Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

Mainstream media (MSM) loves bitcoin. It is the Donald Trump of money, certain to generate guaranteed clicks with minimum effort. As cryptocurrency has risen, over the past 18 months, so has its profile in MSM publications. But don’t mistake this prolific coverage for affection. Mainstream media has always hated, feared, and misunderstood bitcoin. BTC might have made it to the front pages, but the reporting of it remains as dumb as ever.

Also read: Thanks to Mainstream Media the Public Clueless About Cryptocurrency

MSM Love to Hate Bitcoin

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin“I read the newspaper avidly. It is my one form of continuous fiction,” riffed Nye Bevan, British Health Minister from the 1940s. The world has evolved immeasurably since the Welsh politician’s day, yet in other respects, little has changed. Many mainstream media outlets, despite have migrated to the web in the so-called Information Age, still struggle to get their basic information right. Bitcoin is a perfect example of the failure, from many quarters, to grasp a transformative technology and understand what makes it tick.

Mainstream media, with a new notable exceptions, has been wrong about bitcoin since day one and, almost a decade on, continues to be laughably, glaringly wrong. Only it’s not so funny when you remember that the majority of the population still forms their opinions from the fodder that outlets such as CNBC, Fox, Forbes, and Bloomberg feed them in the US, and The Sun, Express, and Daily Mail in the UK. For those outside of the crypto cocoon that avid bitcoiners inhabit, facts are thin on the ground, while fake news and FUD abound, as the following case studies show.

Wired: Wrong From the Start and Still Wrong Today

As a tech publication, you’d expect Wired to have latched onto bitcoin from the outset. And it did…sort of, by writing the nascent cryptocurrency off countless times over:

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

Seven years later, one might hope Wired would have gotten with the program and made amends, but whaddya know? This was only a week ago:

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

As news.Bitcoin.com observed, it’s possible that Wired is still salty over having mined 13 BTC back in the day and then destroyed the key to the wallet, for reasons that no one will ever understand. For all its snark and sins, however, Wired is by no means the worst culprit when it comes to inaccurate MSM reporting.

British Press Don’t Get Bitcoin and Never Will

Picking out inaccuracies in British media coverage of bitcoin could be a parlor game. The Express, a once proud but now dying newspaper, takes the biscuit for the most fails that can be squeezed into a single report. In addition to claiming the price of 1 XRP to be $45 (instead of 45 cents), a story from last week includes such zingers as “BITCOIN has slipped nearly $100 this morning from yesterday’s high of $7,531. However, a leading bitcoin believer has claimed that another big fall is now likely”, before concluding its report by stating “Bitcoin has turned losses into gains and is currently up $1.07 on the day so far.”

Imagine reporting on a $7,500 asset moving by 0.01% in a day. Talk about volatility.

Not Content with Scamming $1.5 Billion, Bitconnect Wants Another $500 Million for Its ICO

ICOformula recently picked up on The Sun’s execrable bitcoin reporting, noting: “One of the most astonishing things about the cryptocurrency and blockchain sectors is there is no shortage of critics prepared to dismiss any and all benefits of the technology, whilst at the same time admitting (or proving through their statements) they have no idea what they’re talking about.”

It continued: “The mainstream press is not much better, with many just not even bothering to check the price of Bitcoin before writing and publishing an article – we pointed out to UK ‘newspaper’ The Sun earlier this month when they published 2 articles by 2 different ‘journalists’ on the same day quoting ‘A single Bitcoin is worth over £12,000 today’ and ‘Transactions are made without middlemen, so there are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name.’”

Although the articles were edited after it being pointed out (but still full of holes), there is no recourse for such bad reporting. If the stock price of Microsoft or Apple were reported at more than double its current value, or the USD to GBP exchange rate was published at twice the level it should be there would be hell to pay – sadly the cryptocurrency markets are yet to command the level of respect the traditional FIAT world has come to rely upon.

Financial Times and Its Insatiable Snark

Like most conservative publications that are deeply entrenched with Wall Street, the Financial Times has been suspicious of bitcoin from the outset:

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

It eventually got onboard, recognizing, belatedly, that it had better start taking this digital asset class seriously since everyone else was. Leading its crypto coverage, since the FT decided to buck up its act, has been Jemima Kelly. At times, her scepticism for ICO bullshit and vaporware has been refreshing, such as her takedown of IOTA. Ever since, however, a campaign of relentless snark for all things crypto has rendered Kelly’s, and by extension the Financial Times’, reporting worthless.

