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Bloomberg Crypto recycled an article recently that a ‘lone whale’ was responsible for’s rise in 2017. The clickbait article was picked up by other cryptocurrency outlets, but it has been met with dismissal and condemnation.
Did a single whale manipulate Bitcoin to $20,000 in 2017? Bloomberg Crypto seems to be pushing this narrative, and some media outlets in the cryptocurrency world have been republishing the findings—but have been met with widespread condemnation for the ‘clickbait’ headline.
The story was capitalized on by The Block, with its Director of Research Larry Cermack (@lawmaster) commenting on it directly.
This is starting to get interesting. Last month, https://t.co/L5rHuZYhvjsaid that the paper by Griffin and Shams was unpublished and non-peer reviewed. Now it seems the paper has been peer-reviewed and is set to be published in Journal of Finance.
— Larry Cermak (@lawmaster) November 4, 2019
The cryptocurrency community, however, wasn’t buying it. Many had strong words for the story, with some outright dismissing its conclusions altogether. Su Zhu (@zhusu), CEO of Three Arrow Capital, replied to Cermack in harsh language calling the article “clickbait” and “dumb.”
This article is clickbait so dumb that it's a crime to give attention to it
— Su Zhu (@zhusu) November 4, 2019
He goes on to argue that the academics responsible for the paper “started at a conclusion and then tried to find data to fit it.” Ouch.
Others, like a market analyst at eToro, Mati Greenspan, believed the findings to be divorced entirely from their own experiences. As Greenspan writes, he personally witnessed “millions of retail accounts” opening during the 2017 rally on eToro. How could it be that one wealthy individual orchestrated the entire Bitcoin bull market? The accusation does, indeed, seem hard to believe.
— Mati Greenspan (@MatiGreenspan) November 4, 2019
The CTO of Bitfinex, Paolo Ardoino, also weighed in and claimed that The Block’s piece did not even give its readers a link to the paper in question.
Then why you write a click-bait article without giving your reader a link to the paper? 🤓 https://t.co/u3An8cXWfn
— Paolo Ardoino (@paoloardoino) November 4, 2019
Regardless, whether or not you believe the criticism to be justified is beside the point—the fact is, the more you dig into the story of a lone whale manipulating the Bitcoin price, the more absurd it becomes.
The media has often pushed the narrative that the entire cryptocurrency space is based on fabricated growth and manipulation. In doing so, they discredit the industry as the whole, likely out of fear or resentment. Cryptocurrency-related media should be smart enough to stay away from such clickbait stories.
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