Three Minutes with Leslie Ankney, Head of Communications at Forbes CryptoMarkets
“A lot of people in this space are self-taught because there is constantly so much to learn between cryptography, programming, finance, and economics. All of these are part of cryptocurrencies and DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology),” said Leslie Ankney, Head of Communications at Forbes CryptoMarkets. “I started reading about blockchain and DLT online. A lot of the articles were exciting, but they didn’t explain how things actually worked. There seemed to be a divide between white papers and articles. I decided to write to help people learn and cross that gap.”
Hehmeyer Trading + Investments sat down with Ankney to learn more about her path to DLT, what most excited her about the technology and her role at Forbes CryptoMarkets.
Potential and Possibility
A lifelong learner and writer, Ankney loves to dive into things.
“I loved Legos as a kid and taking things apart and putting them back together,” she said. “I was a journalist in high school and a pre-journalism major at the University of Oregon but changed to double-major in French and Political Science.”
She went to graduate school and earned her Masters in Education with a focus on Mathematics.
“I think a lot of what I do now, in writing and communicating about crypto comes back to the days as a teacher, where communication and breaking down ideas are crucial to the job.”
With her various pockets of interest, it is no wonder the lure of DLT’s potential reach and possibility attracted Ankney to this space.
“I heard about bitcoin and ethereum for a long time but wasn’t sure it was going anywhere,” she said. “For me, it wasn’t about creating a new form of money but other ways that DLT could be used as a record. “
Ankney believes the real potential is blockchain's ability to keep track of economic transfers.
“The idea of a borderless payment system where anyone can buy or sell, especially in countries with dangerous political climates like Venezuela, where people can safely transfer their assets is important to me,” she said. “Or in the case of charities and getting aid to people in need. DLT provides transparency in terms of where the money is distributed and who it is distributed to.”
While the potential to help charities and provide transparency is compelling, there are other aspects that need more time to prove themselves.
“There was this fervor to put everything on the blockchain and not everything works best this way, in addition regulators are starting to make rules around cryptocurrencies,,” she said. “Last month, for example, the stablecoin Basis is refunding millions in funding based on the current regulatory environment.”
Ankney was a freelance journalist when the opportunity to join the team at Forbes CryptoMarkets presented itself.
“The team reached out because they were looking for someone that knew the space well and could write but also could help with business development and digital marketing,” she said.
A data aggregation site, Forbes CryptoMarkets includes exchange pricing, cryptocurrency market caps, and newsfeeds.
“It’s a robust list of resources all in one place,” said Ankney, noting the newsfeed consists of more sources than only Forbes.
As she set out to do, Ankney’s initiative provides education and information. Currently, the Forbes CryptoMarkets site provides crypto prices and a headline feed that provides viewer a feel for the state of the market. However, the site is still in public beta mode.
“We are working with traders to figure out what they want to see and what makes sense to them, we also are adding new charting features. We are looking at how to build the site and get it out to people and provide the most value,” she said.
Based in New York, Ankney credits the meet-up scene for creating great buzz around cryptocurrencies and DLT.
“Events here are well attended by people that work in the space, that are hungry to learn, and that ask good questions. Even in “crypto winter” right now, there’s still been full rooms at seminars and events after work,” she said.
It seems the buzz around distributed ledger technology is boisterous. Sites that provide objective information and education will help navigate the noise.
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