Cryptocurrency is fast-paced, volatile, and not for the faint of heart. Forks, suspended forks, and massive code bugs can all happen within literal weeks of one another. Such developments can feel overwhelming, and may make the space look unattractive to many. However, before both crypto-enthusiasts and skeptics cast judgement on the crypto space, it may be worth noting that such chaos is not unique to crypto. At. All.
Flaws in this sector Make Great Headlines
Sensationalist headlines grab clicks and reads. Naturally, those are amplified when the subject matter is something much of the traditional media enjoys ridiculing or spreading FUD about like cryptocurrency.
Specifically, I want to focus on the Parity bug that was recently revealed. Already, news outlets have picked this story up, and the narrative that cryptocurrency isn’t safe is gaining a lot of steam. Do not mistake me, this is a huge bug that needs proper attention to fix, but we cannot immediately point to this as “proof” that cryptos are unsafe.
When faced with the flaws inherent in a new and disruptive system, we need to keep in mind that our traditional, familiar systems experience these and worse problems even more frequently. Whether or not their frequency is due to wider adoption is up for debate; however, the shortcomings themselves cannot be denied.
For example, there have been multiple instances this year alone of poor paper trails leading to losses in the traditional sector. One that I find particularly chuckle-worthy is the disappearance of some student loans. As paperwork goes missing, so too does any record of loans outstanding or even being issued. The same has happened with titles in the past, and just money in general. This is not unique to crypto.
Bad actors also operate outside the crypto space, despite what some press reports may lead you to believe. Some of the first monetary attackers were known as thieves. Surprisingly, they got their start outside of the cryptocurrency space (please forgive my sarcasm).
However, cryptocurrency is not the first disruptive technology to have received a bad rap from the media. Not 25 years ago, the Internet was just getting started. While it still is sensationalized, it has largely shaken its reputation as a place solely for antisocial people. That media trope flared up during the dotcom bubble burst, but has since largely subsided.
What I am hoping to impart here is that cryptocurrency is new, and certainly flawed in some respects – so is everything else. More importantly, as crypto remains in the spotlight longer, it will receive less negative attention. So while today’s mainstream media seems to heavily favor publishing negative stories about cryptocurrency, we should not assume that is how it will always be.
Moreover, the onus of propagating a more favorable light for cryptocurrency in the media falls party on the community. We need to be vocally critical of sources bemoaning the use of cryptocurrency or those that only publish the negative aspects of this new form of money. Furthermore, we must engage with members of our own community with whom we may disagree in a constructive and productive matter.