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

No one is opposed to calling out the scams and avarice committed within the crypto space, whose perpetrators do not represent bitcoin and everything it stands for. But if MSM outlets are determined to fixate on the outlying scammers, they’re missing the cryptocurrency revolution that’s taking place under their noses, as the populace in their droves are rejecting devalued bank coins in favor of self-sovereignty and the right to transact privately. Dissing crypto because of ICO charlatans is like writing off email because of a few Nigerian 419 scams.

Mainstream Media and Its Strange Love-Hate Affair with Bitcoin

Mainstream media have been wrong about bitcoin since the start, and, having been forced to play catch-up, are now covering it relentlessly but adversarially. That way, if it fails, they can crow that they were right all along, but if it prospers, can boast that they were telling their readers about it for years. MSM loves to hate crypto. When bitcoin takes over, never forget the names of the outlets that tried to dissuade you from getting into it. We can laugh at them now in the knowledge that one day history will follow suit.

Do you think most mainstream media outlets are clueless about cryptocurrency, or are they starting to catch on? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Hedge Fund Billionaire & Citadel Founder Ken Griffin Blasts Bitcoin

At the recent CNBC institutional investor Delivering Alpha Conference, Ken Griffin openly expressed his opinion against the digital assets. While Griffin’s words may be turning a few heads, this is not the first time the billionaire spoke ill of cryptocurrency. Griffin Has Always Been Very Clear in His Dislike of Bitcoin Back in December, when … Continued

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Post-ICO Startup Survival Rate Just 44 Percent: Boston College Researchers

A new study released by the Boston College Carroll School of Management has placed the post-initial coin offering (ICO) survival rate of cryptocurrency startups at just 44 percent. Penned by Prof Leonard Kostovetsky and Hugo Benedetti, the study examined more than 4,000 ICOs that raised a total of $12 billion in capital between January 2017 and March 2018, … Continued

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Judge Forces Alleged ICO Fraudster to Fork over $3.7 Million in Bitcoin

Dominic Lacroix, the subject of ICO fraud charges, transferred $3.7 million worth of bitcoins to a court-appointed administrator right in a Quebec City courtroom on July 6 as ordered by a judge, according to ICI Quebec. Canada’s Financial Markets Authority and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission claimed Lacroix was responsible for a fundraising scheme … Continued

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Augur Surges 35%, Low Bitcoin Voume May Lead to Short-Term Drop

Over the past week, the volume of bitcoin has dropped from $5.5 billion to $3.5 billion, subsequent to a surge in the bitcoin price from $6,800 to $7,500. 36% Drop in Volume In seven days, the volume of bitcoin has dropped by 36 percent, by more than $2 billion. The volume of ether, the native … Continued

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Banks Could Engage in Competitive Misconduct to Keep Users From Bitcoin: EU Report

A report has been published on the current fintech market at the request of the ECON Committee. It analyses competition issues in the sector and cryptocurrencies were featured in it. The European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, also known as ECON, is a committee overseeing the decisions made by the European Central Bank … Continued

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Five Questions to Ask Before Investing in a Blockchain Company

As interest in blockchain continues to gain traction, the importance of investor education is at an all-time high. With hundreds of new projects popping up every week, it may be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff. Not every project can be or will be successful. To further complicate matters, some come with a

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UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC

A UK police department has sold 295 BTC which they say were legally seized from a drug dealer. The court ordered him to forfeit his crypto stored in a hardware wallet. The police reportedly get to keep 18.8% of the sale proceeds.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

British Police Seized BTC from Drug Dealer

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the principal public prosecuting agency for conducting criminal prosecutions in England and Wales, unveiled this week the details of a case involving 295 BTC. The CPS wrote:

A drug dealer and money launderer who was using cryptocurrency to conceal his funds has had over £1.2 million [~US$1.6 million] worth of bitcoins seized, restrained and then converted into British pounds in the first case of its kind.

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTC
Sergejs Teresko.

Sergejs Teresko, a 31-year-old Latvian, was arrested on suspicion of money laundering and drug offenses in April last year. A “cannabis factory,” a number of fake identification cards, luxury goods such as jewelry and Rolex watches, gold bars, expensive cars and large sums of cash were found at his home in Surrey, a county in southeast England.

