‚Paper Bitcoins‘: Veja Magazine bet on BTC’s failure and made a very bad mistake

In December 2017, Veja joked about the failure of the largest cryptomeda, preparing the way for its biggest rally.

Veja magazine, which was once one of the most important in Brazil and is quite famous for its controversies, made a joke with its readers about Bitcoin in December 2017 and made a bad mistake.

In a tweet that recovered the December 2017 issue of Veja, the magazine „offered“ a paper Bitcoin to its readers and sentenced:

„In one year, it will be worth more than a real Bitcoin“

The magazine’s „joke“ a year later might even be funny: from December 2017, when Bitcoin reached its historic high of US$20,000, to December 2018, the largest cryptomeda dropped more than 80% to just US$3,742.

But almost three years later, the joke seems to have aged very badly: Bitcoin has never been worth as much in real terms as it is today, reaching R$73,000, and this week it has experienced its highest price in more than a year, reaching US$13,500, in the midst of the global economic crisis – one of the best performances of all markets in the year.

This is not the first time that Veja’s articles have been a joke or a polemic. In the 1980s, the magazine published one of the biggest „tummies“ (a term used for crude errors in journalism) in an article dealing with the „Boimate“ revolution: a supposed hybrid of ox and tomato „created“ by German scientists. The false news published became a symbol of bad journalism.

In 1989, Veja caused revolt when it published a cover with a photo of the singer Cazuza, with the title: „Cazuza – a victim of AIDS agonizes in a public square“. The singer and poet, one of the most prestigious of Brazilian music in all times, was fighting his last battles against the terrible disease and was undergoing treatment in the United States. After the unfortunate publication, the singer was hospitalized with a heart attack – and the journalist responsible for the article resigned.

In Brazilian politics, Veja is known for trying to interfere in elections and in the national political game, without exactly respecting journalistic rigour.

In the 1990s, the magazine was decisive in the charges against the then President Fernando Collor, who resigned in 1992.

During the following decade, in a more conservative vein, the magazine was one of the greatest opponents of the Brazilian media against the petitionist governments, often promoting its preferred opposition politicians – cases of José Serra, Aécio Neves and Geraldo Alckmin, all members of the PSDB – without any shame or rigour for the facts.

The magazine also acted to ignite protests and encourage the overthrow of President Dilma Houssef, who was impeached in 2016. In all cases, the magazine itself lost the most, in addition to its favourite candidates – all defeated – and each year it lost readers and credibility.

The magazine is one of the main media outlets of Editora Abril, which has a billion-dollar debt and was sold – on the verge of bankruptcy – in 2018. In 2019, the company filed for Judicial Recovery and this year alone estimates losses of an additional R$ 100 million.

Perhaps if they had invested in Bitcoins for real – and not paper – the story to be told today could be another.