Bitcoin Halving: Beware of biased reporting

2024-04-24

Bad News about Bitcoin
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The Bitcoin Halving was also a media event, with extensive coverage. Unfortunately, the event was also misused by some authors to discredit the crypto industry.

The Bitcoin Halving was used by almost all the media as an opportunity to report on the cryptocurrency. However, it must be recognised that knowledge about Bitcoin has not developed in line with its price. While some media inadvertently mix up factual content - e.g. the NZZ wrote that the amount of BTC doubles with the halving - the situation is much more problematic at other media organisations. This was the case with an article on Zeit Online.

"Even halved crap remains crap"

The article "Auch halbierter Mist bleibt Mist" by author Nathanael Häfner appeared in Zeit Online. The declared aim of this article quickly becomes clear: to discredit those who are in favour of Bitcoin. In the very first sentence, the author refers to "Bitcoin disciples" to make the reader realise that these are not reasonable people who are in favour of BTC.

Instead, the author uses cult terminology to deny Bitcoin investors any rationality. To underpin this, Häfner alludes to "right-wing cyberlibertarianism", which is strongly associated with BTC. There is thus an indirect warning to the reader that they are supporting brown ideas if they invest in Bitcoin.

The author skilfully disguises the ideologically motivated campaign against Bitcoin by repeatedly explaining in technical terms what happens during the halving process. The article fluctuates between Wikipedia entry and Bitcoin agitation.

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Bitcoin is dangerous?

For the author, one thing is certain: "Bitcoin is dangerous". He wants to substantiate his statement with two arguments. Firstly, BTC fluctuates strongly, which makes it unsuitable as a currency, especially as investors would only buy BTC to make profits, says Nathanael.

However, this trivial statement can also be applied to other asset classes such as shares, bonds and especially gold. One wonders why private households, central banks and companies invest in gold if not to maintain purchasing power and speculate on rising prices. The same applies to digital gold, which is in fact the most successful asset of all time. Regardless of whether it is the US dollar, gold or the S&P500: every asset or asset class has depreciated by 99.9 per cent against Bitcoin to date.

Häfner seems to be unaware of this fact or is deliberately concealing it. Instead, he quotes an outdated study by BIS: "According to a study (PDF) by the Bank for International Settlements, three quarters of all Bitcoin buyers bought at too high a price and sold their Bitcoin at a loss." Anyone with a little knowledge and who does not refer to the figures from February 2023, as the author did, knows that over 93 per cent of all investors are currently in the black with their BTC investment.

Mixing apples and oranges

However, it is not only the volatility of Bitcoin that is dangerous for the author, but also the fact that you can lose your Bitcoin on trading platforms such as FTX. Here, too, the author appears to have deliberately confused the context. His statement suggests that Bitcoin is practically synonymous with crypto exchanges such as FTX.

The extent of this nonsense becomes clear when the causality listed is transferred to other asset classes. Are shares dangerous because there are stock exchanges that are guilty of something? Is the euro or US dollar dangerous because a Silicon Valley bank has gone bust? Why BTC should be dangerous, as Häfner claims, is not really explained anywhere in the article, but that doesn't seem to be his point.

Using the digital euro against enemies of the state

Towards the end of the article, the author attempts an impressive warning: "Bitcoin promises exactly that and thus connects those who reject the state." By "exactly that", Häfner means the cocktail of the super-rich, right-wing cyberlibertarians and supporters of private cities, all of whom are supposed to find themselves in Bitcoin.

There is already a solution to the "Bitcoin casino", as the author sees it: "Instead, banks should be made more secure, their equity capital increased and cryptocurrencies more strictly regulated. A digital euro or dollar could also help to make people less dependent on banks." This concluding sentence shows the author's actual intention: to criticise capitalism.

Criticism of capitalism instead of Bitcoin

As already reported in the past, articles critical of BTC are often written by people who reject free markets and are more likely to find themselves in a state-centred or planned economy primacy. This would also explain why Häfner prefers central bank money to decentralised bank money creation. For the author and his intellectual brethren, bitcoin is just the waddle.

One can therefore only hope that the editorial offices of the numerous media houses will realise this fact. Authors who offer editorial offices articles critical of Bitcoin are often pursuing their very own economic policy agenda, which can be categorised somewhere between anti-technology and anti-capitalism. In view of the new acceptance of BTC on Wall Street by BlackRock, Fidelity and the like, it can be assumed that such anti-Bitcoin articles will increase rather than decrease.

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