He pleaded guilty on October 6 “to one count of being knowingly concerned in the production of a controlled drug, one count of possessing criminal property, one count of possession of articles for use in frauds and six counts possession of an identity document with improper intention,” the CPS detailed.

Teresko “was later convicted of money laundering and drug offenses at Kingston Crown Court where he was sentenced to nine years, three months in prison,” the agency noted:

In total, Teresko was found to have made £2,058,613 [~$2,703,578] from his crimes with an available amount of £1,447,935 [~$1,901,574] to pay back. He was given three months to pay the order or would have to spend a further 10 years in prison.

Kingston Crown Court ruled on Thursday that Teresko must forfeit the £1,447,935 “of his ill-gotten gains, including bitcoin,” the Financial Times reported.

Keepkey Wallet Found

According to Surrey Live, a Keepkey hardware wallet was found at Teresko’s home. Surrey Police then secured a warrant to access the device. DI Rob Bryant of South East Regional Organised Crime Unit was quoted by the news outlet:

We didn’t think we were going to actually find anything in these wallets. We thought we would open them and there’d be nothing there.

The cops, however, found two wallets on the device. The first did not contain anything but the second had 295 BTC. When they found out the coins’ worth, “the colour started to drain from a number of faces,” the publication quoted Bryant saying.

The Independent elaborated:

Surrey Police has now become the first UK force to successfully seize bitcoin, convert it into sterling and be granted permission by a court to keep the cash for government and police coffers.

Police Can Keep 18.8%

Using “powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act,” Surrey Police seized Teresko’s coins, the CPS revealed.

UK Police Top up Budget With Proceeds From Sale of Seized BTCCiting BTC’s “extreme volatility and the risk of it being moved on or stolen,” the cops applied to the court to seize the coins and convert them into sterling, Surrey Live described. They convinced the judge that “bitcoin was a real thing that could be seized,” the news outlet wrote.

The CPS explained that it “applied to have the restrained bitcoins converted into pounds. The 295 bitcoins were then sold by Surrey Police through an approved bitcoin exchange.”

According to the Financial Times, the police “set up its own bitcoin wallet and then used an offshore exchange to transfer and convert” the seized BTC. The proceeds were then “transferred to a police bank account,” the publication added:

Surrey Police gets to keep 18.8 percent of the proceeds of Teresko’s crimes — about £273,000 — which the force can use to top up its operating budget.

What do you think of this case? Let us know in the comments section below.


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New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in Sofia

New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in Sofia

A crypto teller machine exchanging a number of cryptocurrencies with fiat, including bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH), will be operational next week in a Sofia mall. The BATM is a two-way device that will accept euro, dollar and Bulgarian lev deposits. It will also buy cryptos and print paper wallets.  

Also read: Eastern Europe: Regulation Postponed, Tax Abandoned, Banks Enlightened

Two-Way Bitcoin ATM in Sofia

The new BATM will be available to residents and visitors of Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, from Monday. The teller machine supports two-way transactions for several cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), and monero (XMR). The cryptos can be bought with EUR, USD, and BGN, the local fiat currency. The device is installed in The Mall, one of the popular shopping centers in Sofia located on the way from the airport to the city’s center.

New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in SofiaThe crypto ATM is operated by a local exchange, DG Cash, which shared the news of the launch on social media. “The exchange rates of the cryptocurrencies applied at the ATM are almost identical to the ‘We Buy’ and ‘We Sell’ rates on our website, and the commission we collect is approximately 3% of the market price as it is included in the exchange rate,” the trading platform detailed in a Facebook post.

According to the announcement, the limit for a single transaction is set at 10,000 BGN (~€5,100 EUR, $6,000 USD). Users can buy any of the supported cryptos by depositing euros, dollars, or Bulgarian levs. When selling, however, they’ll receive only BGN. The interface of the device supports Bulgarian, English and Spanish among other languages. In case someone wants to purchase digital coins but does not have an electronic wallet, the device can generate a paper wallet.

The BATM at The Mall is not the only one in the Bulgarian capital. The first crypto teller machine in Sofia was installed in 2014, in the Interpred office building. It is a buy only device selling bitcoin (BTC) at 4% over the average price at Bitpay, Kraken, and Bitstamp, and it has a daily limit of 5,000 BGN. Another two-way ATM was installed in the downtown Coffee Bar The White, in 2015.

