Bloomberg ran a segment Friday on the volatility/hackability of the Bitcoin network that included ex-Fed analyst and noted Bitcoin opponent Mark Williams and Blockchain.info’s main security guy, Andreas Antonopolous.
Antonopolous has to be tired of his role as the de facto face of Bitcoin these days, but he is always game to debate anyone.
If you don’t want to spend four minutes watching, here are the highlights:
- Bloomberg journalists wring their hands over hackers, security and whether “some computer expert couldn’t put more Bitcoin out there.” Bitcoin is still indistinguishable from magic for some of the people paid to cover it.
- Antonopolous stresses that this isn’t really how the Bitcoin protocol works.
- Williams makes a point about how flash crashes shake consumer confidence in Bitcoin.
- Antonopolous replies that no one questions the dollar’s value after when stocks plummet.
- Fade to black with Williams screaming “misinformation!”
Antonopolous went on Reddit shortly thereafter to describe the experience of having to participate in such discussions:
“I hope I did well, but can't really tell. Editor send [sic] me a note saying ‘that was a great discussion! Thank you for coming!’. All I can think is: That was debate theater with talking heads and no facts, not a great discussion, but what passes for journalism these days.”
If there is any one thing to take away from this video, it’s that many people are still not ready to confront Bitcoin as a technology but as a spectre of hacking and evil-doing. Some Bitcoin businesses had trouble this week, and that’s all.
I know Bitcoin is fun for big media, and it’s a topic that drives pageviews and eyeballs, but please: If any of us plan to report on something, let’s try to at least understand what it is we are talking about first.