Controversial Fox News TV anchor Tucker Carlson has proposed a bizarre conspiracy theory that seeks to link airline delays in the United States and Canada to the rise in bitcoin prices.

He suggested that the computer outage that caused thousands of delayed flights on January 11 may have been caused by the ransomware, and hypothesized that the US government may have purchased a large amount of bitcoin to pay the ransom.

However, he did not provide any evidence for his claims.

Speaking on Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight on Jan. 17, Carlson argued that the price of bitcoin (BTC) surged more than 20% shortly after the travel chaos:

“Almost all ransoms like this are paid in bitcoin. So if the US government were buying massive amounts of bitcoin to pay the ransom, then of course bitcoin prices would go up. So the question is did that happen? Well, yeah, it did.”
“Since the nationwide ground halt last Thursday, the price of bitcoin is up about 20%. Is this a coincidence?” he added.

While Tucker’s online fandom seems to think the theory plausible, it has not been well received by the crypto community. FactoryDAO founder Nick Almond called Tucker’s wild theory “maximum tin foil” to his 13,500 Twitter followers:

Almond responded to proponents of the theory that he highly doubts the US government will buy billions in bitcoin on the open market to pay the ransom.

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Blockstream and cypherpunk CEO Adam Back also poked fun at Carlson to his 506,000 followers on Twitter, pointing out that the two events are exactly what Carlson described – a coincidence:

Other arguments against the theory on Crypto Twitter included that the US government already had a large amount of Bitcoin confiscated, that the government would buy it over the counter if it bought it, thaas Bitcoin is traceable and transparent, and a large ransom. They will most likely be paid in Monero.

Stack Hodler pointed out to his 30k followers that the $5 billion asset recovery by FTX was a more likely explanation for the recovery in the cryptocurrency markets:

More than 1,300 flights were canceled with an additional 10,000 delayed in the first two days of the disruption.

Related: Ripple’s CTO Shuts Down XRP Conspiracy Theory to ChatGPT

The US Federal Aviation Administration stated on January 11 that the disruption was caused by a “corrupted database file” in the Air Mission System notice, which the agency said was not damaged by a cyberattack.

The problem has been resolved and flights have resumed normal operations.

Source: CoinTelegraph