Crypto Journalist Rachel Wolfson Discusses Main Features And Peculiarities Of Writing About Decentralized World
Interview with Rachel Wolfson, an influential crypto journalist from Silicon Valley, who writes for Bitcoin Magazine, Forbes, Thrive Global, and is also one of the co-hosts on The Bad Crypto Cast.
How did you start writing about cryptocurrency?
I have been writing about technology for almost ten years. I started from things like machine learning, big data analysis and technology innovations. I got to know about blockchain something like two years ago. At that point I knew nothing about that. But I was greatly interested and even intrigued. I made my first article about that at Huffington Post and it blew up. I mean, everybody wanted to know more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies. From Huffington Post, I expanded my writing to Bitcoin magazine and Forbes. Few months ago, I started co-hosting The Bad Crypto Cast.
What is the main rule for the journalist who deals with the crypto community?
I think it is important to visit blockchain conferences in order to meet teams face-to-face. A journalist can read press-releases or look at the web-site of the project but it is never enough for a good article. You have to talk personally to people. It is the only way to know if the project is decent to be published.
What is your own strategy for creating new articles?
What is unique about my writing is that I am not a technical person but I can talk to someone technical and make it understandable even for those who are not very engaged in the sphere. It is really important for journalist not just to write word-in-word the interview with technical specialists or developers but also to adopt writings for wide audience. Cryptocurrencies are the future, and we have to attract people into it to create a stable community.
What role does journalism play in the crypto adoption?
The whole blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere is based on the community, so it is very important to build relationships among different groups. A journalist activity is one of the main chains in this process as it allows sharing information about great new ideas. We are media, so we are in the middle of all this.
It’s not a secret, that some teams try to attract journalists' attention to promote their own projects. Are there any ways to avoid such situations?
This is a very good question because there are actually so many similar projects that want to represent themselves as unique. I just look at a project and figure out if it is interesting. If so, I will write about it. Everyone around offers blockchain-based products and claims to have faster and better transactions or develop blockchain which will revolutionize the whole world. But I choose those ones, which are valuable for e-commerce and can solve real problems. It is very important to find some special features because people are very tired of the huge masses of similar information.
What projects impressed you most of all?
I’m a big fan of AirSwap. It is a decentralized marketplace. I find them fascinating and really enjoy writing about them. I think stablecoins are interesting now because of great cryptocurrency volatility. This is a new way to make cryptocurrencies accessible for a huge audience.
What themes do you usually focus on while writing about crypto and blockchain?
There are a lot of problems with blockchain. Transactions are slow, scalability is not yet fixed and, in general, there are many shortcomings. But the great thing is that many people work together to find solutions. The regulation is another issue. Sometimes, people even do not know if their ICOs are legal because the crypto sphere in some countries has undefined status. The regulation in the US is really tough. But I live in Silicon Valley. This region is rather innovative but there is still too much regulation. So I think it is important to do everything possible for education as many people still have no idea what blockchain is. And when the expansion of this idea becomes wide enough, the government will have to define this sphere. I hope it happens really soon, because I believe in the crypto sphere.
What plans do you have for the future?
I’d love to write a book about crypto. I think it would be the next step in my journalistic journey. I enjoy writing for magazines and I will definitely continue this activity.
The list of cryptocurrencies is fairly huge. Do you think it is a problem?
It would be great if there was just one global cryptocurrency in the future. Today we have such huge currencies as bitcoin, ether or Ripple. But it would be great if bitcoin was used by everyone. There are somewhat 15,000 different cryptocurrencies, and this is crazy. It is really problematic right now to make a choice.
Do you have cryptocurrencies? If you do, how do you use them?
I have a little bit of bitcoin and I’m just going to “hodl” it.
Now let’s return to the issue of stablecoins. Some people say that such coins are just an effort of central banks to retain control over the financial system. Don’t you think that their actions may lead to centralisation?
The concept of stablecoins is great. It makes people a little bit more confident about cryptocurrencies, and they start using them. Stablecoins are interesting and they differ from other coins. At the same time, if we have stablecoins why should we use the US dollars at all? This question appears more and more often in different parts of the world. That is why, I think, we should wait for great financial changes in the near future.
Talking about the future, how do you think blockchain will change the world?
The great thing is that blockchain is expanding into various fields, such as supply chain, e-commerce, healthcare, document management and so on. Everything has already started changing, and one day we will find a brand new world around.