Coordinated Hyperbolic Articles Against Bitcoin? Mainstream Media Should Do Better

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Alex Hern said in his article, “Bitcoin is less digital gold and more digital beef.”

Bitcoin is taking a lot of hits lately from notable individuals and mainstream media. But it appears this is happening due to “misplaced” reasons. They have been trying to portray Bitcoin mining as “climate unfriendly.”

Anyone who understands Bitcoin to the core would know this attack is unfounded. The publications claim other industries and activities are friendlier than Bitcoin mining. But the truth is, they have caused severe environmental damage for decades.

Does Mainstream Media Now Report Fallacy?

At exactly 11:00 EDT yesterday, major media outlets released exaggerated articles. They created these articles to discredit Bitcoin mining.

This occurred minutes after Benjamin Jones published his report titled, “Economic estimation of Bitcoin mining’s climate damages demonstrates closer resemblance to digital crude than digital gold.”

While the report questioned Bitcoin’s climate friendliness, it presented biased facts. This puts a huge question mark on the author’s research and thought process while writing the report.

Following the report’s release, major media outlets published articles supporting the report. They include The Guardian, Forbes, and, The Verge. The truth is, anyone who understands Bitcoin will see the PR stunt pulled by these outlets.

They were all stating similar stuff indicating that Bitcoin’s climate impact is much greater or equal to gold mining, beef, and crude oil, which were termed “bad.”

However, this is a deliberate action by some journalists to tarnish the image of Bitcoin. We also believe that most, if not all their facts, were not properly researched. We will be shedding more light on this.

Bitcoin vs. Beef

In one of the pieces published by Alex Hern in The Guardian, it states that,

“Bitcoin is less digital gold and more digital beef.”

The article implied beef production had as much environmental damage as the market it supports. According to them, the damage estimation is at 33%.

They went on to apply this concept to Bitcoin. While doing this, the author stated that the climate damage from Bitcoin production had averaged 35% in the past five years. He also said the damage was at its peak in 2020, averaging  82%.

Though Bitcoin operates on the PoW system, it is more energy efficient than the classical system. Studies have shown that Bitcoin uses 50 times less energy than traditional banking. Even at the single transaction level, it is one to five times energy efficient.

Graph showing Bitcoin Carbon Emissions Compared to Other Industries; Photo Source: Messari

It is ignorant to say that a cryptocurrency supporting decentralization is harmful. Bitcoin has eliminated the complexities of the traditional system. Is Bitcoin also harmful by helping to ease transactions?

We may not be shocked that Alex is unaware of traditional banking's energy profile. Studies show that these systems have an annual energy profile of 4,981 TWh. Bitcoin has only 89TWH. Look at such a difference.

When Did Oil Exploration Become Eco-friendlier Than Bitcoin Mining?

Comparing Bitcoin mining energy consumption with gold mining is ridiculous. And so is saying it has more negative impact than crude oil. The use of natural gas poses 46% of climate damage on an annual basis. So, calling Bitcoin an energy glutton is utterly non-factual.

The Verge article’s title also said, “Bitcoin’s climate damage is similar to beef and crude oil.” This is another of the many fallacious statements drawn from Benjamin’s report.

Now, let's bring the facts to the table. We will highlight the environmental degradation of a mentioned industry: oil exploration.

Benjamin Jones could try to get better facts by researching or visiting areas devastated by oil exploration. Good examples are the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and other African countries. The facts are not hidden and research reports can prove this.

Then, he could compare if the impact of Bitcoin mining is worse than the lost means of livelihood. The mentioned regions have become nearly uninhabitable and lack access to drinking water.

There is also a growing rate of lung cancer caused by the inhalation of soot from gas flaring, and it causes death. These are to mention a few impacts.

Graph showing Emissions and Wasted Power from Flaring Natural Gas; Photo Source: Messari

Benjamin’s report talks about the environmental costs of Bitcoin. But, the damage done by oil exploration over the decades will take hundreds of billions of dollars to fix. How about the lost lives? No amount of money can bring them back.

Or maybe, humans stopped becoming a part of the environment since his report conveniently missed the above-stated facts.

Should we also forget the fact that oil exploration also puts money only into the pockets of the few oil multinationals and their billionaire owners? Bitcoin mining and other activities related to Bitcoin have decentralized wealth generation.

The Need For Factual Bitcoin and Crypto Journalism

The real facts about the impact of gold mining and beef production are there for everyone to see. Media outlets should avoid creating hyperbolic reports and articles to discredit Bitcoin mining. 

One could say that the report and publications are “journalism with misplaced priorities.” And supporting biased publications makes them appear less credible.

