The world is ending again, at least according to Bloomberg’s crypto desk. Readers of the business-focused media group are learning new things every day – or at least, relearning things that Bloomberg trotted out last week under slightly different headlines.
Crypto Coin Graveyard Fills Up Fast as ICOs Meet Their Demise
Tether Defies Logic on Kraken’s Market.
Bitcoin Drops Back Below $6,000 as 2018 Loss Approaches 60%.
And that’s just in the past two days. Here are some more headlines to terrify you:
FBI has 130 cryptocurrency-related investigations, Agent Says
Security or Not, Ethereum’s Soul Searching Isn’t Over
Crypto Collapse Spreads with Hundreds of Coins Plunging in Value
Crypto Influencers Pump Up Markets With 105,000 Tweets
Independent observers might infer that the Bloomberg crypto desk was taking a negative slant. Volatility clearly isn’t in the wheelhouse of the predictably staid business stalwart.
But Bloomberg isn’t the only business journal with a soft spot for NASCAR-style commentary on crypto: the crash is almost all that CNBC, the Wall Street Journal and Financial Times have been roaring about since January.
One thing Bloomberg is not telling us is that Bitcoin has outperformed the stock market by several multiples over the long term. Bitcoin prices have more than doubled since last June, and the total market cap of crypto space has grown by 250 percent. If Bitcoin crashes to $2,782, it will still have outperformed the S&P500.
In short, the business press is guilty of the same mistake of which they (sometimes correctly) accuse the crypto world: focusing on price over tech, and short-term gains over long-term growth.
It’s not hard to understand why they love a crashing market so much—the old broadcasters’ dictum, to lead the newscast with its most sanguinary stories, applies to the business media as well.
The press shouldn’t avoid negative coverage, but they should at least try to be original about it. Instead, they just seem to be recycling the stories from last month’s market crash. Next week it’s almost certain that at least one Bloomberg reporter next week will cover ICOs going bust, and another will cover cryptocurrency fraud. Again. And again.
The Kraken piece, mentioned above, is not the worst offender, and at least it represents an original contribution to the field of Tetherology. But it would be even better if the reporters knew the definitions of “arbitrage bot,” “order books” or “stablecoins.”
Take May 7, for example. Within a span of less than two minutes, there were 31 consecutive trades to buy the currency, representing a total of 159,487 Tethers. But Tether’s price didn’t budge from 1, despite the unrelenting purchases.
Why, indeed, would the price of a dollar-pegged coin fail to change as a result of purchases on one of its most thinly-traded exchanges? Thank the eagle-eyed Bloomberg journalists for spotting the manipulation in the twelfth-largest exchange, but if that’s the biggest fish they can catch, they need new bait.
The crypto market has plenty of opportunities for serious, critical journalism. In the past two weeks, Skycoin’s founder has been revealed as a thirty-year old teenager, the Lightning Network started throwing sparks, and EOS looks like its constituents might go Lord of the Flies… but you won’t find that kind of depth in mainstream business reporting.
Instead, what they give us is last week’s headlines under today’s date.
The author is invested in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.