Bram Cohen recently gave an interview to Coindesk TV about the partnership with Costa Rica that the country and Chia Network just announced. Pretty big news in the world of Chia, but also cryptocurrency and blockchain technology in general. Especially on top of the very-much-connected World Bank Climate Warehouse partnership. Yet the Coindesk TV anchors really had no idea how to cover the story. It was an incredibly awkward interview – not because of anything Bram did or said, but because the financial reporters dealing with this story are way outside their beat.
This interview highlights an issue that I think is going to crop up more and more in the blockchain / cryptocurrency reporting space. The people who have been covering blockchain have been doing so from a price analysis and market perspective. They are really good at covering the minutiae of pricing changes between coins, and how the price of bitcoin affects everything else. They are less good at covering blockchain technology enabling federated databases to help countries safely trade carbon credits. I’m not 100% sure any of the three reporters here know what the term “federated database” means.
As blockchain technologies mature, and cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream and accepted, more and more use cases will be developed that sit outside the traditional financial services markets. You can already see it with Chia, where traditional media ignores them because its a “crypto thing” and cryptocurrency media ignores them because its not really. This is normal in emerging markets. Very few reporters are actual subject matter experts on the areas they cover, and without some technical expertise it can be very difficult to see where the puck is going. This interview highlighted that with the reporters seemingly interested in the story but not really knowing what to ask. There haven’t really been serious blockchain climate change moves with major players so nobody really knows how to deal with it. They are going to need to figure it out though, or they will end up doing the industry a great disservice by ignoring the actual innovation in favour of highlighting new ways of doing a Ponzi scheme.
Go check out the interview (it starts about 5:10 into the video), but if you are reading here I doubt you will learn anything you didn’t already know about the process. What a wasted opportunity to get Bram to talk about this stuff and ask really nothing of substance.