Written by
Chiagoziem Bede Ikwueze

Alex Hern said in his article, “Bitcoin is less digital gold and more digital beef.”

Bitcoin is taking a lot of hits lately from notable individuals and mainstream media. But it appears this is happening due to “misplaced” reasons. They have been trying to portray Bitcoin mining as “climate unfriendly.”

Anyone who understands Bitcoin to the core would know this attack is unfounded. The publications claim other industries and activities are friendlier than Bitcoin mining. But the truth is, they have caused severe environmental damage for decades.

Does Mainstream Media Now Report Fallacy?

At exactly 11:00 EDT yesterday, major media outlets released exaggerated articles. They created these articles to discredit Bitcoin mining.

This occurred minutes after Benjamin Jones published his report titled, “Economic estimation of Bitcoin mining’s climate damages demonstrates closer resemblance to digital crude than digital gold.”

While the report questioned Bitcoin’s climate friendliness, it presented biased facts. This puts a huge question mark on the author’s research and thought process while writing the report.

Following the report’s release, major media outlets published articles supporting the report. They include The Guardian, Forbes, and, The Verge. The truth is, anyone who understands Bitcoin will see the PR stunt pulled by these outlets.

They were all stating similar stuff indicating that Bitcoin’s climate impact is much greater or equal to gold mining, beef, and crude oil, which were termed “bad.”

However, this is a deliberate action by some journalists to tarnish the image of Bitcoin. We also believe that most, if not all their facts, were not properly researched. We will be shedding more light on this.

Bitcoin vs. Beef

In one of the pieces published by Alex Hern in The Guardian, it states that,

“Bitcoin is less digital gold and more digital beef.”

The article implied beef production had as much environmental damage as the market it supports. According to them, the damage estimation is at 33%.

They went on to apply this concept to Bitcoin. While doing this, the author stated that the climate damage from Bitcoin production had averaged 35% in the past five years. He also said the damage was at its peak in 2020, averaging  82%.

Though Bitcoin operates on the PoW system, it is more energy efficient than the classical system. Studies have shown that Bitcoin uses 50 times less energy than traditional banking. Even at the single transaction level, it is one to five times energy efficient.

Graph showing Bitcoin Carbon Emissions Compared to Other Industries; Photo Source: Messari

It is ignorant to say that a cryptocurrency supporting decentralization is harmful. Bitcoin has eliminated the complexities of the traditional system. Is Bitcoin also harmful by helping to ease transactions?

We may not be shocked that Alex is unaware of traditional banking's energy profile. Studies show that these systems have an annual energy profile of 4,981 TWh. Bitcoin has only 89TWH. Look at such a difference.

When Did Oil Exploration Become Eco-friendlier Than Bitcoin Mining?

Comparing Bitcoin mining energy consumption with gold mining is ridiculous. And so is saying it has more negative impact than crude oil. The use of natural gas poses 46% of climate damage on an annual basis. So, calling Bitcoin an energy glutton is utterly non-factual.

The Verge article’s title also said, “Bitcoin’s climate damage is similar to beef and crude oil.” This is another of the many fallacious statements drawn from Benjamin’s report.

Now, let's bring the facts to the table. We will highlight the environmental degradation of a mentioned industry: oil exploration.

Benjamin Jones could try to get better facts by researching or visiting areas devastated by oil exploration. Good examples are the Niger Delta region of Nigeria and other African countries. The facts are not hidden and research reports can prove this.

Then, he could compare if the impact of Bitcoin mining is worse than the lost means of livelihood. The mentioned regions have become nearly uninhabitable and lack access to drinking water.

There is also a growing rate of lung cancer caused by the inhalation of soot from gas flaring, and it causes death. These are to mention a few impacts.

Graph showing Emissions and Wasted Power from Flaring Natural Gas; Photo Source: Messari

Benjamin’s report talks about the environmental costs of Bitcoin. But, the damage done by oil exploration over the decades will take hundreds of billions of dollars to fix. How about the lost lives? No amount of money can bring them back.

Or maybe, humans stopped becoming a part of the environment since his report conveniently missed the above-stated facts.

Should we also forget the fact that oil exploration also puts money only into the pockets of the few oil multinationals and their billionaire owners? Bitcoin mining and other activities related to Bitcoin have decentralized wealth generation.

The Need For Factual Bitcoin and Crypto Journalism

The real facts about the impact of gold mining and beef production are there for everyone to see. Media outlets should avoid creating hyperbolic reports and articles to discredit Bitcoin mining. 

One could say that the report and publications are “journalism with misplaced priorities.” And supporting biased publications makes them appear less credible.

Written by
Chiagoziem Bede Ikwueze