THE SILICOIN

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Best cryptocurrency news sources: how to read them wisely

There are dozens of news publishers in crypto sphere — it is impossible (and unnecessary!) to read them all.

We read numerous news outlets and pick the ones that provide the best coverage. Wisdom comes at a cost — we spend 3–5 hours reading crypto news every day.

In this article we list must read English language crypto news sources. We discuss their advantages and drawbacks and propose a way to follow all of them in just 30 minutes per day.

Let us emphasize — it is critical to pick trustworthy data source. Recent research by Breaker magazine revealed that 50% of crypto news outlets can publish sponsored content without mentioning its marketing nature — for additional fee, of course.

Regrettably, some very big names like Bitcoinist and NewsBTC broke the ethics. The remaining 50% were smart enough not to answer. Tips on how not to get screwed below.

Contents:

1. Daily crypto news majors
1.1. CoinDesk
1.2. Cointelegraph
1.3. CCN (formerly CryptoCoinsNews)
1.4. Daily crypto news: summary

2. Supplementary yet useful publishers
2.1. BitcoinMagazine
2.2. Bloomberg crypto

3. Exclusive stories and analytics
3.1. The Block
3.2. Breaker
3.3. Modern Consensus
3.4. Other sites from our long list

4. Research blogs and mailing lists
4.1. Proof of work
4.2. Diar
4.3. Woobull
4.4. BitMEX research
4.5. Other research sources to keep in mind

5. User generated content platforms
5.1. Reddit
5.2. Medium 
5.3. Hacker Noon
5.4. Steemit

6. News aggregators
6.1. CryptoPanic
6.2. Some other automated aggregators
6.3. Our take

7. Conclusion

1. Daily crypto news majors

Daily news majors are the essential source of cryptocurrency information. It is a good habit to start your day with reading at least one of them. If you scan through 2–3 daily news sites, you will notice that publishers cover the same topics. We’d say that 70% of news topics are the same across all sites. However, the remaining 30% of unique content is valuable. In our experience, reading top-3 publishers is enough to find all major news.

There are plenty of outlets in this category. The most straightforward way to rank them is by site traffic. We found the correlation between content quality and site popularity. Top-3 sites are CoinDesk, Cointelegraph, and CCN.

Traffic of daily crypto news sites in October 2018, millions of visits

Source: THE SILICOIN analysis, SimilarWeb, Breaker magazine report

1.1 CoinDesk

If you want to pick one daily crypto news publisher, CoinDesk is no-brainer.

It has been around since 2013 and holds #1 place by site traffic. CoinDesk’s content quality and delivery speed is slightly better than of its counterparts.

Sponsored articles are almost non-existent on CoinDesk. Probably that is because CoinDesk earns enough money on its Consensus conference that gathered 8,500 attendees in 2018. According to Axios, CoinDesk generated $20mn revenue in 7 months, 2018.

CoinDesk has a branch in South Korea. Apart from providing nice texts in Korean language, it enables CoinDesk to be the first to receive crypto news from Korea. This country is one of the epicentres of DLT movement, so fresh news from Korea is a nice benefit.

1.2 Cointelegraph

Cointelegraph is our #2 source. It has a reasonable portion of unique content (it is still low but it is industry standard unfortunately).

Speaking of geographical angle, Cointelegraph sometimes posts interesting pieces about developments in Germany. They are likely to have some local editors there, which is good. There is also a German version of the site.

Marketing articles are tagged with clearly visible badges “sponsored”.

Illustrations they use for articles are somewhat childish in our view, but that is a matter of taste. While they provide well-versed content, we can tolerate the pics.

1.3 CCN (formerly CryptoCoinsNews)

We rank CCN #3 in our crypto daily news list. It is a nice and reputable source though.

We noticed that CCN sometimes highlights crypto developments in Russia, Ukraine and Eastern Europe that are not covered by other publishers. It is an important argument for us to include CCN in our reading list.

CCN takes all sponsored press releases out of their main feed. You would find them in the column to the left of the main feed.

CCN has a sibling called Hacked. Hacked is primarily concerned with trade signals, ICO analysis and other esoteric stuff.

1.4 Daily crypto news: summary

Obviously, there are a number of smaller daily crypto news sites. To name some of them: Bitcoinist (y), NewsBTC (y), NullTX (n), ETHnews (?), Cryptovest (y) and others. Smaller resources may occasionally publish nice unique pieces. However, that would happen very infrequently. Moreover, the smaller the outlet is, the less it cares about its reputation. Regrettably, all publishers with (y) tag compromised themselves in Breaker’s investigation.

