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CNN replaces odd Bitcoin article with Snowden story

An errant article regarding a Bitcoin operation briefly appeared on a CNN political blog on Friday. (Photo: The Desk)
An errant article regarding a Bitcoin operation briefly appeared on a CNN political blog on Friday. (Photo: The Desk)

CNN pulled an errant article from its website on Friday that focused on an anonymous Bitcoin trading service going out of business.

The article, which appeared on CNN’s “Political Ticker” blog, claimed that the anonymous Bitcoin operator “Btc-e Co.” had gone out of business following a court ruling in California.

The post contained numerous typos and grammatical errors, including a claim that the company went out of business on “June 21th.”

The article was published with a June 22nd timestamp under the bylines of CNN journalists Melissa Gray and Dan Lothian. Both have articles appearing elsewhere on the Political Ticker blog.

On Friday afternoon, the post about Bitcoin was replaced with an article about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Gray and Lothian’s bylines remained.

It’s unclear how the article on Bitcoin was published to CNN’s blog. CNN has not responded to a request from The Desk for comment.

Btc-e appears to be a legitimate Bitcoin operation and was still active as of Friday afternoon.

The full, weird Bitcoin story as it originally appeared on CNN’s website is posted below for posterity:

Anonymous Bitcoin operator goes out of business

Posted by CNN’s Melissa Gray and Dan Lothian

On Friday, June 21th, the Supreme Court of California issued a ruling on winding up of Btc-e Co., according to media reports.

Under the lawsuit, the company is not a member of any professional association or self-regulating organization (SRO), as required by U.S. law.

In addition, Btc-e Co. didn’t comply with compulsory standards and pursued a rather risky credit policy. According to the ruling, liquidation process is to start on 07/01/2013. the entire property of Btc-e Co. would be prepared for auctioneering and the proceeds will be used to pay debts. All accounts of Btc-e Co. will be seized and checked for legality for eight days.

Tonight, in an open letter to the Company among others stated the following: “Btc-e Co. has no available cash assets, and such assets will hardly appear in foreseeable future. Btc-e is unable to meet its obligation to creditors, and therefore is obliged to start the insolvency procedure that will be followed up by restructuring”.

According to some experts, Btc-e exchange, which is represented by Btc-e offshore company, became a subject to pressure from the United States because this platform is widely used to pay for goods, work and various services on the Internet that results in a decline in U.S. tax revenues.

Let us remind that Btc-e Co. conducted its business and operations since 2011. This system has gained high popularity in 2013 because of loyalty to the HYIP-industry and anonymity. Law enforcement agencies have gained access to all operations within the system. Now every transaction will be checked for legality.

Update: In a statement to the website TVNewser, a CNN spokesperson acknowledged that at least one set of user credentials were compromised. CNN works with a third-party vendor for its blogs, and the spokesperson said CNN was “working with the vendor to ensure the platform’s security.”

CNN: U.S. seeks Snowden extradition in NSA leaks case

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).