The Mainstream Media Vs Bitcoin (BTC) in 2018: A Year Where FUD Won, But Crypto Moves On


On this day (January 3rd), ten years ago, Bitcoin network came live, and it remained alive ever since. This was when Bitcoin's first block (the Genesis Block) was mined, and when the crypto trend actually started.

In following years, the world was very skeptical of Bitcoin, and cryptocurrencies, in general. Even to this day, there are many who are calling it a scam, a bubble, and a trend that is not going to last. Issues such as scalability, volatility, and alike, have always been present in the crypto world, and whenever the coin started losing value, the media called its death.

The skepticism continued for years, and even now, an entire decade of BTC's existence later, things have not changed at all in this regard. In fact, in 2018 alone, some of the biggest media outlets announced Bitcoin's death (or called it a failure) at least 12 times. Let's review some of these instances, and see what some of the largest media outlets had to say in regards to Bitcoin's behavior in the previous year.

1) Forbes

On February 11th, 2018, Forbes published an investigation that started after Bitcoin's price dropped in January from $20,000 to around $8,100. Their article mostly focused on how Ethereum is better than Bitcoin, especially when it comes to transactions, fees, governance problems, and alike. They pointed out that Ethereum's transactions are cheaper than that of Bitcoin's blockchain, and that governance of Bitcoin has numerous issues that have yet to be properly addressed. In the end, the entire article revolved around Bitcoin's future, which the Forbes believes to be a complete drop to zero. Obviously, nearly a full year from this prediction, Bitcoin is still very much alive.

2) The Guardian

Less than a month after the Forbes' report, the Guardian decided to publish an article titled “Bitcoin is based on the blockchain pipe dream.” They claimed that the coin is overpriced, and stated that its underlying technology is over-hyped, as well as that it is nowhere near as effective as people were led to believe. In the end, the article stated that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP will all be left in the dust after they fail in a short while.

3) MIT Technology Review

Next, there was MIT Technology Review's article called “Let's destroy Bitcoin,” which was published on April 24. At this time, Bitcoin's price dropped to around $9,300, and the article openly invited readers to destroy BTC, while even providing three methods in which this can, supposedly, be done. Many have seen this article as radical, as well as wrong, and the MIT Technology Review did not make an impression they were apparently hoping to make. Besides, Bitcoin is still around, which leads to the conclusion that their methods of destroying the coin might not be as effective as everyone was led to believe.

4) CNBC

About two weeks later, CNBC posted an article called “Warren Buffett says bitcoin is ‘probably rat poison squared’.” They reported that Warren Buffet, a billionaire investor who does not tend to hide his feelings about Bitcoin, gave a speech during Berkshire Hathway's annual meeting. During the meeting, Buffett stated that the crypto craze is about to be finished, and that bad things are about to arrive once it does. And, as the title of the article indicates, he called Bitcoin “a rat poison squared.”

5) Jordan Belfort

Many know Jordan Belfort as the “Wolf of Wall Street.” Belfort is also among those who are known to be vocal when campaigning against Bitcoin, and he criticized it several times in 2018. On June 23rd, he uploaded a video on YouTube, stating that Bitcoin is based on the “Great Fools Theory.” In other words, Belfort also predicted that BTC is about to crack and that it has no value. He sees the drop in price (BTC value was just above $6,100 at the time) as proof that the Bitcoin market “ran out of greater fools.”

6) The New York Times

After Belfort, the New York Times decided to point out things that are wrong with Bitcoin in an article called “Why I'm A Crypto Skeptic.” The article was published on July 31st after BTC price climbed a bit to reach $7,800 per coin. Article's author, Paul Krugman, claims that there are two shortcomings which do not only include Bitcoin but other cryptocurrencies as well. The first one is the cost of transactions, while the second one revolves around the lack of tethering. He also stated that the traditional monetary systems work far better than crypto, which is why there is no reason to fear that cryptocurrencies will ever take over.

7) The Economist

Only a month later, the Economist decided to openly name cryptocurrencies useless, on August 30th. At this point, BTC price dropped down to $6,800, as the bear market continued after a short period of recovery. This article also pointed out some of the shortcomings regarding the use of cryptos, such as complicated software, and lack of consumer protection.

The article's author continued by stating that Bitcoin is barely used for the purpose it was created for, even after an entire decade of its existence, while other coins see even less usage than BTC.

8) Bloomberg

Bloomberg actually posted three articles that attracted a lot of attention, with the first one coming out on September 12th. This article called the drop in the value of cryptos “worse than the Dot-Com crash.” They also compared the bear market to the tulip mania to point out that the bubble has burst, and that cryptos are losing value as a result.

As for the second article, this one was published on November 21st, and it was titled “Jamie Dimon and Warren Buffett Have the Last Laugh on Bitcoin.” The piece was posted about a week after the market crashed again, just before BCH hard fork. It also stated that the only ones who managed to profit from crypto were mining companies and exchanges, as well as those who started investing early and managed to cash out while it was worth doing so. Finally, the article stated that Bitcoin remains expensive, cumbersome, and highly volatile, which makes it useless as a means of payment.

Finally, the last one came out on December 11th, and it claimed that Bitcoin was a bubble which has finally popped. This came at the time when BTC was only slightly above its lowest point in 2018. Bloomberg called BTC failures as a painful lesson for millennials. According to them, the lesson is that if something seems too good to be true, it most likely is. Also, they quoted an old tweet posted by John McAfee which states that bubbles are impossible in the new paradigm from a mathematical point of view.

9) Nouriel Roubini

Nouriel Roubini, also known as “Dr. Doom,” is an economist at the New York University. Roubini became known for predicting the financial crisis of 2008 (which led to the creation of BTC in the first place), and on October 7th, “Dr. Doom” tweeted that cryptos are more centralized than North Korea. Furthermore, Roubini called Ethereum's Vitalik Buterin a dictator, while also stating that crypto decentralization is nothing but a myth,

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