However, even reading top-3 outlets does not guarantee the absence of hidden marketing. We often encounter articles that are not tagged sponsored but look promotional. We are not going to speculate about examples — make your own observations. Our concluding remark: be cautious and avoid resources that compromised themselves.

For casual reading — pick CoinDesk. For more serious approach read all three daily majors, but be ready to find 15 new articles in each of them and invest 1–2 hours daily.

2. Supplementary yet useful publishers

There is a couple of sites that are worth visiting once a week. They do not cover all things that happen in crypto, but good interviews, technical reviews or deep retrospectives pop up there occasionally.

2.1 BitcoinMagazine

BitcoinMagazine appeard in 2012 and is probably the oldest crypto media outlet. It boasts Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin as one of the early authors. Obviously, the best days for BitcoinMagazine have passed. Now you would find many project announcements there and not so many news that often rewrites.

Nevertheless, BitcoinMagazine sometimes impresses us with absolutely brilliant articles. Their Genesis Files series is a must read for everyone interested in crypto. The series covers the history of early crypto development in 4 parts: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4. Their recent take on stablecoins is also insightful.

2.2 Bloomberg crypto

It is just a crypto section of a huge financial news outlet. Bloomberg has an army of editors, no wonder they sometimes dig out interesting information.

3. Exclusive stories and analytics

This is an interesting part. Everyone loves good analysis. Good analysis requires time and knowledge and is very scarce as a result.

Several outlets caught our eye with fascinating stories. Just to manage your expectations — you will not discover new America in those articles, but you will find some fine work of knowledgeable editors.

Outlets in this section also publish daily news. However, it is not their core value because the coverage is lower.

3.1 The Block

The Block appeared on our radar quite recently — in summer 2018. This site has a nice selection of general crypto news. However, its distinctive feature are research pieces tagged “our take”. Their map of crypto investors is handy and analysis of LocalBitcoins volumes is thoughtful.

We think that for a time conscious reader following CoinDesk + The Block is a good choice.

3.2 Breaker

In this article we have already sited Breaker’s report on unethical behavior of crypto news outlets. This is a nice example of investigative journalism — it deserves a credit.

Breaker produces reviews, opinions and interviews, which are unique. But the selection of topics often raises eyebrows. In our opinion Breaker is more about entertainment than news crunching.

3.3 Modern Consensus

At the first sight, this site may seem empty and boring. There are days and even weeks with zero publications on Modern Consensus.

Once we found an article about Tether’s problems on this site. After a day or so the same information came from other sources. The guys in Modern Consensus know something — we thought. At least they publish news about Bitfinex and Tether faster than others do.

3.4 Some other sites

The list of sites above is not exhaustive. There are a number of sites that do their job rather well. Nevertheless, we do not have strong arguments to follow them — maybe they will emerge later.

Here is the list of some other crypto publishers that produce content, not only rewrite:

4. Research blogs and mailing lists

Crypto community is truly vibrant — there exist plenty of blogs and mailing lists.

Discussions of early implementations of decentralized money were concentrated around the Cypherpunks mailing list in the 1990s. Therefore, signing up to the right mailing list may change your life.

4.1 Proof of work

Proof of work is our favorite blog. It is unparalleled. Top level technical and business people from the noticeable teams in crypto share project updates and their thoughts.

Just subscribe to the list — you will enjoy.

4.2 Diar

Diar is a weekly publication. It is delivered every Monday. Diar is mainly concerned with trading statistics. Regulatory, technical and project related topics are also present.

The writing is pleasant and analysis is better than average.

If the letters were delivered on Sundays, Diar would be even better. Almost nothing is published at weekends — may be a couple of editorials — causing severe news deficiency.

4.3 Woobull

Willy Woo himself describes his blog as follows:
 “…this is simply a place for me to document my brain farts as I do some data-driven research on cryptocurrency as an investment.”

His farts include interesting notes on cryptocurrency valuation, economics and trading. He is primarily active in Twitter. We advise following him and you will get notified of new posts in his blog.

Readers of the Willy Woo’s blog receive a valuable bonus in the charts section of his site. The charts visualize metrics developed for improved valuation and tracking network statistics of Bitcoin.

4.4 BitMEX blog

BitMEX is a prominent cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform. Their research team occasionally publishes thoughtful researches. When they do so, daily news outlets would likely publish extracts from the research, hence you will not miss a new piece from BitMEX.