Bulgaria’s Crypto Woes

Bulgarian crypto exchanges have been through some turbulent times recently due to a bank clampdown that culminated in December last year. The teams operating the local trading platforms have been trying to adapt to a situation in which many banks refuse to open accounts to companies dealing in cryptocurrency. DG Cash, the operator of the new BATM, maintains only crypto-cash trading services. Both on its website and its Facebook page, the exchange claims it has two offices – in Sofia, and in Sliema, Malta, where it also plans to install a crypto ATM.

New BATM Supporting BTC, BCH Launches in SofiaIn the past several months, all major Bulgarian exchanges have experienced difficulties and interruptions in their operations. Crypto.bg was affected by Fibank’s decision to quit providing services to crypto traders. The popular exchange was closed down for weeks and since it reopened it’s been mostly working with payment processors like Epay and Cashterminal. Another leading platform that managed to maintain operations throughout the crisis, Xchange.bg, has been forced to change its bank accounts several times. Other platforms have reported similar issues.

The clampdown happened in the absence of comprehensive regulations for the country’s growing crypto sector. However, the Bulgarian Financial Supervision Commission recently decided to start monitoring the fintech industry and the situation may change soon. A newly adopted strategy proposes the introduction of requirements for licensing and registration of companies operating in the sector.

Do you think Bitcoin ATMs help to increase the popularity and accessibility of cryptocurrencies? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Bitcoin Makes Major Headway: CFA Exam Will Now Include Crypto Topics

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies are making serious headway in the financial industry, the most recent sign being the decision by the CFA Institute, which offers the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, a three-level program, to include cryptocurrencies and blockchain to its Level I and II curriculums next year, according to Bloomberg. The material for the 2019

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CryptoKitties Auctions $25k ‘Honu Kitty’ Collectible to Fund Ocean Preservation

The world’s biggest blockchain game, CryptoKitties, has collaborated with marine conservation organizations to create a rare cat named “Honu Kitty”. It is the first environmental-friendly collectible that draws attention towards the protection of endangered sea turtles. Ocean Elders and ACTAI Global, two different communities consisting of global leaders, athletes and technologists focused on preserving environment, teamed up

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Interview: Esports Project Gods Unchained Launches on Ethereum with Coinbase Backing

Gods Unchained, the first competitive e-sports project on Ethereum, has launched with backing from the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange and wallet platform Coinbase. In an interview with CCN, Gods Unchained co-founder and COO Robbie Ferguson, spoke about the game, the decision to launch the game on the Ethereum main chain, and the process of launching

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0x Gains 12% and Tokens Rise During Volatile Cryptocurrency Markets

The crypto market has been extremely volatile over the past 24 hours, especially small tokens and digital assets, possibly due to the decline in volume in the past week. Bitcoin’s Weird Movements Yesterday, on July 21, the price of bitcoin surged from $7,400 to $7,600 in a span of 10 minutes, with a spike demand … Continued

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CME Bitcoin Futures Daily Volume Spikes 93% in Q2 2018

CME Group’s bitcoin futures average daily volume spiked 93% in the second quarter over the previous quarter, while open interest posted a 58% increase, the company noted on Twitter. Average daily volume jumped from 1,854 in the first quarter to 3,577 in the second quarter, while open interest rose from 1,523 to 2,405 in the

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Insurance Giants See ‘Big Opportunity’ in Cryptocurrency Storage Coverage

Big insurance companies such as XL Group, AIG and Chubb are quietly offering cryptocurrency insurance as cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology continue to gain acceptance. While the insurance companies active in this sector are not doing a lot to publicize their activities, those interviewed said they can avoid liabilities. According to Bloomberg more than a dozen … Continued

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Wendy McElroy: Other Than the Black Market, a Last Stand for Economic Freedom

Other Than the Black Market, a Last Stand for Economic Freedom

The Satoshi Revolution: A Revolution of Rising Expectations
Section 4: State Versus Society
Chapter 9, Part 5
Crypto: Other Than The Black Market, A Last Stand For Economic Freedom?

