One lot drove big greasy bikes while adorned with black leather jackets. The others had parkas, Lambretta scooters and cool haircuts. Both groups perfectly valid and both demonised by the media as sub-cultures. Indeed a whole moral panic was built around them. “Put a stop” to this lot or we are doomed!
Here we are again 50 years later and sections the media are demonising another group. There is a new moral panic building around this lot. They’re dangerous and it will all end badly if we don’t control them, regulate them, police them and bring them to heel. Who are these new bad boys that could destabilise the country? Well, if I told you they were super smart gals and guys who are building out the future of the internet would that surprise you? The new business media gaze on the new dangerous sub-culture is firmly focused on cryptocurrency and those who work in it and on it.
At The Scotsman, this column has been allowed to thrive as I write up cryptocurrency stories on a weekly basis. And it is right that it should. Just like the demonisation of the Mods and Rockers by huge swathes of the media in the UK, the cryptocurrency industry is now the subject of unwarranted and in some cases biased scrutiny. Having been afforded the opportunity to have a voice in this publication, I can now spot a lazy journalist a county mile away. The hacks who churn up a 0.5 second google search on “Bitcoin” and “crypto”. Then spin a story on that search vilifying a whole emergent industry because - they can. I now know how the Mods and Rockers felt.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain, while new and still in their infancy, have the potential to change the world in so many ways. From finance to identity, from insurance to security. The new Mods and Rockers are using maths, the Haskell and Solidify coding languages, innovation and intellect to create the new version of what we know as the internet. Make no mistake they are determined, but it is not easy. Especially when they wake up each week and observe the moral panic that is being created around them.
We harp on about innovation, technology, the youth and jobs. A lot of hot air? But, the new jobs are not down coal mines, they are behind computers screens. Men and women coding new technologies that will improve health, transport and education. Look, of course banks are nervous as cryptographic currencies challenge their business models. It's not a war they will win despite how many MP’s they have on the payroll, so my suggestion is embrace them, fund them and work with them.
There is a new industrial revolution going on right now - a fairer one. Blockchain is at the heart of it. Moral panics are created and not truly sustainable. So, let’s look out from the crow’s nest beyond the “impending danger’ to a brighter horizon, that these young men and women are creating for us all.
Jim Duffy Create Special