Why I won’t let Bitcoin serve as an alibi for Eric Zemmour

There are subjects that we tend to let slip, especially as soon as they are overtly political, when we are busy running a media dedicated to the ecosystem of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Positions sent hastily to create buzz, outrageous proposals from attention-seeking editorialists and polemical politics that amount to pissing in the twittering violin of a freewheeling Twitter are often part of it.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, absent from the political debate

Because we’re running out of time, because empty promises, we go a little above, or also by editorial choice – quite simply because it is not necessarily our role to adopt an attitude that some might perceive as militant. There are, however, themes that we will not deliberately avoid, as long as they are central to the various staff that led us to take an interest in cryptocurrencies in the first place at the Journal du Coin, there are now many years: Readers of the JDC, you know how some of these political facts are subject to debate in our columns (and internally). Whether it is the drastic reduction of the right to private lifeof the rapacious installation of a surveillance economy ultra-efficient and increasingly omnipotent or even grotesque gestures of the bankers and a good part of the French political world vis-à-vis cryptocurrencies (and more generally the change and the absence of any popular sovereignty real when it is rejected in public discourse).

But, while the great electoral circus is racing and the famous race for sponsorships spreads out every morning in the mainstream press, and after several months when each and every one of the candidates and candidates will have competed with more or less opportunistic proposals , I will have to make an exception to this rule: it would indeed seem that certain figures and stakeholders in the French-speaking Bitcoin and crypto ecosystem “are surprised” not to see the Journal du Coin more clearly affirm “convictions” supposed to be those of the media, but also of the team that composes it.

However, such a request makes a little sense, at first glance: indeed, if the ethos original libertarians of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies led us to federate within what is now called the editorial staff of the JDC, we are all far from sharing the same political ideas… and this is both something chosen completely insignificant since we recruit neither by diploma nor by opinion, but also one of our richesallowing a real opinion and internal debates… for in the end, offering you a media which is not only a simple relay of the markets, with its own identity and editorial tone.

So, finally, the Journal du Coin, what is it, and who should or should not take a position on political subjects within it, in what framework and with what limits?

And if I am going to try to clarify our position, as director of the publication of the JDC, it is because the situation seems to require it: while we were on the verge of having to agree that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies had no simply did not exist in this presidential campaign, now one of the crypto “unicorns” supposed to be the pride of our beautiful nation with the big care bear flag, has decided to invite the candidates and candidates for the election to come and visit their premises. .

Eric Zemmour, Bitcoin fan… when it suits him

Unsurprisingly, and as any communication consultant fresh out of his overpaid Parisian business school on credit could probably have explained it to the company in question, it was enough for the teams to ‘Eric Zemmourwhich we will recognize the meaning of meme, lulz and a chiseled community management – rush to grab the ball on the bounce. So this is how the far-right polemicist finds himself wandering around the premises of registerto talk about “cryptocurrencies and cybersecurity”, subjects that he must naturally master at least as well as the programming languages ​​useful for their daily use.

Ledger casually rolls out the red carpet for far-right candidate Eric Zemmour

And after this obviously very nice and cozy little party, the images of which were obviously skilfully distributed by the small hands of his campaign, here was Mr. Zemmour discovering a passion for cryptocurrencies. It was therefore not long before he made known ” his “ proposals for the future of the sector if he were elected president (meaning, those that some industry lobbyists had no qualms about whispering to him). And that’s how, in the middle of a campaign slump where all the other candidates are outright broke on the subject of Bitcoin, Mr. Zemmour achieved at very little cost (a Badoit shared on a corner of the table, a few tweets quickly dispatched) a superb communication operation, at least in appearance – and how he managed to get coverage of the crypto subject, and in the process to attract the open sympathy of part of the ecosystem.

The mainstream press was quick to relay the event, the titles having not yet been swallowed by the Bolloré empire, admittedly allowing themselves to point out the relative incongruity of seeing a far-right candidate on the program far removed from individual liberty ideas of cryptocurrencies come and join in our ecosystem.