Money…is the economic area most encrusted and entangled with centuries of government meddling. Many people, many economists, usually devoted to the free market stop short at money. Money, they insist, is different; it must be supplied by government and regulated by government. They never think of state control of money as interference in the free market; a free market in money is unthinkable to them. Historically, money was one of the first things controlled by government, and the free market “revolution” of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries made very little dent in the monetary sphere. So it is high time that we turn fundamental attention to the life-blood of our economy—money.

-Murray Rothbard, “What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Envisioning free-market crypto should be easy because cryptocurrency was created on the free market, and it remains unregulated in many places. How difficult is it for a person to envision what is standing in front of his or her own eyes? Coins like Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash are success stories for all to see.

Unfortunately, governments also see it. They recognize crypto as a fierce competitor to their own fiat monopolies, their tax systems, and a relatively untapped source of wealth. To control crypto, however, government cannot praise the phenomenon; government needs to demonize crypto by creating public hysteria over problems both real (fraud) and manufactured (links to terrorism). Rest assured, if crypto was an economic Satan rather than a business sensation, governments around the world would not be salivating and scheming about how to co-opt the industry. To do so, they paint crypto as a ‘good’ that is currently rife with abuses, which only governments can solve. The free market has failed, they claim.

Pressure from government is increasing. As cryptocurrency becomes more accepted as money, the cry for regulation grows. A recent report from the trading giant eToro and the Imperial College London claimed, “Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin offer a viable evolutionary ‘next step’ for money and have the potential to become a mainstream form of payment within the next decade.” The report stated that regulation was a necessary prerequisite for such an evolution.

And most people will listen to the call for regulation because they believe a government monopoly makes money safer for them to use—at least, safer than free-market money, which they do not understand. Of course, the opposite is true. Government money gives those in power an iron control of the economy, and that arrangement never ends well for the average person. By contrast, the free market panders to customers who are the source of profit. How many government restaurants would allow people to send meals back to the kitchen for a replacement? How many have a “no questions asked” return policy on goods or services?

The free market also provides goods and services, including money, more efficiently than government. For one thing, competition forces companies to be efficient in order to achieve the low prices that attract customers. The free market also expresses far greater morality because it is based on voluntary exchanges, while the government consists of coercion.

Nevertheless, money is considered to be a “special” case that requires government intervention because money is essential to the functioning of a healthy society. But so is food. And, yet, the free market provides a cornucopia of groceries from around the world at affordable prices. Most people can walk to stores with a bounty for sale. It is difficult to imagine a government managing a similar food chain; indeed, the governments that have tried have produced rationing, famines, black markets, and soaring prices on the essentials of life.

Hysteria is a standard fall-back position for those who wish to obscure reality. And hysteria against crypto is underway because it is the best strategy to convince people that government is an instrument of crypto justice, not a crypto-criminal wannabe.


Respectability=the Need for an Injustice to Remedy=Regulation

Governments are playing a multi-leveled shell game with crypto, which is likely to play out as follows.

First and wherever necessary, crypto will be redefined as money rather than as an asset, because central banks, government agencies, and traditional financial institutions have no proper authority to regulate privately-held assets that are legally acquired and held. Governments can tax and confiscate, to be sure, but that level of control is modest compared with the monopoly power to issue and/or to define what is legal money.

Next, crypto will be conflated with crypto-asset markets, such as exchanges and businesses that issue ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings). Although the two are separate, most people make little to no distinction between them; the concepts become jumbled together. Those who want to regulate crypto itself find the jumble to be useful because it facilitates broad legislation that covers the entire sphere of crypto and its many manifestations.

The blueprint for crypto control is predictable; it is also global. Last week, for example, the Financial Stability Board delivered a report to a G20 meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which discussed a framework for setting standards on crypto-asset markets.

A few months earlier, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde indicated how global bodies would proceed. There were familiar references to crypto’s alleged role in terrorism and money laundering. But the emphasis differed. On the IMF blog, Lagarde called for crypto-asset markets to protect consumers in the same manner as traditional financial markets do. Know Your Customer policies and global coordination were stressed.

The call for consumer protection is echoing. At a June 25th conference, for example, the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Director Andrew Smith, explained, “With the rise of cryptocurrencies we’ve seen many signs, from public sources to law enforcement actions brought by us…that scammers are using the lure of cryptocurrencies to rip off consumers.”

