Casey Craig on Tackling Crypto Misinformation and the SBF Trial

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Casey Craig is World Head of Communications at CoinDesk, an acclaimed monetary information platform specializing in digital finance and Web3. On this position, she manages all points of communication and public relations. With almost 10 years of expertise in strategic media and communication providers for fintech and blockchain organizations, her work additionally contributed to the conviction of Sam Bankman-Fried in Nov. 2023. Moreover, Craig is the most recent member of BRAVO’s actuality present, Winter House Season 3. Innovation & Tech Immediately had the possibility to talk with Craig about misinformation, the monumental SBF trial, and the position of PR in offering correct details about the crypto and Blockchain trade. 

Credit score: Gabe Ginsberg

Innovation & Tech Immediately: I’ll dive proper in with my first query. Particularly, with my expertise writing about crypto, I do know there’s a whole lot of misinformation within the house. I needed to get your tackle what the general public can do to confirm data every time they’re making an attempt to be taught extra about what’s taking place within the trade.

Casey Craig: Completely. As you mentioned, the unfold of misinformation has been infamous in crypto virtually for the reason that starting. It took a extremely very long time for journalists and well-known publications, the whole lot from Bloomberg to The Wall Road Journal, to start out overlaying crypto repeatedly. So folks had been getting plenty of their data on Reddit and obscure social media channels.

It was sort of perpetuating the identical misinformation, and I believe that’s nonetheless an issue immediately. Lots of people, even day merchants, might be pulling their information from Twitter or different social media platforms. However on the finish of the day, anybody can publish a tweet about something that’s not verified data.

So I at all times counsel to anybody keen on studying about crypto or eager to learn out each day to get extra immersed out there and trade to go throughout many sorts of stories shops. Not simply studying one article and taking it verbatim however ensuring that you simply’re studying throughout a number of verified sources so that you’re amassing data not simply from one particular person however a number of. 

I&T Immediately: May you give us an outline of the present standing of the SBF trial for our viewers? I believe you may give nice perception into what it’s, the way you’re coping with it, and the way it will change the trade.

SBF Trial/ Illustration: Jane Rosenburg/ Reuters

Craig:  Sam Bankman-Fried was discovered responsible final week on seven prison prices in opposition to him. He’s truly going through a most sentence of 115 years in jail. So he’s not getting a slap on the wrist in any method. This was taken extraordinarily significantly. For anybody who wasn’t acquainted with this, final yr on Nov. 2nd, CoinDesk revealed a narrative exposing a whole lot of fraudulent conduct in Alameda, which is just like the buying and selling subsidiary of FTX on their steadiness sheet.

That was sort of the tip of the iceberg. It snowballed into a whole lot of different prison exercise with FTX fraud traders. And that led to an enormous collapse out there. New York Journal did a extremely good headline of him- they mentioned, “The advantage is the con.” Earlier than this occurred, SBF was heralded because the Robin Hood for crypto. He’s a superb man. He’s bringing mainstream into crypto. Tom Brady had ties with FTX, together with many well-known athletes and different well-known folks, not simply in crypto however within the mainstream.

The story we revealed uncovered that not solely was all that pretend, however he was a really dangerous actor- some of the dangerous actors in house. When he was discovered responsible final week, I believe folks may need perceived it as a tricky day for crypto, however that’s not true as a result of anytime you expose a nasty actor in any trade that has moved as rapidly as crypto has, it simply exhibits the evolution. You’re simply principally hunting down anybody who’s problematic or not conducive to the longevity of this trade.

So I assumed it was a superb day for crypto, particularly as a result of any prison prices in opposition to these dangerous actors present how we’re getting near regulation. It is a good factor for crypto as a result of it verifies and legitimizes this trade.

I&T ImmediatelyWhat position do you imagine PR groups play in serving to companies and the general public perceive the challenges and the potential for Blockchain and crypto?

Craig: I believe PR individuals are vital for this. I’ve personally been in crypto PR for eight years. To start with, our job was simply to dilute information- very difficult information- on the breakdown of Blockchain, expertise, and Cryptocurrency. We must principally translate a white paper. 

You’re breaking down very high-tech difficult language and technical evaluation into bite-size data the nation can perceive. So, I believe with any rising expertise, PR individuals are vital of this as a result of they’re those who’re translating this into the mainstream. And so they’re doing it by means of the speaking factors they’re feeding their spokespeople, the press providers they’re writing to, and dealing with the journalists to develop these tales. 

It was unattainable to get journalists to cowl crypto to start with. I used to be like cold-calling folks. I felt like a salesman. And an excellent story is I needed to chilly name Paul Vigna. I believe he just lately left to put in writing one other guide, however he was some of the respected monetary journalists at The Wall Road Journal, and he simply began to cowl crypto. 

He was just like the GOAT, and I needed to chilly name him and get him to fulfill with me and canopy crypto extra. The explanation I acquired him to fulfill with me is as a result of I labored on his Twitter, and I discovered he was a fan of Stephen King too. That exhibits you the extent of what it took as a PR particular person to get mainstream journalists to cowl crypto. This is the reason the mainstream and mass audiences perceive crypto and Blockchain as a result of they’re studying respected information. So, it was not a simple activity to start with.

I&T Immediately: Are you able to give me an instance of a PR technique that helped present data and construct belief within the context of the quickly developed crypto and Blockchain trade? 

Craig: I’d say at all times be sincere and clear. And I believe one PR technique I’ve used previously, and what I inform spokespeople, is no matter you’re conveying or making an attempt to say, ensure that anybody out of your 13-year-old nephew to 80-year-old grandmother can perceive as a result of that’s how the mainstream will perceive it. The science is it’s important to break it down into one thing comprehensible as a result of it’s technical. 

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