The Bitcoin Bubble: Deciphering Digital Currency On Point
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Episode 515: A Bet Over Bitcoin : Planet Money : NPR
The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency by Felix ...
Felix Salmon on NPR – On The Media: “The Bitcoin Bubble”
LINK: http://www.onthemedia.org/2013/ap05/bitcoin-bubble/ So, I'm driving to work and, during this phase in which I'm actually listening to the radio intermittently after a long period full of quiet car rides, I hear that next up, there's going to be a story about Bitcoin. My ears perk up, interested in hearing for the first time about Bitcoin both in mainstream media and on the radio. But as I continue to listen for what the reporters have to say, this is what I hear:
“It's a way of paying for...illegal things on the internet.” “...so what you've found was a bunch of people in Cyprus starting to talk about Bitcoins, a bunch of people in the media starting to talk about the people in Cyprus who are talking about Bitcoins, and then you started getting cycles of hype which always happen when you get an asset bubble like we're seeing with Bitcoins right now.” “Bitcoin bubble pearl” “the scope of the bubble” “...it's got so many 'Man Bites Dog' elements to it...” To understand this reference, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_Bites_Dog_(film). “...but this is dangerous territory for reasons that have more to do than with buying drugs from silkroad.com.” “...every time people talk about Bitcoin, all that does is fuel this ridiculous bubble...” “Reporting about Bitcoin is a fluff piece which the vast majority of people are going to go, 'That's crazy, I can ignore that.'”
Ironically, this piece is supposed to be a criticism of how poor media reporting can have a direct and negative impact on the circumstances being reported. Towards the end, Felix, with tongue-in-cheek, says, “We are absolutely part of the problem.” I think he's right. I am interested to hear criticisms against Bitcoin, but not once did I hear a well-reasoned substantiation for the “dangers” of Bitcoin and the “bubble” that it supposedly is. Does anyone have an explanation for how this piece of FUD makes it's way to NPR (seriously, any insights into how a story gets run on NPR)? In my search on NPR.org, I found several other articles that were more curious in nature rather than overtly dismissive, and I ended up having to look elsewhere for this actual piece. Planet Money, also on NPR, seems to be gearing up for a story and other redditors seem to like the prospect. Just wanted to get some of your thoughts on the variations. Thanks! TL;DR Bitcoin FUD on NPR. How does a story, especially one of low quality, make it through to broadcast on NPR? Note: I tried looking for the medium.com write-up mentioned in the segment, but didn't find anything except this. EDIT: Formatting.
http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2013/11/30/waiting-for-bitcoin-to-get-boring/ Extract: "The latest bright idea from Alderney — that the tiny island (population: 1,900) should print physical bitcoins backed by electronic bitcoins — is certifiably bonkers. For one thing, the whole point of bitcoin is that it isn’t going to suffer the same fate as all those currencies which the government promised were backed by something else. (The dollar was backed by gold, once; the Argentine peso was backed by the dollar. Neither lasted, and if the burghers of Alderney ever change their mind about the bitcoin backing, or it gets hacked or stolen, the owners of the physical bitcoins are going to have no recourse.) More weirdly, the Alderney bitcoins are going to have about £500 worth of gold in them, which makes no sense at all. Let’s say that the gold in the coin is worth $800, while the bitcoin backing it is worth $1,000. What, then, would the coin be worth? It can’t be much less than $1,000, at least as long as it can be redeemed for an electronic bitcoin, or a bitcoin’s worth of pounds sterling. But by the same token, it can’t be worth much more than $1,000, because numismatists don’t tend to value gimmicks very highly, so it’s not going to have significant value as a collector’s item. And the most you could sell it for, in terms of its fundamental value, is the value of one bitcoin. Which means that there’s no point whatsoever in pouring £500 worth of gold into it — the gold doesn’t increase the value of the coin at all. All of which is to say that the FT is splashing all over its front page a crazy bitcoin scheme which is never going to happen. “An independent company will provide the Bitcoins,” explains the newspaper, credulously. “If the price plunged, neither Alderney nor the Royal Mint would lose anything.” But what independent company would ever do such a thing? The company would essentially need to hand over its bitcoins to Alderney, would probably have to help fund the cost of manufacturing the coins out of gold, and would get essentially nothing in return for the huge risk it was taking that all its coins would become worthless. The news here, then, is not so much that there’s some new cockamamie scheme involving bitcoins — a new such scheme is dreamed up every day. Rather, it’s the way in which the bitcoin bug has infected news editors to the point at which they’ll splash any old vaporware silliness all over their front pages. One of the less reported aspects of the bitcoin story is the way in which editors tend to be much more excited about it than reporters, who are generally more skeptical, and who worry that their own reporting will only serve to inflate the bubble even further."
In this latest bubble, bitcoin transaction volume has managed to exceed $30 million in one day, and most days are seeing volumes of more than $5 million. ... Felix Salmon was a senior editor at ... Felix Salmon published a lengthy treatise on why the bubble was sure to burst. The New Yorker spoke to some of bitcoins' leading boosters about the future of the currency. Felix Salmon, a high-profile finance blogger at Reuters, is a prominent bitcoin skeptic. So when Felix recently published an essay calling bitcoin a bubble that was sure to burst, Ben posted a ... The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency felix salmon Follow Apr 3, 2013 · 20 min read A few days ago, the value of all the bitcoins in the world blew past $1 billion for the first time ever. That’s an impressive achievement, for a purely virtual currency backed by no central bank or other authority. It’s also temporary: we’re in the middle of a bitcoin bubble right now, and it’s ... Felix Salmon: The Bitcoin Bubble and the Future of Currency — "There are a couple of reasons why the bubble is sure to burst. The first is just that it’s a bubble, and any chart which looks ...
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