The recent spike in the price of Bitcoin [BTC] has had ripple effects well beyond the cryptocurrency industry. With commodities, social media giants, telecommunications, and even every-day retail outlets like Starbucks and Whole Foods adopting digital assets, one industry plays fickle.
Mainstream financial news media outlets often label the decentralized currency industry as fool’s gold. Traditionalists often do not occupy themselves with nodes, private keys, and cold wallets, and a recent piece of research has charted mainstream finance media’s “only in it for the highs” behavior.
According to a Reddit post which charted Bitcoin’s exposure in mainstream media by u/atc2017, the notoriety of the top cryptocurrency is “increasing.” The user stated that this “scrapping” of several headlines has been a year in the making, amassing over 150,000 headlines from “financial news websites, blogs and forums.”
The foundation for this research, according to u/atc2017 was,
“Since, arguably, the rise and fall of crypto prices is related to the exposure and awareness by the general public, I found it interesting to see how much Bitcoin/Crypto is mentioned on general news outlets over time.”
Headlines charted out on the graph are categorized as positive, negative and neutral, and the timeline for the same is from May 2018 – May 2019.
As can be seen from the gaping hollows between the black price line and the headline distribution, it is clear that when cryptocurrency bulls are raging, the media is fairly lackadaisical. Three key periods which elude to this disparity are May 2018, when the price rose over $9,800, prior to the early September decline and the current price rally.
Bitcoin, in the second quarter of last year, spiked from $6,600 to over $9,800 as a percentage of headlines in the mainstream dropped from 1.2 percent to 0.6 percent. The headline percentage only bumped by 0.8 percent at the close of June 2018, when the price dropped below $6,000 in a sign of inverse movement.
During the two key market meltdowns in September and November 2018, mainstream news media increased their exposure to the cryptocurrency industry, adopting their skeptical approach. Post the BCH hardfork and after Bitcoin dropped to $3,000, the coverage surged from under 0.4 percent to over 1.1 percent, with only 0.37 percent of the same classified as “negative exposure.”
Even with the recent price rally, accompanied by the prospect of institutional players like Fidelity, Facebook, JP Morgan and more, failed to drag mainstream headline over 0.6 percent. Further, only a fraction of the same [0.04 percent] had positive headlines about the industry.
Throughout the one year period, a majority of the headlines veered towards the “neutral” zone, owing to the complexity of the cryptocurrency field. The most positive period for the crypto-industry from the pressers’ perspective was September 2018, as BTC dropped below $6,500. The most negative period was seen in July 2018, when 0.34 percent of all mainstream news targeted Bitcoin and the larger cryptoverse.
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Graduate of Finance and Economics, interested in the intersection of the world of decentralized currency and global governance.