After the New York Times was accused of writing favorable pieces about disgraced FTX co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried and inviting him to speak at the news outlet’s Dealbook Summit, it is once again being criticized for publishing a “hit piece” about bitcoin mining. The article’s authors claim that bitcoin mining is harmful to the environment, while the editorial also alleges that one of the authors went to great lengths to investigate the story. However, bitcoin proponents disagree with the article’s premise and maintain that the Times reporter did not use current data. They also argue that the story was one-sided, with practically zero opposing viewpoints.
Bitcoiners Respond to NYT Article About Bitcoin Mining — ‘Sometimes Clicks Are More Important Than the Truth’
The New York Times (NYT) is getting berated on social media after several well-known bitcoin proponents claimed that the publication published a one-sided article to promote propaganda. This is not the first time the Times has been accused of lacking journalistic integrity and being a mouthpiece for the establishment. In mid-November 2022, the publication was accused of writing a “puff piece” about former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) and inviting him to speak at the company’s Dealbook Summit event. On April 10, NYT reporter Gabriel Dance published an editorial titled “The Real-World Costs of the Digital Race for Bitcoin.”
In his editorial, Dance focuses on bitcoin mining in the United States and claims that 85% of U.S.-based miners use fossil fuels for energy. The report also discusses the state of Texas and the 34 bitcoin mines located in the region. Although Dance misspells the name of one of the Texas Bitdeer bitcoin mines, his findings suggest that bitcoin mining is environmentally unfriendly and “in some areas, this has led prices to surge.” However, despite the author’s claims, some bitcoin enthusiasts have denounced the article as propaganda. CEO and co-founder of the Satoshi Act Fund, Dennis Porter, was among those who criticized the Times article.
“The NYT hit piece dropped and it’s everything we expected. Sad to see the NYT attack bitcoin mining despite the incredible outreach by our community to engage and share the other side of the story,” Porter said in a tweet. “Sometimes clicks are more important than the truth.” In another tweet, Porter emphasized that the “NYT couldn’t even take the time to fact-check the town where bitcoin mining is taking place. “It’s Rockdale, Texas, not Rockland. These are not serious people,” he added.
Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer of the Human Rights Foundation, also criticized the NYT article for not mentioning the benefits of bitcoin.“The new NYT piece on mining is packed w/ misinfo, but the most staggering thing is that it doesn’t attempt to describe to the reader what bitcoin actually does worldwide,” Gladstein tweeted. “This is intentional. If you don’t understand bitcoin’s value, then of course you think it’s a waste of energy.” Others have found fault with the NYT’s and Dance’s methodology and data. For instance, bitcoin supporter Troy Cross opined that the methodologies of climate activist Daniel Batten and the NYT are “starkly different.”
Climate Activist Claims Emission Levels Quoted in the NYT Are Overstated on Average by 81.7%
Batten is an environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyst, climate tech investor and well-known for his research on the environmental impact of bitcoin mining. After the NYT article was published, Batten also discredited the research done by the newspaper and the author. Batten asserts that the NYT article overstates the use of fossil fuels by a great deal and he argues that people “should have zero trust in the NYTimes article on bitcoin.” The researcher further claims that the emission levels quoted in the NYT article are “overstated on average by 81.7%.”
Batten also published a Twitter thread that picked apart the NYT article and argued that the editorial was full of “unsupported assertions.” The ESG analyst explained that the article did not cite researchers who spent thousands of hours understanding the technology. Moreover, the NYT data is not current and Batten declares that “bitcoin [mining] no longer uses mostly fossil fuel.” Batten also concludes that the Times article has no objective reference to previous bitcoin mining reports or how “bitcoin mining makes renewable operators economically viable.”
What is your opinion on the New York Times’ coverage of bitcoin mining and its environmental impact? Do you believe that the article was one-sided, or do you think that it accurately portrayed the issue at hand? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.