Each week, Crypto in the News looks at how mainstream media outlets covered Bitcoin and cryptocurrency over the past few days. This week, they focused on Bitcoin’s “unexpected recovery”, the dearth of dApp users, and Facebook’s plan to turn their cryptocurrency into a data-gathering device. Which should surprise absolutely no-one – let’s dive in!
British Press – Bitcoin Lives!
As we covered this week, the British press finally woke up to the fact that Bitcoin hadn’t died as they had foretold and had instead staged a miraculous recovery… just like it has done after every bubble. Phrases such as “surprise revival” and “unexpected recovery” were mentioned, as well as the regulation Tulip Mania reference. If BTC continues its march towards $10k, it might not be that long before other outlets have to admit they were wrong too, although they will probably reserve this for the next crash.
Wall Street Journal Pours Cold Water on dApps
This week the Wall Street Journal discussed the lack of decentralized app (dApp) users, despite there being around 2,700 available. They put this lack of adoption chiefly down to the difficulty in getting hold of dApps compared to regular apps, stating that users “must first download and learn an entirely new blockchain-based operating system, a far more cumbersome process than downloading an app on a smartphone.” This is absolutely true, and is the reason why the space is still the preserve of enthusiasts and those with a genuine purpose, for example gambling in a country where it is banned.
The Journal cites CryptoKitties as the only relatively popular dApp to date, the collectable digital cats that actually were a genuinely good idea back in 2017, but one that sadly served only to highlight the inefficiencies of the Ethereum blockchain, causing a huge bottleneck and spiking transaction fees. The piece is well researched and unbiased, which makes a nice change from their occasional attitude towards tokens themselves.
Facebook’s Plan for World Domination
The Washington Post took aim at Facebook’s crypto plans this week, courtesy of a Bloomberg opinion piece. In an unflattering look at Facebook’s plans for global currency domination, the author hints that the social media giant’s launch plans are enough to be worried about:
…in terms of ambition, it’s not far off something Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies might come up with. According to the BBC, Facebook’s crypto-based system – humbly labeled “GlobalCoin” – will be rolled out next year across about a dozen countries. That’s more than the eurozone started with.
The rest of the article looks at what Facebook is probably really planning, and it doesn’t make pretty reading for those who revere Bitcoin for its libertarian values:
This is the kind of move that would turn Facebook from an incredibly powerful centralized network tracking its users’ behavior for the benefit of advertisers into one that also knows where and how they spend their money.
There are the regulation swipes at Bitcoin, but it’s nice that another coin is copping it for a change. For once, it seems that the values of Bitcoin supporters and mainstream media are aligned, even if it is only to have a dig at Facebook.
The media also looked at how non-profit organizations are using cryptocurrency to help Venezuelans (better late than never), Iran’s use of Bitcoin as a way around U.S. sanctions, and the hackers that are holding Baltimore government’s computers hostage and demanding a ransom in Bitcoin. Spoiler alert – it’s Bitcoin’s fault. See you next week for another look at crypto in the news.