- The New York Times has been accused of publishing a “false and distorted” take on the damage caused by Bitcoin mining in America
- The outlet supposedly overstated the amount of fossil fuel usage by a whopping 81% on average
- It has been accused of carrying out a politically motivated hit job
The New York Times has been criticized for a “false and distorted” take on the damage caused by Bitcoin mining in America, according to mining companies and insiders. Bitcoin supporters and companies in the mining space piled in on the Times report authors, accusing them of using incorrect statistics to back up a point they clearly wanted to make from the outset, with the piece quickly consigned to the ‘political propaganda’ heap.
Fossil Fuel Use Overstated by 81.7%
The New York Times piece was statistic-heavy, using the kind of lazy comparisons with household electricity use that have been widely debunked in the past. The Times reporters on the story claimed to have spoken to “Bitcoin miners, energy experts, scientists and politicians and analyzed thousands of records” for their report, but, according to industry insiders, they still managed to get things spectacularly wrong.
One example came from climate activist and author Daniel Batten, who noted that the New York Times had massively overstated the amount of fossil fuels used by U.S. miners:
- Riot: overstated by 82.5%
- Atlas: overstated by 32.8%
- Cipher Mining: overstated by 74.9%
- US Bitcoin Corp: overstated by 74.9%
- Rhodium: overstated by 89.9%
- Bitdeer overstated by 82.5%
Batten’s data suggests that the Times overstated fossil fuel usage by an average of 81.7% per miner.
Riot Hits Back with Carbon Neutral Video
Riot Blockchain, one of the companies referenced in the piece, also came out swinging, calling the piece a “politically driven attack on Bitcoin mining” which was “full of distortions and outright falsehoods.” It also accused the Times of publishing the article even though they knew it contained “information its authors knew to be false and misleading, ignoring the factual information that we provided to them.”
Riot also replied to the Twitter post prompting the story with a video about how it is negating its carbon emissions:
Bitcoin mining has zero carbon emissions. pic.twitter.com/dOO4wZpSW6
— Riot Platforms, Inc. (@RiotPlatforms) April 10, 2023
Other detractors pointed out more flaws in the reporting, from the fact that the report ignored the increase in clean mining (focusing on the least environmentally friendly aspects of two such 90% clean miners) to the fact that it couldn’t even get the name of one of the towns in the report correct:
The New York Times rejected the promise of airplane technology, early cars, space travel, and of course the internet. They also predicted in the 1970s a coming Ice Age. So we can expect them to get #Bitcoin wrong at first too. They’ll catch up eventually. pic.twitter.com/AX3yIizNuj
— Natalie Brunell ⚡️ (@natbrunell) April 10, 2023
The coup de grace was administered when someone else pointed out the New York Times’ appalling track record when it comes to major issues.
One day folks…one day.