As cryptocurrencies have taken off, the corporate media has attacked the concept on a wide variety of grounds from practicality to environmental concerns. John Oliver of HBO recently took pot shots at Bitcoin during his weekly comedy show, hoping to influence his young audience into rejecting the developing technology.
On his show, Oliver compared Bitcoin to $15,000 beanie babies. He featured Bitcoin enthusiasts who he could profile as kooky including Don Tapscott, co-founder of the Blockchain Research Institute, who said that hacking a Bitcoin would be “like turning a Chicken McNugget back into a chicken.” Oliver called Bitcoin “everything you don’t understand about money combined with everything you don’t understand about computers.”
“The point is, if you choose to invest in the cryptocurrency space, just know that you’re not investing, you’re gambling,” Oliver said.
John Oliver is parroting the conventional wisdom of fellow mainstream media talking heads and political operatives, who have lined up to denigrate Bitcoin over the past year as it has skyrocketed along with other cryptocurrencies.
“[Bitcoin] is even more obvious [of a bubble], I think, than the housing bubble was. And that one was, I thought, tremendously obvious,” New York Times commentator and Keynesian economist Paul Krugman said, although he omitted the fact that he did not call the housing bubble at the time it imploded.
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein said: “Something that moves 20% [overnight] does not feel like a currency. It is a vehicle to perpetrate fraud.”
“Now bitcoin crashing below 8000, headed towards 7000. Down 60% from the peak, 40% in a month and over 10% today,” New York University economist Nouriel Roubini said. “The Mother of All Bubbles and Biggest Bubble in Human History Comes Down Crashing.” Bitcoin has since rebounded toward the $10,000 threshold since Roubini’s boast.
Ultimately, it will be the consumer who decides whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are viable, not the political elites, media talking heads, and regime economists.