We all know how much the mainstream media loves a good crypto hack, especially if it can splash a huge number in the headline, so Tuesday’s Binance hack was like catnip to them. Most focused solely on the hack, but the Washington Post couldn’t resist going further and used the opportunity to spend some time lamenting Bitcoin’s negative price action since its 2017 peak.
Interestingly, in a sign that the mainstream media might be maturing along with the markets, the news cycle moved on fairly quickly, with many soon turning their attention to the fact that Bitcoin jumped above $6,000 for the first time since November once it had recovered from the Binance setback. Interestingly however, many of the publications that didn’t cover this positive price action were the ones reveling in Bitcon’s collapse from the $6,000 region last year. It’ll be interesting when they do decide to pick it back, and whether it will spark more FOMO.
Dark Web Gets a Federal Kicking
Another big story covered in the press this week was the shutting down of ‘DeepDotWeb’, a dark web portal, by the FBI, and the arrest of those responsible. While the focus was on the actions of the group themselves rather than the fact that payments were made in cryptocurrency, it nevertheless reaffirms the opinion of many, including most of the media, that cryptocurrency is the preserve of criminals.
While the taking down of the site is of course good news, it came hot on the heels of the Binance hack, which is a double blow for cryptocurrency’s reputation. Hopefully, time and adoption will show that criminal enterprise makes up a small, and shrinking, element of crypto usage, but cases such as this don’t help the cause and can serve to cement existing bias.
Bloomberg Douses the Blockchain Barbeque
Bloomberg writer Noah Smith offered an opinion piece on blockchain this week in which he offers an accurate portrayal of blockchain’s negative points that shows that the technology is finally being understood, warts and all. While many of us may want to believe the utopian visions imagined by some projects (mainly because we’re bagholding their tokens from 2018), it is nevertheless true that, right now, many blockchains remain “high-cost solutions, often beset by chaotic competition” existing in “ecosystems beset with dishonesty, fraud and human error.” This isn’t to say that some won’t come good, they will, but many will fizzle out and die, just like the tech boom in the 1990s.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember, especially when the market looks like it’s on the verge of a reversal after a 1.5-year bear market, that blockchain is not a panacea to the world’s ills, and that any project is just one line of dodgy code away from collapse. Some of the issues raised in the article will certainly be tackled, and perhaps eliminated, as the years pass and the technology develops, so it’s not fair to judge it too harshly right now.
Blockchain is only ten years old, and we don’t expect ten-year-olds to have their shit together do we? Sure, some of us will end up holding tokens for the next Apple and Amazon, but more of us will end up holding Pets.com tokens instead. As boring as it may be, a reality check is needed now and again… unless you just plan to go all 2017 and ride the hype train to Silly Season Central. Choo choo!