Traditional news outlets have been deeply skeptical of all things cryptocurrency from the very start. At every downturn in the market, the business press has been poised to declare bitcoin — and later Ethereum and other cryptos — “dead,” “dying” and “doomed.” While there have certainly been bleak moments for investors in the last decade, the cryptocurrency industry isn’t exactly on death’s door. Here are nine examples — out of hundreds — where the mainstream financial press got things embarrassingly wrong.
1. Forbes, Jun, 20, 2011: “So, That’s the End of Bitcoin Then,” declared Forbes contributor Tim Worstall, citing breaking news that the Mt. Gox exchange had been hacked. The price briefly fell from $17 to under a dollar, only to recover back to around $15 within a few days.
2. Wired, Nov. 23, 2011: “In the public’s imagination, overnight the bitcoin went from being the currency of tomorrow to a dystopian joke” wrote Wired’s Benjamin Wallance in “The Rise and Fall of Bitcoin.” BTC had recently crashed to around $2.35 from a then all-time-high of $29.50.
3. NY Mag, Jun. 20, 2013: “Bitcoin Sees The Grim Reaper,” at least according to reporter Kevin Roose. Why? Roose correctly cited brewing troubles at Mt.Gox — which was still six months away from total collapse — as well as the recent price decline from $150 to $105.
4. Reuters, Jan. 8, 2014: In a piece titled “An Early Obituary for Bitcoin,” writer Edward Hadas explains “Bitcoin is not over yet. But the pseudo-currency is close enough to collapse to merit an early retrospective.” Rough days were ahead, but it wasn’t exactly fatal. At the time, BTC was trading at $835.
5. Bloomberg, Feb. 24, 2014: “Mt. Gox Meltdown Spells Doom for Bitcoin” claimed financial reporter Megan McArdle, noting that even if the closure of the exchange didn’t finish cryptocurrency off, regulators soon would. BTC’s steadily falling price, now around $530, certainly made Bloomberg’s dire prediction seem increasingly plausible.
6. USA Today, Jan. 16, 2015: “Bitcoin is headed to the ‘ash heap'” wrote financial reporter Matt Krantz, noting that the financial technology “that was supposed to render the greenback obsolete” was trading for a mere $196.
7. International Business Times, Feb. 15, 2015: “Bitcoin is ‘dying and will be remembered like pogs'” declared financial commentator Jeffrey Robinson in an interview with the publication. Robinson also dismissed the recent BTC price increase to around $240, explaining “The whole thing is a pump and dump.”
8. Yahoo News, Apr. 19, 2016: “Bitcoin is dead,” proclaimed the headline of this piece by Yahoo Finance’s Senior Writer Daniel Roberts. To be fair, the article wasn’t taking the claim too seriously, focusing instead on the dramatic exit and dire predictions of bitcoin developer Mike Hearn. BTC was just beginning an upwards price swing at the time, trading at $430.
9. MarketWatch, Jul. 11, 2017: “Stay away from bitcoin and ethereum — they are complete garbage,” warned opinion writer Brett Arends. Citing a lack of real-world use beyond money laundering and online betting, Arends mocked the “legion of techie-libertarian fans” behind cryptocurrency. The “complete garbage” of BTC was trading at $2,375 at the time — just below the then all-time-high — and those investors who listened to Arends would miss out on the rally to $19,500 a mere five months later.