Asleep At The Wheel: The MSM's Fixation With Altcoins
- 4 min read

Asleep At The Wheel: The MSM's Fixation With Altcoins

How the media's altcoin obsession misses the mark during new all-time highs.

In this edition

In this issue:

  • Media's Altcoin Fascination
  • Sensationalism's Impact
  • Value Misconceptions

As Bitcoin shatters records and carves its name deeper into the annals of financial history, you'd think that Bitcoin's recent ascendence to acceptance by traditional finance giants like Blackrock would seem to offer journalists a moment to pause and reconsider their perspectives. 

But here we are - glancing at recent media coverage learning it's a different story.

It seems like a peculiar phenomenon unfolds within the press when the price of bitcoin rises: a fixation on altcoins.

Is this a search for novelty, a desire to tell a more complex story, or perhaps an underestimation of Bitcoin's continued relevance? Altcoins, with their hypothetical use cases and promises of technological revolutions, offer a tantalizing narrative for journalists seeking the next big scoop.

Let’s dissect this misplaced focus and explore the motives behind it.

Sensationalism Over Substance

The first thing to look at is the media's penchant for sensationalism - it might be at play here.

The narrative surrounding altcoins, with their volatile price movements and the 'communities' behind them, provides enough fodder for journalists to make quick headlines.

In contrast, Bitcoin's narrative, steeped in economic principles and technological innovation, requires a deeper understanding and appreciation of its long-term impact. 

Could it be that the press opts for the flashier, more sensational story at the expense of the more significant, but complex, Bitcoin story?

An unfortunate example, as his coverage is pretty balanced, is Steven Ehrlich from Forbes, asking whether the narrative will shift from Bitcoin's dominance to the rise of altcoins, and flirting with the possibility of an "alt-season", suggesting a market transition. 

Why is this shift happening?

Is this shift a search for novelty, a desire to tell a more complex story, or perhaps an underestimation of Bitcoin's ongoing relevance?

Another angle to consider is a fundamental misunderstanding of what constitutes value in the broader cryptocurrency space.

The press, having chased the novelty of "the next Bitcoin" for many years now, may inadvertently propagate the idea that value is found in innovation for innovation's sake.

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A Misunderstanding of Value

So why would the press focus on altcoins while Bitcoin's historic highs stare them in the face? 

The reason lies somewhere in between a desire for novelty and sensationalism and a fundamental misunderstanding of Bitcoin's value.

Also, this diversion not only misrepresents the entire landscape but also does a disservice to an audience seeking to understand Bitcoin for the first time. 

Bloomberg's Muyao Shen sheds light on this possible explanation, dedicating a piece to the allure of memecoins and their perceived quick returns.

"Retail investors and promoters regard the microscopic prices of memecoins as an opportunity to quickly post huge returns despite a lack of traditional fundamentals," Shen notes.

The Real Story: Bitcoin

Despite some journalists claiming thousands of hours studying 'coins and NFTs', their coverage often misses the core of Bitcoin’s value:

This is understandable; there’s no greater 'proof of work' than arriving at a comprehensive understanding of Bitcoin’s intrinsic value, despite past mistakes. 

Some, like Michael Saylor, have made this journey more swiftly than others, but it's a path worth treading for all.

Bitcoin’s value proposition lies in its decentralized nature, limited supply, and the security it offers against the backdrop of rampant money printing and financial instability. The recent price movements not only reflect its value but also underscore Bitcoin's potential as a hedge against economic uncertainties.

In closing, there’s a strong call to action for journalists:

Dedicate the time to truly understand Bitcoin, cut through the snark, and approach the topic with humility. 

Such efforts could help atone for past advisories that might have led readers away from one of the greatest investment opportunities ever seen. 

Embracing this challenge could mean not only personal enlightenment but also a service to the public, guiding them through the complexities of Bitcoin with accuracy and insight.

Thanks to everyone who provided feedback - Alex Min (Jr), ₿ainter, BitcoinWalk, Bitcoin Woods, PhD., Edward Moore, El OP_GFY Kanin, Hu Ch'𝕏ng and Matthew Haywood.