Ever since Facebook launched Libra, the pseudo-centralized cryptocurrency, Kernen has taken a profound approach towards Bitcoin. First, when “Squawk Box” first covered the news, he questioned the “inherent value” of Libra, citing the fact that central banks have begun to debase their currencies. He specifically drew attention to the Euro, which many cryptocurrency pundits have targeted as the first big fiat money to fall from glory.
To most in the Bitcoin (BTC) community, mainstream media is viewed with intense skepticism. This isn’t a baseless fear, 99Bitcoins has revealed that the cryptocurrency has been “declared dead” over 360 times in its life, mostly by mainstream media outlets, from CNBC and Forbes to the New York Post and Bloomberg. For instance, one Bloomberg op-ed headline published in January 2018 reads: “Sorry, Bitcoin Fans. Digital Currency Is Still a Dream.”
Bitcoin Community Gets TV Ally
But, over the past few days, the cryptocurrency industry has secured an ally on CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, a morning segment covering Wall Street buzz. The anchor’s name is Joe Kernen.
And to put a cherry on the proverbial Bitcoin cake, Kernen even made the argument that a “real Bitcoin” may have more value than Libra due to the former’s decentralized blockchain. He elaborated:
“Blockchain transactions create inherent value. But making a digital currency that’s based on a fiat currency doesn’t make any sense. If you put in a dollar and out pops a cryptocurrency worth a dollar, that’s not a cryptocurrency.”
He continued his rant-esque take on Libra this Monday. Almost like a Satoshi Nakamoto excerpt, Kernen explained that Libra is a currency for corporations, but Bitcoin is a currency built and used by “the people”.
And most recently, speaking to the author of the “Bitcoin Billionaires”, Ben Mezrich, Kernen noted that the beauty of Bitcoin is “decentralization”, but that Libra is not that. In fact, he joked that instead of being decentralized, this Silicon Valley-backed coin has been “Zuckerberfied”, evidently something that is not confined by the unspoken rules of open networks.
Not Entirely Anti-Crypto
To CNBC’s credit, Kernen isn’t the only Bitcoin bull frequently hosted on the show. Over the outlet’s history covering this space, it has played host to a number of prominent cryptocurrency optimists: investor Brian Kelly, Tom Lee of Fundstrat Fame, Morgan Creek’s Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, and Ran NeuNer to name a few.
With this new knowledge that Kernen and his peers know more than they previously let on, many in the cryptocurrency ecosystem are hoping that CNBC can begin to take more balanced approaches towards this space.