Bitcoin has felt the full force of the banking industry in recent years, while analysts haven’t been too kind about the cryptocurrency lately either. While these ongoing problems are something that Bitcoin has been able to take in its stride, its biggest enemy has presented an altogether different challenge. Part of the purpose behind Bitcoin was to float a currency that was self-limiting and – in a sense – self-controlling.
However, nobody could have ever predicted the sheer rise in both value and popularity that Bitcoin would experience. Standing on the cusp of the mainstream, its presence appeared to make the standard currency-backed financial sector extremely nervous. With Bitcoin on a seemingly unstoppable rise, industries that were feeling the heat decided to battle back. Enter the era of fake news, with many false and misleading news reports actually dirtying Bitcoin’s otherwise honest name. As we’ve seen over the past few months, fake news surrounding Bitcoin is on the rise, with it clearly having an impact on its value.
Fake news and half-truths
Part of the reason why fake news has been able to run rampant is because the crypto market is unregulated. It means that half-truths are the nature of the beast at times, with it being difficult to differentiate between what’s right and wrong. Nations where there is some form of legal framework in place – Japan, South Korea, US, and so forth – have managed to clamp down on the issue, but they haven’t been able to outlaw fake news altogether.
Due to the lack of ability to rid the world of fake news, financial and banking institutions have been quick to bash Bitcoin and describe it as a “bubble”. But, this isn’t where the story ends, as these same institutions have actually been contributing to the waves of fake news flooding newswires.
We’ve all seen the various nonsensical stories that tag Bitcoin as scandalous, with such stories grabbing the attention of financial institutions, regulators, and mass consumers. Combine them with the legitimate stories addressing the dark side of cryptos – issues related to black market usage, hacking attacks, fraud, Ponzi schemes, and criminal activities – and the line between fact and fiction begins to blur.
As the Bitcoin buzz rumbles on, media outlets have discovered that fake news stories surrounding Bitcoin are popular reads. Putting traffic before truth, they’ve gone beyond the pale in some instances to exploit Bitcoin through controversial and often contradictory posts. These articles tend to fall in the eyeline of regulators under the guise of the truth, which has subsequently created further problems for Bitcoin.
Guilty by association
Hurting Bitcoin’s cause amongst the mainstream media are the various cryptocurrency scams out there. We’ve recently listed five of the biggest scams to deliver a word of warning to our members. However, many media outlets have gone over the top with the “Bitcoin is a scam” rhetoric.
These stories address supposed bitcoin Ponzi schemes, bitcoin wallet scams, bitcoin mining investment scams, bitcoin phishing scams, and bitcoin exchange scams. Here’s the issue, the vast majority of scams – almost all of them – aren’t directly linked to Bitcoin. Just look at the common articles published via Forbes and the Financial Times, statements like “Whenever something gets hot, the only guarantee is that scamsters will lock onto it like a heat-seeking missile. The virtual currency Bitcoin is no exception,” are simply bending the truth.
Even alternate financial newswires continue to push this fake news agenda, just a few months ago Yahoo! Finance published an article titled “Bitcoin scams: don’t fall victim to them!”. Fortune went in even harder on Bitcoin with “Bit Con? Veteran fraud expert sets his sights on bitcoin”. There are certainly cryptocurrencies based around scams, including various questionable ICOs, but they aren’t directly tied to Bitcoin in spite of what the mainstream media might have you believe.
Fakes news has been running rampant in recent years, with Bitcoin feeling the brunt. What’s clear is that the current spate of fake news related has an anti-Bitcoin undertone to it that those uneducated on the cryptocurrency market seem to be falling for. There is a real ethical issue at hand, especially when you consider that many leading social media platforms recently banned crypto advertising, yet still openly publish anti-Bitcoin fake news articles.
There is no denying that the rise in Bitcoin fake news has impacted its public perception. The way both the mainstream and alternative media addresses Bitcoin ends up being a key reference point in the on-going cryptocurrency debate. Making matters worse, we see plenty of older articles that dismissed Bitcoin during its infancy being quoted, and even republished as fact in 2018. Even though the arguments put forward in these articles have long since been disproved, they’re still put under the spotlight and deemed reputable. Evidently, it’s a twisted cycle that shows no real signs of ending.
Shared knowledge has been a key part of Bitcoin’s success. Look at the Bitcoin Reddit for a prime example of a community that has come together to support a refreshingly innovative commodity. But, the nature of shared knowledge is changing in the era of fake news, as Bitcoin’s public perception is being altered through the distribution of outdated, misleading, and misinformed content.
An all-out attack
Fake news has certainly harmed Bitcoin, but these articles aren’t published and spread by chance. Taking the pharmaceutical industry as an example, its shady nature often sees companies use questionable marketing practices to attack opposing firms. Such practices have made big pharma a minefield to navigate, as the lies often override the truth. False and dangerous information is now deemed part of the game and has even gone as far to put the consumer at risk as a result.
Bitcoin has followed a similar track, as the banking industry has been openly attacking Bitcoin for some time. But, it is now believed that many of the fake news stories being circulated actually have banking sector roots. Speaking to The Times, Ed Pownall (Coingeek Global PR Director) said, “A concept as disruptive to the banking sector status quo as Bitcoin has translated into considerable resistance to its very existence, and therefore, we know that many have an agenda to kill it at birth. As a result, they feed the media, who may not fully understand the ins and outs of this very complex currency, with incorrect information in order to create doubt and uncertainty.”
Pownall’s statements are dark, but don’t appear to be too far from the truth. Sadly, he – like many others – don’t see the media storm surrounding Bitcoin being cleaned up anytime soon. “There will always be white noise and “fake news” he said.
Rising above fake news
The road to ridding the world of fake news is going to be long, but change does seem to be in the air. Legal developments in places like Japan mean that Bitcoin has been given a governmental stamp of approval, as the cryptocurrency is able to work within compliance systems that guarantee the transparency and safety of transactions.
Japan has even gone as a far as registering Bitcoin as a commodity, thus making it subject to various taxes. Even a Dutch court deemed Bitcoin commodity that carries “transferable value” during a recent small-claims case, which represents small yet significant progress.
The answer to the fake news problem doesn’t necessarily lie within stopping the publication of these questionable articles. The outpouring of fake news just doesn’t get to be controllable at this point. In order to beat fake news, the challenge for Bitcoin is to rise above it. Achieving widespread legal status and governmental approval is the goal, effectively disproving any and all illicit claims that are made against it as a result.
Bitcoin’s potential will eventually see it become a global currency with legitimate reputability – the likes of Jack Dorsey, Tom Lee, Mark Zuckerberg, and the Winklevoss Twins also buy into this forecast. In the meantime, stick with BitStarz to make sure you only receive unbiased and uncut Bitcoin news, as you can be sure that we’ll remain a fake news free zone!