Bitcoin and cryptocurrency hit the headlines again this week thanks to U.S President Donald Trump and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin slating it on two separate occasions. Unsurprisingly the media had a field day, with Donald Trump’s comments on cryptocurrencies particularly chiming with the attitude of most mainstream outlets – even those who vigorously oppose many of Trump’s policies agreed with him when he said he was “not a fan” of cryptocurrencies.
True to form, the various outlets focused on the areas that most suited their agendas, with some reporting chiefly on Libra and others on Bitcoin. For example, here is the Wall Street Journal’s headline:
Compare this with the Guardian’s headline:
Note that the WSJ doesn’t even mention Trump and instead opts for the more comprehensive “Washington” and states that Facebook’s Libra token was the chief target of his ire. The Guardian, while reporting on the exact same story, opts for explicitly using Trump’s name and cites “Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies” with no mention of Libra at all. Once again, the same story reported in completely different ways. The reporting itself was as expected – a chance for mainstream media to put the boot into crypto once again – although the Washington Post did hit on something that has been noticed by the crypto community for some time:
Trump’s decision to defend the role of the U.S. dollar in his tweet is also striking, as it suggests a level of concern within the White House that the dollar’s role in international financial markets could somehow come under threat from a social media company.
Mnuchin Takes the Baton
Steven Mnuchin’s impromptu appearance to hit out at Facebook’s Libra token Monday was reported with equal glee by the same outlets, who doubtless couldn’t believe their luck at being able to bash crypto twice in a week. This time however the focus was chiefly on Libra, with all major outlets reporting on Mnuchin’s “serious concerns” about cryptocurrencies. The New York Post claimed that a “fresh wave of fear” caused by Mnuchin and the proposed Keep Big Tech Out of Finance Act has “helped tank the price of bitcoin” from $10,934.80 to $9,872.03. That’s less than 10%, and it was back above $10,934.80 when the article was published mere hours later.
With all the bile the media was able to unload on crypto in the last few days you might think it was done, but just wait until the questions start coming in for David Marcus, Facebook’s head of Libra. This is going to be a whole other level of idiocy…