“People need protection from the new money!” is ascending as the argument for regulating crypto. The argument not only appeals to an ingrained bias against free-market money, it also plays on people’s fear. Popular support makes it much easier for government agencies and central banks to succeed in their global grab at crypto. And, so, the word “fraud” is becoming more common whenever crypto is discussed, even though crypto-asset markets are usually the focus. (Note: the fact that fiat currencies are total frauds, along with many penny and over-the-counter stocks, does not arise.)


The Most Damnable Aspect of the Widespread Fraud Claim

There is real truth to the accusation of fraud. Crypto, like every other investment, is a “caveat emptor” situation due to the risk of fraud and other forms of theft. “Caveat emptor” is usually translated as “Buyer Beware,” and it means that a buyer or customer is responsible for checking goods and services before purchasing them. The principle is valid, but it is unsatisfying and an incomplete answer when confronted with fraud, which is a crime—the crime on which government pins its dreams of usurping crypto.

How massive is the problem of fraud? A recent study prepared by the Satis Group found that, as a percentage of the ICOs it examined, “approximately 78% of ICOs were Identified Scams, 4% Failed, 3% had Gone Dead, and 15% went on to trade on an exchange.”
It is not clear if the findings are valid, especially since expert reports have become a stock aspect of any push for legislation; many of them are sloppy and politically motivated. Frankly, the figures seem exaggerated. On the other hand, many ICOs have been revealed as corrupt, and the existence of fraud is undeniable, especially in crypto-asset markets.

Admitting a problem, however, does not validate a particular solution, such as government intervention. For one thing, government has proven itself to be unwilling to prevent fraud in the monetary system it already commands: central banking. Satoshi Nakamoto explained,

“The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.”  

The debasement of currency is also known as inflation, which becomes inevitable because inflation is a prime source of revenue for the government and for the groups it favors. But the damage of government money extends beyond the degradation of value. Rothbard explained,

“It has fragmented the peaceful, productive world market and shattered it into a thousand pieces, with trade and investment hobbled and hampered by myriad restrictions, controls, artificial rates, currency breakdowns, etc. It has helped bring about wars by transforming a world of peaceful intercourse into a jungle of warring currency blocs. In short, we find that coercion, in money as in other matters, brings, not order, but conflict and chaos.”

And, yet, one of the main arguments against free-market money is that the marketplace is too chaotic and corrupt. Nonsense.

 There Oughta Be a Law

Fraud requires a legal response because a crime has occurred. But, again, admitting a need does not validate a particular solution. This is especially true of the legal solutions offered by government.

Generally speaking, there are four types of laws that function in society, and they sometimes overlap.

  • Ones that impose a specific vision of the world or of morality. These include laws against alleged vices, such as alcohol or drug use, as well as laws requiring alleged virtues, such as voting or paying taxes. The goal is to mandate a code of behavior, thus erasing the boundary between the legal and (someone’s vision of) the moral. Typically, the laws are enforced on everyone, except those with power seem to be exempt.
  • Ones that regulate a targeted segment of society. These include laws about who may conduct a specific business and how it must operate, as well as laws that discriminate between people based on factors such as race. The goal is economic and social control, with enforcement focusing on designated people.
  • Ones that protect against physical harm and property damage, including theft. These include laws against assault and vandalism. Rather than mandate a behavior, they prohibit one–namely, violence, which includes fraud. The goal is to provide the safety that allows a healthy society to thrive, with enforcement applying to everyone.
  • Ones that are created by contract. These include laws that allow creditors to seize assets in arrears, such as a repossessed car, and laws aimed at enforcing behavior, such as the performance of work for which payment has been rendered. A contract can always be breached, but there is a penalty for doing so: for example, a repossessed car, a refund of fees. The goal is to establish enforceable contracts, which are nothing more than enforceable consent between individuals. Again, it provides a safety that allows a healthy society to thrive and which discourages violence as the only way to resolve a dispute. The law applies only to those who contract.

On crypto, the government flexes only the first two forms of law: a specific vision imposed on the world; and, the regulation of a targeted sector. The laws do not protect people and property, as evidenced by the fact that recovered funds are not returned to those who have been defrauded. Fines, fees and recovered wealth go into the government’s coffers. In short, the laws serve government; they do not protect consumers.

The last two forms of law protect individuals, including consumers, and not government. They are laws that would exist in the free market because they fulfill human requirements. But what exactly would they look like? And how would they be enforced?

