Times Insider explains who we are and what we do and delivers behind-the-scenes insights into how our journalism comes together.
In an ad campaign during the 2022 Super Bowl, the actor Matt Damon stands on a ship in outer space, looking out over a giant red planet. “Fortune favors the brave,” he says. Super Bowl ads can cost up to $7 million for 30 seconds; this one was for Crypto.com and championed those brave enough to invest in what was then a booming industry. Three months later, crypto came crashing down.
Several digital currencies collapsed in mid-May, and more than $300 billion was wiped out after a price drop. The price of Bitcoin, for example, plunged from a high last year of nearly $70,000 a share to less than $30,000. Some crypto investors who had become millionaires lost it all.
David Yaffe-Bellany, who has covered cryptocurrencies and fintech for The Times since January, has reported on the industry while it soared to new heights — and as it suddenly came tumbling down. In an interview, he talked about covering a complicated beat that looms large over global culture. This interview has been edited.
How do you think about reporting on crypto?
People in the industry talk about crypto years the same way we talk about dog years because the industry is changing so quickly. Since I first started this job, the energy around crypto has changed a few times. We’re still in that boom period, to some degree. There are still tons of crypto companies starting out, still spending lots of money. But there’s a sense now that we’re in a crypto winter. Now, a lot of what we’re doing is trying to assess the damage of what happened in the crypto crash, especially to regular investors. And we’re trying to figure out what the story lines will be over the rest of the year, as the market actually goes down even more and crypto companies try to stabilize.