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Any Bitcoin and Blockchain Publicity is Good Publicity?

John Oliver’s satirical comedy style of journalism on HBO’s Last Week Tonight just took a look at Bitcoin and Blockchain technology, but this time there was too much focus spent on getting superficial laughs at the expense of due diligence.

John Oliver on bitcoin

John Oliver does a segment on Crypt Currency

Personally I typically enjoy John Oliver’s take on most things and his show is a refreshing bit of fresh air in comparison to most mainstream media. I really do appreciate him even mentioning Bitcoin and Blockchain, and how potentially revolutionary this technology could become—especially considering no doubt many of the powerful traditional institutions of today (financial, media, and even government), could easily prefer that this decentralized potentially disrupting technology would just go away and never be mentioned again. I think it is also cool that John Oliver mentioned the crypto culture found on youtube, where people can obviously search if they wanted to discover more information about Bitcoin and Blockchain.

However, John Oliver also did poke fun at:

HODL & #HODLGANG: Those people when investing in crypto currency that HODL- a funny crypto culture misspelling of the world HOLD (or perhaps Hold On for Dear Life), that correctly don’t “panic sell”, whenever the nascent Crypto currency market makes crazy downswings that could easily give older people and even experienced equity traders a heart attack. John Oliver should have just stuck with the theme that investing in Crypto Currency (like most investments) is speculative and carries financial risk.

John Oliver also pointed out that these Bitcoin investments could go to zero, which is true, but as we have previously seen even the world’s biggest banks and even governments can go bankrupt. More about bitcoin going to zero: one could make the case that bitcoin should have gone to zero during many of the previous bitcoin crashes (more than a dozen since 2009), and it never went to zero, in fact it has bounced back stronger and higher than before each time—so that means those that HODL historically have done well.

bitcoin millionaire

24 year old bitcoin millionaire

To be fair he also highlighted a rather sensational Fox News clip from Fort Myers Florida, which seemed to imply that a 24 year old man simply became a millionaire just by investing $350 in bitcoin (even though he is obviously an exception to the rule).

bitcoin costume

Talking bitcoin makes some good educational points

HBO’s Last Week Tonight episode also did (very briefly) mention some of the most important points about crypto currency, while at the same time making fun of a guy educating people in a park wearing a bitcoin costume, such as:
Bitcoin is transparent, open sourced, decentralized, unhackable and can be sent worldwide for little or no cost, and offers high levels of individual financial freedom, while not controlled by any government or corporation.

He also made fun of several ALTcoins (Coins other than Bitcoin), which is a target rich environment of over 1500 coins. Many are obvious jokes, but he also didn’t point out that many of these ALTcoins and tokens are NOT jokes and represent investment in serious projects that are trying to address many of the world’s issues and problems.

It seems the majority of the segment between 1/4 to a 1/3 was focused on defunct bitconnect, which was correctly called out as a potential Ponzi scam by many leaders in the crypto space, well before the truth was known. I have no issue with pointing out that the industry has previously been unregulated, and still subject to pump & dump scams (not unlike the history of penny stocks on Wall Street). It would have been much more constructive to spend more time on explaining blockchain and why there is so much interest in adoption by certain segments of industry and government.

An extended clip of John Oliver on HBO’s Last Week Tonight look at Bitcoin and Blockchain technology:

John Oliver only gets 1 out of 5 stars this time for his satirical style of journalism with HBO’s Last Week Tonight look at bitcoin and blockchain technology. Sadly it seems he mostly sells out and parrots the talking points of those that only wish to continue to support the traditional status quo. The content of this segment actually underscores the idea that media companies as well as many other business might better serve the public good by being more decentralized, and offering the public more than one lopsided opinion (even during a comedy show). So it really should not be a surprise then that this particular HBO episode clearly supports the interests and profits of their owner (Time Warner), which is only one of a handful of media companies that centrally control a major percentage of information flowing to the public.

 

Green-Eco-EV News Reporting by Ken Green Burridge

kenneth green burridge Kenneth Burridge test-drives electric Nissan LEAF in Melbourne Australia

EV of the Year Judge, independent green journalist, photographer, author and sustainability activist that has published over 1000 articles. Mr Burridge’s travels have taken him to over 40 countries and 300+ major cities. He is originally from the USA, but has been residing in Australia for the last seven years. Connect to Ken Burridge on: Twitter, facebook, Google+Linked in or website

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