Did you hear that bitcoin’s dead? Or how about the new coin that’s going to be the next ethereum? Also, there’s this cryptocurrency called verge that experts are tipping to make huge gains this year. And let’s not forget ripple either. You should totally load up on $3 ripple. Navigating the cryptocurrency landscape is tricky enough for experienced heads. But for the general public, who take their news from traditional media outlets, the situation is far worse. Hopelessly misinformed reporting and PR puff pieces published as ‘news’ have left the public more clueless than ever.
Sowing the Seeds of Crypto Confusion
As bitcoin reached record highs in December, the mainstream coverage grew to a crescendo. Suddenly everyone from mom to the metaphorical shoeshine boy had an opinion on cryptocurrency as the masses wired their deposits to Coinbase to get some skin in the game. When the markets started to fall in January, these new adopters got burned the worst. Many were stunned to see their rapidly diminishing portfolios, and a number quit altogether, electing to sell at a loss rather than endure more financial agony.
Mainstream media aren’t to blame for the price of bitcoin, and can be forgiven for getting swept up in the crypto mania that was unavoidable for a while. Reporting on the news is their job after all, and for a while the news was “Everyone’s buying bitcoin and it keeps going up”. What’s less forgivable is the recklessness of much of the reporting. Established outlets such as the New York Times, Bloomberg, and Reuters, while not perfect, have the resources to provide proper coverage of the crypto space. But less reputable rags have also piled in, and their breathless reporting is often woeful.
Crypto Gibberish from the Tabloid Press
In the UK, three mainstream publications have excelled themselves when it comes to clueless crypto coverage – the Mail Online, Sky News, and the Express. In one article this week, detailing bitcoin’s slide, the Express featured related ads and articles that urged readers not to buy ethereum, to buy ripple, to look into a bitcoin pension and to learn more about bitcoin ‘skyrocketing’ 25% in 24 hours. Is it any wonder that casual readers have no idea what’s actually happening? The same ads aren’t unique to mainstream media sites either – Coindesk has also come into criticism for hosting similar clickbait ads alongside its news stories…