This archived content originally appeared at, the predecessor site to, and does not carry the sponsorship of the Cato Institute.

Bitcoin Hyperbole on Both Sides

As vikingvista pointed out in a comment on my last Bitcoin post, the reporting on this issue often has little to do with reality.  In this example, after the central bank of Thailand issued a warning about Bitcoin that was reported by some as "Thailand Bans Bitcoin" which wasn't entirely accurate, as the Library of Congress explained:

"According to news reports, the Bank of Thailand ruled the bitcoin illegal on July 29, 2013.128
However, it appears that “it issued a preliminary ruling that using bitcoins . . . was illegal
because of a lack of existing laws” in the case of a currency-exchange license application by
Bitcoin Co. Ltd. Other businesses that have licenses have continued operating bitcoin exchanges
in Thailand."

On the one hand, some libertarians/digital currency enthusiasts pretty much equate the advent of Bitcoin as manna from Heaven.  On the other hand, some like Paul Krugman equate it with a harbinger of the end of (Progressive) Western Civilization as they know it.  Hype is hype, and I'll leave it at that.  More notable has been the counter-factual reporting on Bitcoin–on both sides.

AmongTech posts that the Reserve Bank of India, "Dogecoin recognized as official currency by Bank of India."  They explained:

The online currency based on the famous internet meme “Shibe” or Doge has been recognized as an official currency by the Bank of India. It has also recognized similar online currencies such as Bitcoins and Litecoins as official currency.

But here is what their link to substantiate their story said, "RBI cautions users of Virtual Currencies against Risks."  The press statement from India's central bank went on to warn people against Virtual Currencies (VCs).  It elaborated:

The creation, trading or usage of VCs including Bitcoins, as a medium for
payment are not authorised by any central bank or monetary authority. No regulatory
approvals, registration or authorisation is stated to have been obtained by the
entities concerned for carrying on such activities. As such, they may pose several
risks to their users . . .

The RBI press statement could hardly be construed as recognizing Dogecoin an "official currency."  No, the sky isn't falling, but nor are the streets paved with gold.