Bitcoin VS BIG Banks

An in-depth analysis of the role of media in shaping opinions

Bitcoin in U.S. Media

Bitcoin is often represented in a negative light in the United States or described as a bubble and scam.  Click the button to find out why

U.S. Media
Bitcoin in Developing Nations Media

The representation of bitcoin in different countries shows the stark contrasts between developed and emerging markets

Foreign Media
Who Funds Media?

An attempt to try and uncover who is behind negatively written articles in U.S. Media

Media Funding

What is Bitcoin?

Bitcoin is an online cryptocurrency that connects the world finanscape.  It is a currency that is universal across the world and is unlike anything the world has seen before in terms of a currency.  It is backed by nothing but the faith of its followers and has no connections to any government or central bank.  It is practically free to hold bitcoin and any transactions that occurs happens anonymously and instantly.  It is a whole new asset class that is causing a lot of controversey about how sustainable bitcoin really is.  Many do not even know whether it should be classified as a commodity or a currency.  It is a threat to the current financial environment how we know it today and this is what big banks are concerned the most about.  In the future, bitcoin could potentially eliminate their position in society. 

What makes it so unique is its technology called Blockchain.  Blockchain is a decentralized ledger system that is highly secure and runs on an interconnected web of peer run computers.  The blockchain verifies transactions instantly using a complex algorithm.  For its efforts, people who run blockchain on their computer get rewarded with bitcoin payments every time they verify a certain number of transactions.  The people who run blockchain on their computers are called miners and they are vital to the success of bitcoin and the blockchain. 

Low Transaction Costs

When there is a currency transaction between parties there is often times a cost associated with this event.  The bank takes a percentage of the transaction as a fee for processing the transaction.  With bitcoin, these transactions are processed entirely for free and the only transaction fee incurred is the fee for changing your current currency (USD, Yen, Euros) for bitcoin.  

Decentralized

There is nobody who has control over bitcoin or the blockchain which it runs on.  This allows for zero invovlement from government and other large agencies.  Bitcoin and Blockchain are not companies and seek no profit, they simply want to provide a way to transact without the implications of a government or central agency. 

Anonymous

Once you have bitcoin, any transaction is untraceble.  Large amount of money can be moved with the only people knowing being the two people iinvolved in the transaction.  There is no paper trail or way to trace transactions.  This raises some concerns about bitcoin being used for illegal activity 

Available

Bitcoin can be accessed using any computer or phone.  There is no cost for holding an account or making a transaction.  Developing nations who do not have banks or a steady currency can use bitcoin to transaction across the globe at the touch of a butto

M-PESA Helps Impoverished Kenyans

Click on the hyperlink to access a 60 Minutes documentary about M-PESA an online currency that has helped Kenyans interact seamlessly.  M-PESA benefits all of the citizens especially those of poorer economic standing.  It allows farmers with no acces to banks the ability to pay for fresh clean water, solar power, and even livestock with the click of a button.

M-PESA documentary

U.S. Media Representation

Looking at these different headlines about bitcoin, it is very apparent that the media portrays bitcoin in a negative light, warning investors to stay away and keep their money invested safely with big investment banks and stock brokers.  What is interesting is that a lot of these large banks want the underlying blockchain technology that makes up bitcoin.  Blockchain is very difficult to hack and would allow big banks to increase their security measures.  These banks are using U.S. media to try and change the views of bitcoin and get people to divest.  If people pull their money out of bitcoin, bitcoin will become valueless and they will be able to snatch up blockchain technology for themselves.

Looking at all the different headlines, one thing is apparent.  The people who are quoted as “experts” all have strong ties to the central banking system and large financial service firms.  The people quoted are Joseph Stiglitz, Michael Williams, Mike Novogratz, and Ben Bernake all have or have had major ties to financial institutions. 

These large banking firms are using the media to try and take blockchain for their own profit.  They want to implement blockchain into their own systems and want to crash bitcoin before it becomes strongly imbedded in American society.  If more Americans pull their money out of financial institutions and use it in blockchain, big banks become useless and no longer become profitable as holding a bitcoin account and investing in bitcoin is practically free compared to the fees and commissions charged by U.S. Banks. 

These institutions have a tremendous amount of reach and capital.  They are able to fund a lot of these newpapers and have some sort of control over what they write and publish about.  The are using the American media to shape investor opinions.  Click the learn more button to see proof of these institutions controlling media sources. 

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Bitcoin in Foreign Media

This are the headlines about bitcoin takes from “The Times of India”.  As you can see compared to U.S. headlines, there is a much different tone around bitcoin and how it is perceived and consumed in India.  India is considered a developing nation with a large population of low income income individuals.  These individuals would benefit greatly by using bitcoin in their everyday lives.  They would not have to pay the normal fees of holding a bank account and would be able to transact better in the economy.  India as a whole does not have a strong banking system or central currency so there is no “establishment” that would be taken down.  The media of India has embraced the idea of bitcoin and instead of trying to smear it and report negatively against it like in the United States, these articles provide more information about bitcoin as a whole instead of trying to influence its readers. 

The newspapers in India are not controlled by big financial institutions like they are in America.  It is interesting to see the stark contrast and see how other nations are much less biased that American media.  It just goes to show that there are two sides to every story and when consuming media it is better to look at it from a global perspective. 

Understanding bitcoin from a global finanscape is important for understanding why it could work and why it has tremendous benefits to lower income individuals that are not mentioned in U.S. media. 
  
In an article about Venezuela it talks about how many citizens of Venezuela have turned to bitcoin to store their currency because of the hyperinflation that occurs in Venezuela every day.  These people who have their backs against the wall have no choice but to try and find a different store of value for their wealth and bitcoin at the current time is much more valuable than the constantly depreciating Venezualean bolivar.  When talking about the feasibility of bitcoin it is important to look at bitcoin overall and the global implications it might have as opposed to keeping a narrow framed focus based only on a certain media outlet. 

At the end of the day, bitcoin might not end up working out and there might be some flaws along the way.  However, what is not ok is certain media sites and sources trying to control media and persuade investors one way to protect their own interests like the financial institutions in the United States. 

Big Banks and Investment Firms 

This is a screenshot taken from Yahoo Finance which shows who has the most ownership in publically traded media and newspapers.  Almost all of the top 10 holdings are from large U.S. investment and banking firms which control over a third of the company.  The top picture is from News Corporation (NWS), they own The Wall St. Journal and New York Post.  The bottom picture is from the New York Times (NYT).  

Why does this matter?

These investment banks and holding companies rely on the success of the U.S. dollar to make their money.  There is no room for these types of financial services in a bitcoin world.  If bitcoin becomes a medium of exchange and replaces fiat money, the system of U.S. central banks and other developed currencies will not be able to be supported.  There will no longer be a need for bank accounts or trading services to provide stock.  Blockchain and bitcoin could stop these big institutions from profitting off of holding our money and would render these institutions useless.  These banks are pushing back in the only way that makes sense, shaping how media is consumed in the U.S.

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