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Crypto Journalism's Wild Ride: Forkast News' Closure Shakes Up the Scene

Forkast's shutdown of its editorial desk highlights the inherent challenges faced by media outlets in the rapidly evolving crypto sector.

Photo by Call Me Fred / Unsplash

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The closure of Forkast, a prominent digital assets news publication, has sent ripples through the crypto news space, underscoring the challenges and opportunities facing media outlets in this rapidly growing sector.

The Hong Kong-headquartered crypto news website has let go of a majority of its staff, winding down editorial operations on November 30, The Block reported on Friday, citing sources close to the matter. The company will now focus on data and launch new data products in the future.

“The majority of editorial operations have been incorporated into Forkast Labs as a result of the merger between Forkast and CryptoSlam earlier this year,” the company wrote in an internal memo shared with its staff last month, The Block reported. “There will be an increased focus on the data side going forward, and the collective team will be focused on launching new data products.”

Bullish's Coindesk Coup

This development follows closely on the heels of Bullish, a leading cryptocurrency exchange, acquiring Coindesk, another well-established name in crypto journalism.

In November 2023, Bullish made waves in the crypto industry when it acquired Coindesk, a move widely interpreted as a strategic effort to expand its influence and presence in the digital assets space. This acquisition highlighted the growing interest of crypto businesses in media outlets that provide news and insights on the industry.

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Bullish's acquisition of Coindesk was seen as an acknowledgment of the pivotal role media plays in shaping narratives, influencing market sentiment, and educating the crypto community and beyond. It was a clear signal that crypto exchanges and companies are recognizing the value of controlling their own narratives and media channels.

The Evolving Crypto News Landscape

Against the backdrop of Bullish's acquisition of Coindesk, Forkast's announcement of layoffs offers a contrasting narrative.

Observers would have already read the tea leaves: in the throes of crypto winter in January 2023, Forkast announced that it was merging with blockchain data analytics company CryptoSlam to form Forkast Labs, a "first-of-its-kind Web3-focused data intelligence and media platform."

"The entire industry has been valued against volatile price movements, which has created a high degree of speculation. Trust in crypto has been eroded as a result, but we have the power to change that with this merger," Angie Lau, former Bloomberg anchor and founder of Forkast.News, said at the time.

Chalk it up to financial pressures, competition, or strategic considerations – Blockhead also has to weigh these considerations in an uncertain landscape – but the news desk's closure was a long time coming.

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As the crypto industry continues to mature and gain mainstream attention, media outlets play a critical role in shaping public perception and providing valuable information. But the evolving crypto news landscape is characterized by rapid changes, strategic acquisitions, and growing interest from crypto businesses in media ventures. Traditional financial news outlets are also increasing their coverage of digital assets, recognizing the sector's significance.

At the same time, there is a growing demand for data-driven insights, and Forkast's bet that it can capitalize on this demand by focusing on data and analytics is a development that will be closely watched.