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Crypto Community Criticizes New York Times Bitcoin Mining Article for Fabricating Data

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Riot Platforms VP Pierre Rochard criticized a New York Times article that analyzed the emissions and energy usage of Bitcoin mining.
  • The NYT examined 34 large-scaling mining operations and used both public and confidential records, and commissioned studies.
  • The crypto community was quick to criticize the NYT for the piece.
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An executive from Riot Platforms criticized The New York Times for a recent article containing misinformation on Bitcoin mining. Others in the industry joined him in criticizing the media outlet.

The VP of mining company Riot Platforms, Pierre Rochard, laid into the New York Times on April 10 over a piece on Bitcoin mining. The publication pushed a piece discussing the cost of Bitcoin mining on the environment and conducted research to estimate the carbon emissions from the process.

Riot Platforms VP Lays Into Bitcoin Mining FUD

The research methodology was the primary issue for Rochard, who stated that there was “lots of fictitious fractional-reserve carbon accounting” and “cooking the books to fabricate emissions.” The New York Times stated that it had “conducted a market-based simulation.” Rochard wishes for the publication to open source the methodology and simulation to see how it obtained the data.

The NYT identified 34 large-scale mining operations, using both public and confidential records and commissioned studies, to establish “the most comprehensive estimates to date on the largest operations’ power use and the ripple effects of their voracious demand.”

Riot Platforms received a few mentions in the piece. The NYT stated that its mining operation in Rockdale, Texas, used about the same amount of electricity as the nearest 300,000 homes, “making it the most power-intensive Bitcoin mining operation in America.”

The Times cited information from WattTime, a non-profit tech company. It did note that the companies objected to the method used, just as Rochard did. The objection the companies put forward was related to how emissions were calculated. The companies stated that it “held them to an unfair standard.”

The report comes as the United States is growing its presence in the mining industry. Since China enacted its ban on crypto mining, the industry has shifted to the United States. Texas, in particular, has become a hotbed for the industry, with state-level legislation also favoring the industry.

Others in the crypto industry also joined in on the criticism, implying the study was poorly conducted and that it was unfairly characterizing some aspects of the industry.

The New York Times Previously Called Out for SBF Piece

This isn’t the first time the New York Times is drawing the ire of the crypto community. The publication was roundly criticized for a “breathless love letter” to Sam Bankman-Fried. The argument then was that the NYT had published a puff piece on the disgraced former FTX CEO.

New York Times article on Sam Bankman-Fried
New York Times article on Sam Bankman-Fried

Critics of that piece included some high-profile figures in the industry, including Brian Armstrong, Jesse Powell, Zooko Wilcox, and Edward Snowden. The NYT may have to face another salvo from the crypto community if this story on mining picks up steam within the crypto community.

Crypto Community Trashes Media Over Binance CEO Red Notice FUD

Media outlets have been receiving flak for their coverage of the crypto industry lately. Last week, the crypto market and Binance Coin, in particular, took a hit after some in the crypto space posted rumors that Interpol had posted a red notice for Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

The resultant FUD stoked some concern in the community. Zhao and others emphatically refuted any such rumors and urged individuals to be mindful of the sources of their information.

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Rahul Nambiampurath
Rahul Nambiampurath's cryptocurrency journey first began in 2014 when he stumbled upon Satoshi's Bitcoin whitepaper. With a bachelor's degree in Commerce and an MBA in Finance from Sikkim Manipal University, he was among the few that first recognized the sheer untapped potential of decentralized technologies. Since then, he has helped DeFi platforms like Balancer and Sidus Heroes — a web3 metaverse — as well as CEXs like Bitso (Mexico's biggest) and Overbit to reach new heights with his...
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