We all see it, right? Cryptocurrency is having a moment again.
It last had a mainstream moment in late 2017, followed by the infamous crash in 2018. But that was, in hindsight, mostly mania and hype.
This time looks different, and dare I say more mature and more enduring. This time it's Joe Main Street and Wall Street buying in. The current run has been driven by institutions, but not just investment firms. Square, MicroStrategy, and Tesla loaded up. Notable hedge fund heads changed their public tune on crypto.
Buthasn't changed. The perceptions merely changed, as former skeptics decided it's time to reexamine crypto. The narratives changed, and crypto is an industry driven by narratives. (Remember when big banks were all talking up "blockchain without Bitcoin?") The pandemic created a perfect storm for crypto adoption, as bullish narratives converged with a retail investor revolution.
And people have a lot of questions. Is Bitcoin really a form of currency, or merely digital gold? Is crypto mining bad for the environment? What's the deal with these wild auction prices for digital collectibles ( )?
Decrypt is here to answer all your questions. We are here for people at every level of crypto understanding, whether you're starting from zero (see: What is crypto?) or you're deep down the rabbit hole of investing, , and staking.
We cover daily crypto news for the folks that live and breathe this stuff (and lately, there's a flood of daily news, from Tether and Bitfinex settling in New York to Coinbase preparing to go public); we answer specific questions we keep hearing from newbies (Why does Coinbase have 3 different apps?); and we present handy explainers in our excellent Learn section.
I first wrote about Bitcoin in 2011 at Fortune. Senators Chuck Schumer (NY) and Joe Manchin (VA) had written a letter of concern to then-Attorney General Eric Holder asking him to look into Bitcoin after Gawker (R.I.P.) ran an exposé on Silk Road, which used Bitcoin as its form of payment.
Since then, regulation has become a buzzy topic in the crypto industry, but has developed at a snail's pace—as regulation does. Multiple government agencies, including the SEC, CFTC, and IRS, all appear to want some jurisdiction over crypto regulation. There's also a fascinating push-and-pull between the Wall Street types who welcome more regulation, and the original Bitcoin true believers who were attracted to the space specifically because it wasn't regulated and was outside of government reach.
And since then, media coverage of crypto has evolved. Legacy media outlets have assigned more reporters to the crypto beat, new crypto news outlets have launched, and existing crypto news outlets are staffing up.
But the crypto news space has two pervasive problems: too many of the articles are written in an insidery, jargon-filled tone aimed at those who are already experts; and too many writers in the space are shills for the coins they cover.
We aim to be your go-to place for clear-eyed, discerning coverage of crypto: the good, the bad, and the baffling.
Decrypt made some hiring moves in February. I joined as its new Editor-in-Chief, after a decade of covering crypto and sports business at Fortune and then Yahoo Finance. (Fun fact: I collaborated with Decrypt on an investigative story about the SEC's quiet crackdown on ICOs back in 2018, not knowing I'd come join the site three years later.) Jeff John Roberts (no relation!), formerly of Fortune and GigaOm before that, joined as our Executive Editor; his recently published book about Coinbase, Kings of Crypto, makes him the leading expert on the red-hot company. (If you ask Jeff, Coinbase is the next Facebook. Really.) Alanna Roazzi-Laforet, a former Condé Nast digital sales exec, became our publisher. Matt Hussey, another co-founder and our former Editor-in-Chief, is now heading up the sales side. We join the existing excellent Decrypt team.
To call out just a few of Decrypt's recent engaging features: read Adriana Hamacher on what happened when a digital artist made $900,000 from buyers who thought they were buying Banksy pieces; Scott Chipolina on the man who put up Bitcoin billboards in every U.S. city with a Federal Reserve Bank; Tim Copeland's nuanced analysis of Elon Musk's public journey toward Bitcoin understanding; and Jeff Benson's examination of Janet Yellen's (bearish) comments about Bitcoin.
We're bringing on big guests: see our extensive new video interview with Mark Cuban, who talks DeFi and his obsession with NFTs; listen to NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie on our Decrypt Daily podcast; and read our interview with Miami Mayor Francisco Suarez, who told us he's planning to personally buy some coins. We've got more big interviews to come.
We're also actively participating in the industry we cover with our reader token, which rewards you for reading and learning with Decrypt. The token has been in an invite-only beta, but will very soon open to the pubic for our first "season," sponsored by Filecoin. Just download our beautiful mobile app. It's our hope that we can help spur the advent of Web3, when tokenization reduces the friction of paying for digital news content. And make sure you subscribe to our daily email newsletter.
To the 4.6 million people who came to Decrypt in February: Thank you, and buckle up, because it's all likely to get even crazier. And to all the newly curious: Welcome to crypto.