Blockworks reporter Melinek talks about the crypto beat
Blockworks reporter Jacquelyn Melinek spoke with UNC-Chapel Hill professor Andy Bechtel about covering cryptocurrencies as a beat.
Here is an excerpt:
Q. How is covering crypto and decentralized finance different from other beats in business journalism?
A. Crypto is its own world unlike any other I’ve worked in, but I love reporting on it and being involved in the space.
The way things operate is very different from traditional financial markets or business journalism beats I’ve had in the past. For example, sometimes I’ll talk to sources, from prominent crypto companies in Discord chats, who go by obscure pseudonyms with a non-fungible token (NFT) for a profile picture. That’s just not something you’d deal with when interviewing an executive at a company like Exxon or a major hedge fund. There’s a more casual nature within crypto even though the work being done is serious.
With that said, crypto is a relatively new industry with bumps, kinks and risks (like a lack of regulatory guidance). I think it differs from traditional business journalism for many reasons, but ultimately no two days in crypto are the same. There are so many new products, companies and funds entering the industry every week, if not every day.
Although I am covering crypto day in and day out, the content is always different. One day I could be covering a story on community members of a DeFi protocol who are voting in an online forum on whether or not they should deploy onto another blockchain. Other days, I could be covering some of the largest DeFi hacks in the world or a company that just hit a billion dollar valuation in less than a year of existing.
In business journalism, in general, it felt like most days you knew what you were going to get: markets went up or down, supply chain issues impacted prices, a new law could impact the energy industry and so on. Don’t get me wrong, a handful of variables also make the business journalism beat exciting, but I have enjoyed covering crypto much more.