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Going mainstream: Cryptocurrency narratives in newspapers

This paper quantifies mainstream media coverage of Bitcoin to understand how a once niche interest entered public culture. From 2011 to 2022, five key narratives are identified as criminality, culture, politics, price and technology. Price, politics, and culture have become ...

Published onApr 17, 2024
Going mainstream: Cryptocurrency narratives in newspapers
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Abstract

This paper quantifies mainstream media coverage of Bitcoin to understand how a once niche interest entered public culture. From 2011 to 2022, five key narratives are identified as criminality, culture, politics, price and technology. Price, politics, and culture have become more prominent in coverage while the technology narrative has waned. Coverage that is more political or cultural is associated with subsequently lower returns whereas the criminality narrative is associated with higher returns. Together this suggests that as narratives have become more mainstream, they have created additional demand, despite the negative association with criminal activity.

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