Inside the FT's crypto plans
Future News 117
The FT is going big on crypto, FN can reveal. The Nikkei-owned outlet, which recently surpassed one million paying digital subscribers, has started the process to hire a digital assets correspondent, who will sit within the FT’s markets team. Meanwhile, more and more cryptocurrency-related content is being produced by the publication under editor Roula Khalaf.
The outlet has standalone verticals for both cryptocurrencies and NFTs (non-fungible tokens powering the digital art movement), while the likes of Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan, otherwise a banking and fintech reporter, is increasingly covering the space especially around so-called stablecoins (cryptocurrencies that are often link to price of fiat currency like the US Dollar or Euro) and so is Joshua Oliver, an asset management reporter who has focused on how regulators like the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority are reacting to the rise of blockchain technology and its impacts on consumers.
“Our overarching aim is to provide reliable intelligence on all aspects of business to our readership to inform better decision-making,” an FT spokesperson told FN. “The emergence of digital assets and cryptocurrencies is an important development in the financial sector and our coverage around investment, regulation and markets reflects that.”
That means the FT News Briefing podcast now covers crypto regularly and the FT’s Money Clinic podcast is set to discuss the creation of NFTs in May. The outlet’s video team have also produced a range of films based on the cryptocurrency industry, including ‘Where Crypto Anarchy Will End’, ‘NFT Sales Redraw The Art Market’ and ‘Cryptocurrencies: How Regulators Lost Control’.
Beyond the editorial side, the FT launched an analytics platform, The Digital Assets Dashboard, this month, aiming to attract investors and market commentators to its website. “This responds to our audiences’ need to access dependable datasets on coin values and index pricing, and we have worked with Wilshire to develop and deploy three proprietary digital assets indices,” the FT spokesperson added.
As for events, the FT will host its inaugural Crypto and Digital Assets Summit in April, promising to bring together industry professionals in banking, investment, fintech and asset management to address topics such as regulatory overhaul, the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), the rise of cybercrime, stablecoins, innovation in cross-border retail and wholesale payments infrastructure.
The FT’s embrace of cryptocurrency coverage comes as other established outlets, including Bloomberg, Forbes and The New York Times, dedicate more resources across sales and editorial to the crypto beat.
The industry’s trade publications, meanwhile, are looking to grow and expand into other areas, with nine-year-old CoinDesk launching a live video channel last year (reminiscent of CNBC or Bloomberg TV) and Decrypt expanding its editorial and geographical reach. We are increasingly a long way away from Bitcoin v0.3 getting a passing mention on ‘news for nerd’ platform SlashDot back in July 2010.