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On bad reporting

A thought experiment:

You have a service located in a specific building.

Only people who are given access to this building are allowed to store their valuables in this building.

The building itself is otherwise unassuming and therefore safe. It’s supposedly a very, very safe place to store stuff.

You have thought this out very well, and there really is nothing unsafe about this location, and so you are eager to get on with business.

You are going to recruit people to store their valuables with you by handing out business cards with the address on it.

However, someone has deftly pickpocketed your cards and replaced them with a set that has the address of an equally safe and unassuming building on it.

Eagerly, you start distributing the cards.

Then you get a phone call from your colleague who says no one is showing up.

You check the cards, realise your mistake…

 

Question: who do you blame? The safe house or the person who didn’t check the address on his cards?

News? Rather olds.

If we are to believe CNBC, Business Insider and even Coindesk, this is just another example of things that happen in ICO’s.

“Welcome to the lawless world of ICOs.”, CNBC tells us. Business Insider knows that “Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum have long had a reputation as being somewhat of a “Wild West,” beset by hype bubbles, scams, and hacks — and that seems unlikely to change any time soon.”

The glee is almost palpable in all news about the hack, but the one thing that all except Motherboard fail to mention is that the hack was of a the ICO website, not any contract or whatsoever.

Coindesk even has the gall to say “The hacking of this ICO is reminiscent of last year when $50m was stolen in a similar fashion from a project called The DAO. “, a claim so woefully off the mark one wonders if the writer knows what industry he is working in and if he was even around when the DAO fiasco went down.

Of course, that statement is preposterous. The DAO hack was an exploit of a badly coded smart contract allowing the attacker to siphon of ETH. Coindash’s mistake is much more basic: bad website security.

Can the stupidly bad news gathering stop?

I am sorry, but stupid is stupid and I am not going to let it lie.

To date, we’ve had numerous scams, outrageous mistakes, exchanges folding and huge intercommunity fights in crypto. Really, in the last three and a half years, I’ve seen a lot.

What I haven’t seen yet, however, is a real hack of a large blockchain.

And any journalist worth his salt should be advised to include that in his reporting if he doesn’t wish to be ridiculed as an idiot from now on.

Sorry guys: you want to report on blockchain, the least you need to do is get educated. History, especially if it can be preserved like it can now, is generally not kind to people who are willfully idiotic in their profession.

Yes, even a blockchain can be hacked, provided it’s small enough to be unsafe. A worthless PoS chain or a nearly non-mined PoW chain is frankly useless. It’s useless because it’s unsecured. However, the large chains are much, MUCH harder to succesfully attack, and therefore aren’t.

Basic reporting should from now on include WHAT was hacked and why it was possible. If not, it’s just bad reporting.

 

 

 

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Bas Wisselink
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Bas Wisselink

Co-founder and trainer at Blockchain Workspace
Bas Wisselink isa writer, public speaker and trainer/founder at Blockchain Workspace. His expertise is in education, training and presentation skills.
Bas Wisselink
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