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A new era of crypto reporting

Thomas Lodge | 11.08.2022

The Financial Times loves a newsletter, and they don’t miss an opportunity to tell you that you should too. Their latest was released in late July, bringing the total count to a monstrous 33 separate newsletters. The algorithm I am developing for my Buzzfeed style ‘what your favourite FT newsletter says about you!’™ quiz is getting increasingly complex.

Considering the current reader demand, and the machinations of various top tier business media the topic of this newsletter feels long overdue – cryptofinance. The newsletter was launched with a new digital hub and is being written by Scott Chipolina, digital assets correspondent at the title.

The outlet has noticeably leant into crypto and digital asset reporting this year, with blockbuster articles leading the charge. This summer’s meltdown at Celsius, the crypto firm, stoked some serious attention and I’ve noticed that more often than not the homepage’s top five ‘Most Read’ section includes a digital asset focused article.

Earlier this year the FT also revealed their Digital Assets Dashboard and held their inaugural Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in April. They’ve also got a great crypto glossary which I am sure, due to the nature of various fanatical, abstruse online forums, went out of date the second it went live.

Arguably one of the more decisive moves has been the appointment of FT Trading Room stalwart Philip Stafford as Digital Finance Editor at the paper in June. While his current role involves a good deal of digital asset and crypto reporting, the wholesale move will likely see him focus on this beat exclusively.

Bloomberg News has also been steadily reinforcing its crypto desk this year, impressively adding Emily Nicolle from Financial News, Anna Irrera from Reuters, and Eva Szalay from the FT in the last 6 months alone. A clear signal of intent.

In the trade media space, titles such as CoinDesk, Decrypt, The Block, and CoinTelegraph are in fierce competition. Last year saw a slurry of poaches from established media organisations with a case in point being Sarah Kopit’s appointment as Editor-in-Chief at The Block (after over a decade with Bloomberg).

It looks like last year’s activity in the trade media space has spurred on established media titles like Bloomberg and the FT to bolster their reporting in the space. Maybe it is no surprise to learn that Scott Chipolina, who I mentioned is heading up the cryptofinance newsletter, joined the FT in May from Decrypt.

An esteemed slot in the FT newsletter lineup marks a significant step in the evolution of crypto journalism. Much like the industry itself, it is by no means a niche sector of financial services.

It will be interesting to follow the reporting and see how these titles continue to build their voice in this sector. We’ve seen the FT take a fairly sceptical stance on crypto in their reporting and opinion pieces (see: Jemima Kelly, Alphaville). It’s a huge leap from the borderline evangelical stance that many of the trade media titles take. With the mix of talent spread out between trade and established media, and the continued maturation of the industry – we may see lines begin to blur.

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