[To be continued next week.]

Reprints of this article should credit bitcoin.com and include a link back to the original links to all previous chapters


Wendy McElroy has agreed to ”live-publish” her new book The Satoshi Revolution exclusively with Bitcoin.com. Every Saturday you’ll find another installment in a series of posts planned to conclude after about 18 months. Altogether they’ll make up her new book ”The Satoshi Revolution”. Read it here first.

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South Africa’s Secluded Whites-Only Orania Community is Testing a Digital Currency

Exclusively populated by Afrikaners, the town of Orania located in the remote parts of South Africa’s Northern Cape Province, has had its own currency known as the Ora since 2004. Pegged to the rand, the Orania Chamber of Commerce has been responsible for printing the community’s currency. Now the town of approximately 1,600 people is

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Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

A great deal of cryptocurrency proponents are hoping for a positive outcome when the US Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) decides on whether or not they will approve the latest bitcoin-based ETF application file by Cboe. The US regulator had asked for public opinion concerning the ETF again, and this time around the number of responses sent to the regulator is 10X the amount that was sent this past April.

Also Read: Bitcoin Futures Volume Spike As Cboe Awaits ETF Decision 

SEC Receives 10X the Number of Responses for the Upcoming Bitcoin ETF Decision

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public OpinionVirtual currency enthusiasts really want a bitcoin-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) approved by US regulators. Over the past few weeks, since Cboe filed an application with the SEC, so it can list shares backed by the Vaneck Solidx Bitcoin Trust (“the Trust”), the SEC office received a large swathe of opinion letters from more than 90 individuals according to recent reports. The number of responses sent was 10X the amount of opinions written last April during a prior bitcoin ETF decision.

Reports also detail that Cboe’s bitcoin-based ETF has been so popular that the SEC has pushed another cryptocurrency related listing off until this September. The attempted Cboe ETF has been a popular discussion among cryptocurrency enthusiasts and some speculators believe digital asset prices will rise in anticipation of the SEC’s decision. Cryptocurrency markets have seemingly already reversed their bearish trend and a good amount of proponents believe this decision will cause a spike either before and after the ruling if it is positive.

SEC Decision Date Discrepancy and a Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the Ruling Is Positive  

There’s also been a discrepancy on when the official decision would be made as many people and publications assumed the verdict would be on August 10. However, according to a Reddit user, who claims to be a securities lawyer, on the forum r/cryptocurrency, an August 10 decision is impossible.

“The way this works is that the SEC issues a notice, which is then published in the Federal Register — As you will find stated clearly in the notice, the period is within 45 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register — not the date the notice is released by the SEC (edit: failure to understand this distinction is the source of the incorrect August 10th date),” explains the post.  

The date of publication in the Federal Register was July 2nd — This means they have until August 16th. Bear in mind that it can be extended, and even once the period ends, the SEC may “initiate proceedings” to assist in making a decision.

Bitcoin ETF Decision Gets an Overwhelming Amount of Public Opinion

A Possible Crypto-Bull Run if the SEC Ruling Is Positive

If an ETF judgment is made on August 16 there is well over a month until that date, so a lot could happen to cryptocurrency spot markets between now and that time. People who hope this ETF will happen believe it might be approved because of Cboe’s previous experience with bitcoin futures markets introduced this past December. So far the derivatives markets offered by both Cboe and CME Group have done well, and growing volumes show there is interest in these mainstream cryptocurrency investment vehicles. Arthur Hayes the co-founder and CEO of Bitmex exchange explains on the CNBC broadcast Fast Money that a positive ETF ruling could prime the next massive bull run.

“We’re one positive regulatory decision away — maybe an ETF approved by the SEC — to climb through $20,000 and even to $50,000 by the end of the year,” the Bitmex CEO states.

What do you think about the SEC being swamped with letters about the bitcoin ETF decision? Do you think a positive decision will cause a cryptocurrency bull run to happen? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.


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Stellar Price Slides 10 Percent as Bullish Trend Hits a Snag

The stellar price (XLM)  fell by just over 10% today, indicating a recent bullish trend may not sustain itself. Stellar is currently the sixth-largest cryptocurrency with a market cap of $5.131 billion, right behind EOS. In the last seven days, it has gained 35% in value against the dollar, according to CoinMarketCap. In the recent … Continued

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