Welcome to ‘On The Record’ with YAP Global where we speak to the journalists and editors behind the stories that keep you up-to-date on the pulse of the digital asset, fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.
This week we caught up with Linas Kmieliauskas, Editor-in-Chief of Cryptonews.com about his 20 year career in journalism and how he came to work in the crypto and blockchain space. Linas shares insights on what he looks for in a pitch and his thoughts on the booming decentralized finance (DeFi) industry.
Can you share a bit about your background and how you got your start at Cryptonews.com?
“My background is in journalism and communication science. I’ve been in the news media for 20 years now, spending most of my career with Bonnier, one the largest media companies in Europe, where I started as a reporter, covering business and politics, before moving to an editor-in-chief position at the biggest business news website in Lithuania, Verslo žinios. When I quit to become a freelancer, I was covering M&A in the Baltics and Central Asia for the world’s largest M&A intelligence company, Mergermarket, for several years.
And then, 2017 happened. I was riding my bike (the one in the pic above) when I met an old friend of mine and a few days later we were already discussing our plans to launch Cryptonews.com. In January 2018, it went live and the great bear season started. Coincidence!”
What excites you the most about cryptocurrency and blockchain?
“I get bored with the present easily, and crypto and blockchain still feels like a great thing from the future (however, less and less futuristic now). Also, I’ve always been questioning the role and the current models of the state, finding them outdated and inefficient. I believe crypto has a good chance to fix this. Schöpferische Zerstörung, or creative destruction, is my second name.”
How has COVID-19 impacted cryptocurrency and blockchain journalism for you and your team?
“Probably the main impact was, and still is, that it has become a very important narrative and now we have multiple stories on this in Cryptonews.com. In terms of our daily routines, nothing has changed as we’re a fully distributed team, each person running their own “node.”
What’s the best pitch you have ever received from a PR consultant? And why?
“Instead of naming one, I can say that I always like (everyone does) a clear, honest (yeah, I know, but it’s still possible!) message without any poppycock.”
If you could give one piece of advice to PRs pitching stories to Cryptonews.com, what would it be?
“My previous answer, plus our readers want to know how your client is really doing. This means that if you’re down to earth, bring us numbers and show us available results, we’ll ask for more. The crypto industry has a chance to set new standards in business transparency, let’s not waste it.”
What is a day in the life like for the editor of Cryptonews.com?
“It’s a long one and I’m not even sure it ends before it starts again! It’s all the usual stuff — lots of reading, editing, writing, managing, talking to people, looking for ways to improve, and everything is at a speed greater than DeFi is moving now. P.S. We’re currently looking for more editors with great journalistic and editing skills.”
Cryptonews.com covers stories in several languages: English, German, French, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, Russian, and more. How do you go about managing stories, journalists, contributors and sources across these regions?
“These are our franchise partners, run independently by local teams.”
The DeFi industry has been booming over the past few months. Where do you see this space going in 2021?
“It’s definitely going into space! However, will it reach some kind of a Proxima Centauri or implode in a post-bubble vacuum? I don’t know. It’s an incredible chaos, with similar patterns we’ve seen already, but it doesn’t mean it will end the same. I think one of the main questions is what will happen when it reaches retail investors and customers outside of the Twitter crypto community.”
Thanks for speaking with us, Linas!