Here’s What the Mainstream Media Makes of Tesla’s Bitcoin Move

The conventional media has expressed mixed emotions about Elon Musk and Tesla’s move into the world of crypto – announcing yesterday that it purchased bitcoin (BTC) worth USD 1.5bn and hinting the carmaker may be set to start accepting crypto pay.

In a damning assessment, Guardian financial columnist Nils Pratley bristled at the idea of Telsa and Musk foraying into crypto, suggesting the latter should “leave punting on bitcoin to the devotees.” “Tesla should stick to what it’s good at,” he wrote, “and that isn’t bitcoin.”

Pratley added,

“The move […] looks like pure speculation. […] This adventure looks to be mostly about Musk’s taste for disruption and publicity.”

Also in the UK, the Financial Times waded into the argument, calling the investment a “bet” and quoting Jerry Klein, managing director at Treasury Partners, a New York-based investment management firm, as stating that the move made “no sense” and was “risky.”

Bitcoin (Image: Antana/CCBY-SA2)
Bitcoin (Image: Antana/CCBY-SA2)

Economist Campbell Harvey, a professor at Duke University, agreed that the move “won’t necessarily provide that hedge that [Musk and Tesla] are looking for.”

Meanwhile, Berlin-based Bloomberg columnist Chris Bryant took a slightly more sympathetic view, writing,

“Accounting rules were created before cryptocurrencies were invented. The bean counters don’t want to be blamed if companies get their fingers burned. Still, with interest rates at zero, I doubt Tesla will be the last tech company to try to earn a better return on its cash holdings.”

Read more: Cryptonews

Bitcoin sparks EU panic as Lagarde’s furious attack exposes ‘widespread misunderstanding’

BITCOIN’s price has surged to a new historical high, sparking the panic of the European Central Bank’s President Christine Lagarde, whose recent comments have exposed a “widespread misunderstanding” among policy makers, a political commentator has claimed.

The President of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has announced she wants to regulate cryptocurrencies. Ms Lagarde expressed her concerns and scepticism, saying: “It is not a currency. Cryptocurrencies are not money. “It is a highly speculative asset.”

The ECB President then underlined the lack of guarantees of real stability, as in the case of the euro or the dollar.

Explaining the risks consumers are exposed to, Ms Lagarde continued: “It is imperative that, if an activity is carried out by a private actor, this activity, if it is similar to money, is subject to exactly the same rules, exactly the same rations, exactly the same control mechanisms.

“So even if they are not money, but are ‘similar’ to them, the rules for cryptocurrencies and fiat currencies must be the same.”

Bitcoin mining (Image: Pixabay)
Bitcoin mining (Image: Pixabay)

In a recent report, the head of Oxford-based think-tank Euro Intelligence Wolfgang Munchau hit out at Ms Lagarde, arguing her comment “goes to the heart of the misunderstanding of the economics and central bank professions about the nature of Bitcoin“.

He wrote: “It will not be up to them to decide whether or not it is money.

“That question will be settled by those who use it.

“Fiat money is a social contract that exists because people trust it.

“The betting on Bitcoin, including Elon Musk’s €1.5billion (£1.1bn) investment, constitute a bet that this might not always be so.”

Mr Munchau noted the world may only be a couple of policy mistakes away from an environment in which the use of digital money, Bitcoin and others, could become more widespread.

He explained: “Bitcoin is not only a bet against inflation like gold or silver. It is a bet against a system in which money is used as a policy tool. It is no surprise that the launch of Bitcoin, in 2009, coincided with the advent of quantitative easing.

“The widespread misunderstanding of policy makers is that the intention of Bitcoin was never to create a rival to the euro or the dollar but to create a device that protects from economists and central bankers or governments that want to track electronic payments.

“The group of techies who started the project with an article in 2009 saw Bitcoin as a device to protect individuals from state control of all kinds – by creating a stateless currency that could be used in transactions and a store of value.

Read more: Express