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[TokenPost Interview] Irish Tech News Co-founder Simon Cocking on monetizing journalism with blockchain technology

Tue, 19 Feb 2019, 07:51 am UTC

"Newspapers are closing. We are very much aware of the wider trends and the challenge. Every media outlet needs to have a strategy for monetization. If you can measure micro-transfers of value and monetize that using blockchain, journalistic articles would make sense."

Simon Cocking, Co-Founder of Irish Tech News

Irish Tech News ( is a digital-native news outlet, providing the latest news on the world of Technology. The award-winning website covers a wide range of topics from social media and smartphones to start-ups and SMEs.

TokenPost sat down for an interview with Simon Cocking, the Co-Founder of Irish Tech News and the Editor in Chief of CryptoCoin.News. For the full interview, please see the link below.

Q. Could you give us a brief introduction about your career?

With Irish Tech News, we’ve been covering tech trends for about eight years. A few years ago, we saw the potential of blockchain technology, which lead to the birth CryptoCoin.News.

Q. When it comes to crypto-related news, what kind of news captures readers’ attention the most?

Editorially, I try to make sure that we don’t just write based upon traffic. In any week, obviously, whatever’s new is the most read news. However, if you can write good, intriguing, evergreen content, you would be surprised of the various ways people will come to your site.

Q. Do you think there’s an underlying problem within the journalism industry when it comes to its business model?

Yes, newspapers are closing. We are very much aware of the wider trends and the challenge. Every media outlet needs to have a strategy for monetization. If you can measure micro-transfers of value and monetize that, journalistic articles would make sense.

Q. Is applying blockchain technology to news production the right way to go about it?

I would like it to be. If a blockchain-based CMS plugin that could monetize journalism is introduced to the market, I think it’s going to win. We would definitely like to apply it, but it will first have to work.

Q. What was the biggest story of 2018 for you?

Of course, price related stories are the biggest stories. In a rising market, everyone wants to read about prices rising. But nobody really wants to read an article about prices falling when they lose their value by 10% every day. I would always try to find a balance between price changes and blockchain feature-based stories. Personally, more of the feature stuff.

Q. Where’s blockchain headed?

In my talk yesterday, I had the Gartner hype curve. But, in reality, I think, rather than a volatile hype cycle, the industry development is on a steady rise. The technology is new. It’s evolving and being built. But it takes time to work and work well. Good things take time. It’s all about managing expectations.

Q. How will the traditional finance market adopt blockchain technology?

A lot of innovation in Fintech came from payments. Any area where you can reduce friction and costs while speeding up transactions is going to work. The technology that can provide a streamlined, hassle-free experience to customers will be the one that succeeds.

Q. Do you think the launch of BAKKT will bring the price of Bitcoin back to where it was?

The price of coins is massively manipulated by a few people holding it. In theory, news like BAKKT should have a logical effect on the price. But what we’ve seen is that these things do not necessarily have a logical effect on price.

Q. When reviewing a project, where do you put most weight on?

You have to assess projects based on what they can give you and the quality of what’s out there: the website, what they do, what they’ve done before, their credibility. I had one recently where all the team members were using pseudonyms. They said it was because they wanted to be like Satoshi Nakamoto! That’s a red flag. But there are a lot of good projects out there. Some of the best ones I’ve seen include ClearPoll, Covesting, and Morpheus network.

Q. Any predictions for 2019?

We always have to manage expectations. People refer to blockchain as Internet 2.0. When Internet 1.0 was first introduced, there was a lot of hype in the 90s. Therefore, there was a lot of carnage as well. People built too fast and overpromised. But things are happening and they’re getting better. But there’s still some serious technology behind it all that has to be built.

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