After the Covid conspiracy, the fetishization of the far right in the crypto world

Yesterday the entrepreneur Owen Simonin published a video in the form of an open letter to the presidential candidates, a welcome rant against the French stalemateon the eve of the presidential elections.

For having mentioned for 20 seconds at all costs the passage of Eric Zemmour at Ledger, his video was quickly taken up and re-shared on the fly by some of the pro-Zemmour supporters the most zealous, eager to see in it a form of implicit validation (in a starting video yet revealed by a warning seeking to prevent this kind of recovery).

Tweet from Philippe Herlin, defector from the National Front to Reconquest, Eric Zemmour's far-right party.

At the bend of these repartitions, some have found it useful to solicit us, as if our role was precisely to take a stand for a given candidate, on the pretext that he would have pronounced the word Bitcoin in a whisper on a full moon evening, in the middle of a an areopagus of courtiers entrepreneurs in crypto, eager for very convenient amenities. An event visibly heralding a new golden age of cryptocurrencies, the arrival of Éric Zemmour at the Elysée palace apparently having to be experienced as a kind of Christic return of a Satoshi Nakamoto Reincarnated… Corn multiple convictions for incitement to hatredthis one, because we get the heroes we deserve.

Beyond the solicitations of known and recognized far-right activists, surfing on all subjects in this political period favorable to defectors, and presenting in bitcoiner libertarianism a fertile ground to exist (while that of the opposition to health French in times of Covid is becoming less and less buoyant), the following question finally arises:

Should the Journal du Coin “wake up” regarding the candidacy of Eric Zemmour (and by extension, those of other candidates)?

Our team, and me first, are advocating “red pestle” to enter the “rabbit hole”even defend the positions held by Zemmour on the pretext that they seem more convenient to us than the current legislation, and join its digital activists in their “citadel” franchouillard? If the rhetoric sounds familiar to you, don’t worry, you’ve probably heard it before in the crypto community, but in a bitcoin maximalist orange coloring (which does not change much in the end).

Should we cover the crypto positions of candidate Eric Zemmour, in the campaign, when we are the first French-speaking media dedicated to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies? In reality, the question does not arise in these terms: it is rather a question of asking whether it is even possible to do so, in the name of the neutrality that many expect (and fantasize) of journalists. Let’s be clear: I do not believe for a second in this fable of the united and indivisible Republic, of the democratic surge possible only if even the most extreme candidates are treated like simple harmless senators sleeping in the Luxembourg Palace… and I don’t believe for a second either in the supposed “neutrality” of the journalist.

Should the fact that the French political landscape is almost entirely uneducated when it comes to cryptocurrencies excuse the fact of handing the microphone to Mr. Zemmour each time he whispers “crypto” in the coming weeks, like an attention-seeking dog running after its master, begging him for his bone? Again, I don’t think so.

In the end, should we foolishly shrug our shoulders, and give credence to tailor-made promises, which bind only those who believe? In addition, the fact that they are held by a candidate, some of whose activists regularly make the front page of the press specializing in the radical movement of the ultra-right and accelerationists, enjoying lunches with the daughter of Joachim von Ribbentrop ( the Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany, hanged in 1946 in Nuremberg), and who chose to be assisted in his search for funds by someone close to the neo-Nazi spheres should it really have no importance? The simple fact that certain manufacturers in the sector try to take advantage of Mr. Zemmour’s exposure, while boasting at the same time cryptocurrencies as a tool for “new liberation”, should raise more than one eyebrow. But we have to believe that this presidential campaign is no longer close to that, since even rancid ideas are now mere “opinions” on a par with the facts.

In conclusion to these long digressions, and in a nutshell, allow me to be clear: the Journal du Coin is not intended to become a crypto equivalent of certain remote-controlled media for some by eminently partisan interests, for others by foreign powers, we will devote ourselves to what we know how to do best, namely covering the news of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, and to discuss and follow political facts as soon as they require it, but as we have always done so up to now.

That is to say without complacency towards the candidates or the rulers, in France and around the world, who try to ride the wave of cryptocurrencies to wear a cool and trendy halo with the public, dancing hand in hand. hand with an uncaring industry. And when the string is too big, we will dispense with dispensing even a net in the future.

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