Hi everyone! Ian here, it’s been a minute.
I’m really excited to announce our first sub brand at Fintech Today—Crypto Tonight, a new weekly publication focused on the intersection of Crypto, DeFi, and Fintech. **Note, you will not be automatically subscribed to this, so sign up here!
While it might seem like we’re only into fintech here at FTT, we’re actually lowkey super hyped about crypto too. I got into crypto around 2014 when I was a reporter and started covering things like the Bitcoin halving event and the ethereum hard fork at Quartz with Joon Ian Wong. Our crypto coverage was cited in a bunch of places like Harvard Business Review and even reports from the US Postal Service on blockchain tech. At Bloomberg News, Julie covered companies like Coinbase and Robinhood’s crypto launch in addition to her “fintech” duties.
There are a few reasons why crypto is becoming more important to our fintech focused community and we’re starting a new publication dedicated to it.
The TLDR? We find it important to learn, understand, and start building around interesting technology that can transform traditional financial services.
- Fintech And DeFi Are Converging Faster Than Ever. Companies are not only making it easier to leverage the benefits of DeFi and crypto, but fintech companies are integrating crypto and DeFi products too. On the one side of the spectrum are companies like Eco that are building a modern bank on DeFi rails. On the other end are companies like Yotta Savings and Current, which are integrating DeFi protocols that natively have 4+% yield (we’ll get into how yield on DeFi works eventually.)
- Institutions Are On Board Too. Big time fund managers have been endorsing Bitcoin, crypto, and other digital assets for years, and that’s only accelerated over the past 18 months. George Soros’s fund owns Bitcoin. Blackrock’s Larry Fink thinks there are benefits to crypto (but not Bitcoin...idk.) And JPMorgan is getting into crypto despite what Jamie Dimon thinks of the space. As more funds (of all kinds, from venture all the way up to public market investors) get more interested in accessing the crypto asset class, there’s a more urgent need for financial literacy and deeper understanding around the fundamentals of digital assets too.
- Web 3 Is Coming For Media. As an ex-media employee, and currently running a media company, I could not be more excited by the intersection of Web 3 and media. Spend about 10 minutes on Twitter and you’ll see 10+ tweets about Web 3 (or maybe this just says a lot about who I follow…). A lot of it sounds bizarre, but there’s real value here. Web 3 isn’t that complicated—it’s simply attaching a wallet (therefore, a verified identity and a funding source) natively to any application or piece of software. While simple at its core, the implications are tremendous. At a macro level, it leads to the financialization of anything. It’s turning short clips of NBA games into assets in the form of digital trading cards. It’s enabling digital artists and creators to make money in new ways.
- An Increased Focus On Regulation. Both regulatory and crypto companies are understanding the need for compromise around crypto regulation. It’s a fascinating situation that’s come up a bunch in the FTT Slack—tons of fintech people are watching this closely. A part of me wonders if the fintech crypto floodgates will open up once there’s more concrete regulation—fintech people are pretty risk averse after all. With more regulation comes more complexity, which is another reason we’re excited to dive into crypto a bit more deeply.
- Enabling The Next Generation Of Entrepreneurs. Sounds corny as hell, I know, but part of our mission statement at FTT is “to enable the next generation of entrepreneurs and builders in tech and finance…” And part of that is learning about, understanding, and educating our community on what makes crypto so unique, why people are so enamored with it, and the possibilities it unlocks. I’m a big believer in the power of education (not formal education, I dropped out of college...but learning in general.) By helping people learn about this new ecosystem and connect with other people interested in the space, we think that that can lead to a ton of different kinds of connections—whether that means partnerships, or going to work in a new company, or even just making new friends that like the same shit.
If you couldn’t tell we’re all hyped. Extremely hyped even. Parker Jay-Pachirat is going to be the main creator for Crypto Tonight, and we already have a slew of Expert posts lined up too (with Julie heading up content strategy and editing). There are so many things to explore: regulation, gaming, art, taxes, insurance, predictions markets, infrastructure. I could go on and on. And, of course, we’re exploring a lot of ways we can integrate some fun NFT and token related projects into our already thriving FTT Slack community—stay tuned for more on that over the next few months.
In the meantime, sign up for Crypto Tonight here and get the first issue on Tuesday, October 19th! Huge huge thank you to our launch sponsor TripActions! Without their support, none of this would be possible, and they’re just as interested in the crypto space as we are :)