When did this happen?

5 Min Read
1038 words

I was reading an article on an Australian site today, that claims that one in five Australians has bought crypto currency. Take out the people under 14 and over 55, that would mean that there are it is more like 1 in 3, and I just don't believe it. I think that if adoption was really that high, the overall value of the market would be far greater. I also suspect that at least directly, people who own traditional stocks is unlikely to be that high. In fact, results of an online study in 2017 showed that 3 out of 4 Australians had never owned stocks of any kind. What are the chances of crypto investing having a higher adoption?

But, it wasn't this that caught my attention, it was this closing paragraph.

The first real-world Bitcoin transaction was a pizza purchase on 22 May 2010, from Papa John’s, for 10,000. The pizzas were valued at $US25 ($A33) at the time, but today those pizzas would be worth nearly $US140 million ($A184 million).

Do you know when you read an article on something that you know a little bit about and there is a glaring error that throws shade on the entire story? Who did the math or research on this?


After stating above how Bitcoin hit 50,000 AUD (Australian) recently, the math that they have used is very, very outdated, since it is using 14,000 USD as the value for Bitcoin. The last time Bitcoin was at 14,000 USD was around the start of November last year and while only three months ago, three months, that should be a long time for a reporter releasing financial "news".

In reality, Bitcoin was around 35,000 at the time of the article today, making the pizzas worth 350 million USD, or about 460 million Australian - quite a difference. While this might not seem like a big issue, it is an indicator of just how little the mainstream media care about getting the story correct. I think that all of these "accidental" errors add to the FUD around the industry, as it muddies the waters of information, making it hard to believe anything, and with many people still relying on mainstream media for their news, it manipulates the narrative.

Of course, media inaccuracies are not constrained to crypto, they are all pervasive and are part of the reason that it is so easy to claim "fakenews" on anything that is said. If they are unable to check the current price, a core element of their story, what are the chances of getting it right when talking about the complexities of global politics, war or economics as a whole. This lack of trust in the general level of information given is well-deserved.

Trust in the media is something that would actually be valuable, but I do not think it is possible to achieve when the media itself is built on a for profit model, with much of the news coming from a handful of for-profit companies with a broad range of labels, making it look diversified, as if people are reading from different sources. No one has the time to keep track anymore, let alone cross-reference and fact check - the assumption is that is the job of the editors. I think all an editor does today is evaluate what will get the most clicks and shares to get the adverts they peddle in front of more eyes.

Currently in Australia, there is a case raging against Google and Facebook, where the government is trying to force them to pay for the news media they share. While this is going to have global ramifications also, what it is setting up is the spread of getting paid for content, similar to what Hive is already doing in some way and something that pretty much the only way to scale it and account for it, will be through blockchain and the ability to micro transactions. But what is interesting is that this same system is going to end up being able to provide a confidence level to information provided via a web of trust system.

As I said above, when reading something known, errors stand out, which means that they can potentially be flagged. If for example a person also has a rating based on the type of information they are qualified to evaluate, an article could quickly gather a multitude of scores from readers, decentralizing the evaluation of the piece itself and very quickly being able to judge its level of accuracy. While not perfect, the rating can provide a warning to potential readers and in time, the content itself would have to change form, since people will effectively be able to filter out the low-quality content, removing visibility and therefore mitigating the risk of fakenews from spreading.

Obviously, there are many technical considerations that need to be solved, including protection from gaming the system, but it will lead to a decentralization of news editing and curation, so that the news that gets rewarded will be the one that people who are knowledgeable and interested have rated as worthy. What this means is that something like the "pay for news" legislation will end up undermining the news model itself, unless they are able to provide trustworthy information, with proof. In a world where a lot of the journalists are now quoting Twitter and calling it an article, this is going to get interesting, as what deserves to get paid?

The world is changing rapidly and as the digital economies increase their capabilities to evaluate, distribute, track and reward, the processes of content creation and support are going to shift also. what is happening as web 3.0 starts to take hold, is a disruption of industry that is going to set fire to much of the current norms across every sector, bringing in a new age of innovation and evolution like we haven't seen before.

It feels slow being an individual part of it, but it is moving very fast indeed and one day, we will look back and ask, When did this happen, when did everything change so much?

[ Gen1: Hive ]

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