4.5 Other research sources to keep in mind

Week in Ethereum makes a comprehensive list of technical, business and community developments in, not surprisingly, Ethereum. The number of entries in the list reaffirms that Ethereum is the most active coin.

Messari’s Unqualified Opinion mailing list. In the abundance of free fine quality crypto mailing lists we were surprised to find a partial paywall in front of Messari’s newsletter — “just the occasional free” mails are available for not paying subscribers.

Other decent mailing lists are Chain Letter by MIT Technology Review, Token Economy, Token Daily.

5. User generated content

There are several platforms with user generated content. One may easily get bogged down in the loads of good but mostly not so good content on these platforms.

5.1 Reddit

Nothing to add here.

/r/cryptocurrency/ and /r/bitcoin/ are primary crypto subreddits. The latter has surpassed 1 million subscribers recently. You would find links to hundreds of other project related subreddits on many sites including ours.

5.2 Medium

Medium’s format is different from Reddit. It is more reader friendly but less discussion oriented. Many people use Medium as a blog platform including ourselves.

Scientists, engineers, amateur investors and others sometimes produce extraordinarily good posts. Reading blogs is a way to understand where distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies are moving — that cannot be grasped from daily news.

There is a problem with blog posts—they are hard to find. We read a lot and collect such post. Most of them end up in “Longread” section of our news feed. Obviously it is not feasible to find all valuable posts. Please text us in Twitter messages when you dig out a treasure.

5.3 Hacker Noon

Speaking of posts by individual authors Hacker Noon is also a smart way to source them. This site boasts over 7,000 contributors who provide views and opinions on acute topics.

Hacker Noon has a healthy number of crypto authors, several crypto posts appear on this site daily. Some but not all of them can be found in Bitcoin section of the site. We therefore recommend starting from the home page.

5.4 Steemit

It would be incorrect to talk about cryptocurrency related user generated content and to pass on Steemit. Steemit is the largest blogging platform based on STEEM blockchain, which distributes rewards to content creators. Although STEEM is a very plausible and working protocol, most publishers haven’t moved to it yet.

6. News aggregators

As a foreword to this section, we would like to note that most general news outlets do sometimes release crypto related articles. CNBC, Forbes, WSJ, FT, Reuters, TechCrunch will not miss a chance to comment on hot crypto topics. Daily crypto news sites rewrite majority of these posts quickly, so there is no need to search for them in other places. If you still want to search the web for the crypto news not covered by dedicated sites — try out CityFALCON. Frankly speaking, our searches did not result in any incremental information.

From the sections above you can pick a dozen of dedicated cryptocurrency and DLT news sources to read. It would be handy to have all their post in one place. Crypto news aggregators offer such service. Most news aggregators are automated (as opposed to manually curated).

Pros of automated news aggregators:

  • All news in one place
  • Updated quickly

Cons:

  • Articles on same topics from different outlets clog up the feed
  • Deluge of immaterial news

6.1 Crypto Panic

CryptoPanic is the most popular automated aggregator.

It features very broad coverage, real time updates and eye torturing design. We’d recommend this service to traders.

6.2 Some other aggregators

One can make a long list of automated crypto news aggregators. In our view, CryptoPanic is the best service in this category, but here are some other names you would find:

6.3 Our take

Despite the benefits of reading all news on one aggregator site we found scrolling through 150+ articles every day inefficient. Usually only 10 articles per day are worth reading, 20 more are of some interest, remaining 120 are sponsored, rubbish or duplicates.

We decided that our news feed needs filtering to cut those 120 useless pieces a day. Maybe Palantir Technologies could come up with a precise filtering algorithm. However, a qualified human can filter the news better.

Our editors read all news from numerous sources. Sponsored, outright nonsense and duplicates are rejected. The remaining news are approved and go to “All news” feed. The most important news from them are tagged “Worth reading”.

“Worth reading” feed is a time efficient way to know all major trends and news in crypto. For those who are concerned about missing some headline “All news” is a better fit — it is literally a list of all unique sensible news. Nevertheless, even the most scrupulous readers are often satisfied by “Worth reading” selection.

7. Conclusion

The list of crypto news sources above is lengthy. Try several ways of reading them — it will require a couple of days, but efficiency gains are worth investing some time.

Proof of work mailing list and Woobull’s Twitter have no substitutes.

Even the largest news outlets sometimes publish items that look promotional or do not have ground. We urge you to be critical about everything you read.

Your feedback on this article and our approach will help us improve both. Contact us via Twitter, feedback form, email or comment below.

Truly yours,
THE SILICOIN team

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