrupt much of their readership if allowed to flourish. What is for sure: the Financial Times is not interested in honestly assessing Bitcoin up to this point. The speed at which they do so probably correlates to the rate at which their readership passes on to the next life.
Image from Shutterstock.
Last modified: May 21, 2020 10:05 AM UTC