At just 3.5 years old, Decrypt Media is helping decrypt crypto. And in doing so, the company is creating new solutions for publishers.
In 2018, founders Josh Whittner and Ryan Bubinksi teamed up with Consensys, a company that launched a programme to create projects with the potential to become stand-alone companies. Decrypt stems from that programme.
Alanna Roazzi-Laforet, publisher and chief revenue officer, told INMA that Decrypt’s ultimate mission is to help explain what it means to be in the crypto world and become the bridge between the layperson and the experts.
“The whole notion of Decrypt is that we are here to translate the difficult into the easy,” Roazzi-Laforet said.
Hands-on exploration into crypto
Decrypt doesn’t just educate others on the crypto world; it uses Web 3.0, which are decentralised platforms that run on a blockchain.
In early 2020, Decrypt launched a token on a blockchain that runs parallel to the more popular blockchain Ethereum. It was a big success, Roazzi-Laforet said. Users earned tokens by interacting with the app, reading or sharing a story, and then it progressed into Decrypt’s first reward programme.
“Our first reward programme was NFTs. We commissioned artists to create NFTs for Decrypt,” Roazzi-Laforet said. “You’re creating content and art that has a blockchain ID, and that alone solves a problem we’ve been having in the media for years.”
That problem is fraud. Roazzi-Laforet’s background is in advertising standards, and she understands the benefits of blockchain because it can track ads across the ecosystem and follow their lifecycle.
Blockchain also offers traditional media companies a tremendous opportunity to create communities using Web 3.0, she said.
“It’s a community-building world and publishers, in particular, have a really strong opportunity to come in and find new audiences,” Roazzi-Laforet said.
But she also sees traditional media companies being overly cautious about diving into this new world.
“They’re afraid of tokens and tokenomics. I think that needs to be dispelled and we’re happy to help there,” Roazzi-Laforet said. “Tokens and crypto are not the enemy. They are not scary. They’re a new way of thinking about the world. Approaching the market with fear and trepidation, especially right now because it’s growing so quickly, is just going to be a non-starter.”
Tokens for media companies
Roazzi-Laforet wants media companies to look at tokens not only for compensation, but for activities like building, communicating, governing, and showing value: “At the end of the day, all it is you’re controlling supply and demand and you’re giving value to activities.”
Looking into Decrypt’s future, the company just announced a DAO (decentralised autonomous organisation) that Roazzi-Laforet said they’re thinking about like a wire service. It’s called PubDAO, and Decrypt is its first client.
“It’s basically open to everyone. Open to content creators, publishers, to publish their content on a decentralised wire service,” she said, adding it is a call to action to empower publishers to help Decrypt build it.
“We are actively talking to traditional publishers, crypto publishers, crypto journalists, and traditional journalists to come and contribute articles to this new wire service.”
This case study originally appeared in the INMA report, Exploring Blockchain's Potential to Transform Media.