How Cryptocurrencies Spawned A New Media Industry

In the span of just a few years, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies have taken financial markets by storm. Blockchain technology has already created new ways of financing companies. Bitcoin is gradually changing the rules of the game in the financial market: over $3.7 bln was raised by 372 ICOs between 2015 and 2017, meanwhile despite recent volatility, crypto currencies have been some of the best investments in recent years, and according to JPM, on a risk-adjusted basis, bitcoin has generated higher returns than the S&P.

In the media industry where rapid changes have become part of everyday business, traditional sources were unprepared to work with the crypto community. As a result, a large field for media newcomers appeared. Crypto holders are their audience, crypto companies and ICO issuers are their clients.

Below we take a quick look at some of the most popular new crypto media outlets.

Blockonomi

  • Website: blockonomi.com; Twitter: @blockonomi
  • Audience: 2.4 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Blockonomi was launched in 2017 by Kooc Media company. They are focused on writing reviews of companies and beginners guides, not news articles.
  • Editorial policy: No information. According to Blockonomi’s press-kit, the media accepts fiat only.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

The Merkle

  • Website: themerkle.com; Twitter: @themerklenews
  • Audience: 4.8 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: San-Francisco-based The Merkle was founded in June 2014. It is led by Mark Arguinbaev who also founded TheVRBase, media source about the VR industry.
  • Mission statement: The Merkle publishes cryptocurrency news and a variety of educational articles relating to Bitcoin.
  • Editorial policy: No information. The company accepts Bitcoin for press-releases, but do it through BitPay’s service, which turns Bitcoin into dollars.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

Bitcoin Magazine

  • Website: bitcoinmagazine.com; Twitter: @BitcoinMagazine
  • Audience: 2.3 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Bitcoin Magazine was the first magazine dedicated to cryptocurrency. It was founded by  Mihai Alisie and Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, in 2012. They published the first issue in May 2012 and later joined forces with Coin Publishing LLC. In 2015 Bitcoin Magazine was acquired by BTC Media LLC, which also publishes Bitcoin, Let’s Talk Bitcoin and Distributed. Bitcoin Magazine ceased publication of their print magazine and currently posts content online. In total 22 magazine editions were issued.
  • Editorial policy:  Bitcoin Magazine’ writers are allowed to hold cryptocurrencies, but they have to disclose the information about their crypto investments.
  • Business-model: BTC Media LLC earns money on advertising and selling crypto fans’ stuff.

Bitcoinist

  • Website: bitcoinist.com; Twitter: @bitcoinist
  • Audience: 5.1 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Bitcoinist was founded in 2014 and is based in Budapest, Hungary. The media focus on the latest news alongside interviews, reviews and op-eds. It has its own ICO listing and list of online casinos.
  • Editorial policy: All writers are paid in Bitcoin. Articles include a disclosure note if the author is a holder of the given coin. Bitcoinist accepts payment in bitcoin from its sponsors and advertisers, but do not trade or invest in cryptocurrency markets.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising.

NEWSBTC

  • Website: newsbtc.com; Twitter: @newsbtc
  • Audience: 3.4 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: London-based NewsBTC is working since October 2013. It publishes news, interviews, technical and price analysis. The media has its own cryptocurrencies price charts, casino listing, the list of hot ICOs and the calendar of crypto events.
  • Editorial policy: No information.
  • Business-model: NEWSBTC earns money through advertising. Moreover, the company has franchise program: individuals and businesses can gain exclusive rights to use the NewsBTC brand and build up on it in their region.

CCN (Cryptocoinsnews)

  • Website: ccn.com; Twitter: @CryptoCoinsNews
  • Audience: 16.7 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Oslo-based media CryptoCoinsNews was founded in September 2013. The editorial team is composed of freelance writers. In November 2015, CryptoCoinsNews and its sister-site Hacked offered a five Bitcoin reward for information that leads to the arrest of an extortionist targeting them with a distributed denial of service attack. On Dec. 18, 2017, Cryptocoinsnews.com was redesigned and now it's site transfer visitors on new domain name ccn.com.
  • Editorial policy: No information. The team accepts Bitcoins for advertising.
  • Business-model: Revenue from advertising. Clients can place banner, sponsored story and press release or order newsletter ad.

Cointelegraph

  • Website: cointelegraph.com; Twitter: @Cointelegraph
  • Audience: 26.2 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Cointelegraph is a London-based news site founded in October 2013. It is a source of cryptocurrency news, with its interviews and analysis of crypto market. The media has different services: Cryptocurrency Price Index, ICO calendar and exchange scanner. Cointelegraph also hosts BlockShow conferences, international events for showcasing established Blockchain solutions.
  • Editorial policy: Cointelegraph has no publicly stated policy on whether its writers can own Bitcoin. Public statements by its writers suggest at least some of them were paid in Bitcoin. The media also accepts Bitcoin for advertising.
  • Business-model:
    • Media group: Cointelegraph started from banner placements but now they have a whole media group. According to CEO Victoria Vaughan, Cointelegraph’s clients were interested in advertising on various resources, so the team started offering sales services to the owners of other sites.
    • Franchise: Cointelegraph gives local entrepreneurs the right to use its brand and editorial materials, as well as sales and marketing support.
    • Events: Cointelegraph also earns money by arranging BlockShow conferences and industry meetups.

Bitcoin.com

  • Website: bitcoin.com; Twitter: @BitcoinCom
  • Audience: 26.9 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: Bitcoin.com originally is not a media source but a company that provides services, such as its own Bitcoin wallet, buying and selling cryptocurrencies and choosing a crypto wallet, Bitcoin mining pool, Blockchain explorer, Bitcoin forum, pricing charts, store and online games casino. The company also provides news, features and newcomers’ guides. It produces its own podcast. The source was founded in 2015 by Roger Ver, who is known as Bitcoin’s first angel investor. Ver is also famous for being a strong supporter of Bitcoin Cash.
  • Editorial policy: There is no information regarding the authors’ ownership of crypto. Obviously, the company is directly interested in the growth of the cryptocurrencies.
  • Business-model: Bitcoin.com earns money through services and advertising.

Coindesk

  • Websitecoindesk.com; Twitter: @coindesk
  • Audience: 41.9 mln visits per month according to SimilarWeb
  • History: CoinDesk was started in 2013 by Shakil Khan, Student.com co-founder. The media provides news, industry research and guides for those who new to digital currencies. Bitcoin Price Index was launched in July 2013. Since 2014 the media publishes The State of Blockchain, an analysis on the growth of Blockchain technology. Coindesk also hosts Consensus summit in New York City every year since 2015. The company was acquired by Digital Currency Group (DCG) in January 2016 for an undisclosed amount. DCG owns and operates Bitcoin brokerage firm, Genesis Trading and asset management firm Grayscale Investments, which manages the public Bitcoin investment vehicle, the Bitcoin Investment Trust.
  • Editorial policy: CoinDesk employees are not restricted from owning or investing in digital currencies or Blockchain-based projects. But its contributors must disclose this information in their user bios. According to Coindesk’s Editorial Policy, the company doesn’t trade or invest in digital currency markets. However, CoinDesk accepts payment in Bitcoin. They argue that the company works with Bitcoin payment processors to instantly convert those funds to US dollars.
  • Business-model: CoinDesk earns money through events, research and advertising.