Tech

Neil Mathew

Blockchain analyst CipherBlade criticizes WSJ journalism, or lack thereof

There are many cryptocurrency enthusiasts and proponents that believe mainstream media doesn’t cover cryptocurrency properly, or constantly does so in an unbiased fashion. CipherBlade, a blockchain investigation firm, has concluded that the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has overstated its previous claims about the cryptocurrency exchange ShapeShift.

WSJ is widely considered to be one of the most respected news publications in the world. They recently published a story stating that ShapeShift AG had facilitated $9 million in money laundering, with a title that many considered to be melodramatic: “How Dirty Money Disappears Into The Black Hole Of Cryptocurrency.”

ShapeShift, eager to protect its reputation, contracted CipherBlade and asked for an independent analysis of the Ethereum (ETH) involved. The blockchain investigation firm pointed out that the Journal’s own definition of “money laundering” is flawed, which led to the publication drawing the wrong conclusions.

According to the blockchain analysis firm, “The WSJ singled out ShapeShift for activity that is routine across any cryptocurrency exchange, and seriously mischaracterized the manner in which the company interacts with law enforcement officials… ShapeShift does not facilitate money laundering — rather, their transparency and cooperation are crucial resources that greatly benefit any given investigation.”

Erik Voorhees, the CEO of ShapeShift, is not pleased with the WSJ by any means, and tweeted about the CipherBlade analysis on March 21, 2019. In his tweet, he suggested that an apology or retraction should be made. He ended his tweet saying that “WSJ may lie, but blockchains don’t.”

CipherBlade also criticized the WSJ reporters for not truly understanding the blockchain or cryptocurrency space in general. This criticism isn’t new, as many in the cryptocurrency community. CipherBlade also determined that “only 1%” of the ETH from the suspected wallet in question was ever exchanged for digital assets on Shapeshift. The WSJ even claims to have worked with Elliptic, another blockchain forensics company, but CipherBlade pointed out that Elliptic has not even confirmed this whatsoever.

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