We’ve been covering cryptocurrency influencers all week. You may have noticed that most of them are founders of crypto-related companies. Today will be slightly different. Since cryptocurrency was first introduced to the world, public perception and media coverage has drastically changed. The cryptocurrency and blockchain community has mostly been dominated by men. However, women are slowly gaining traction. There are even a few who made it in Coin Telegraph’s list of Top People in Blockchain. One of them is Laura Shin.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Laura Shin and how she shapes the conversation around crypto and blockchain.
Laura Shin is a San Francisco, California-based journalist who specializes in the coverage of cryptocurrency, blockchain, financial technology, business innovation, and personal finance. She used to be a senior editor at Forbes, as well as a co-lead reporter of Forbes Fintech 50 list.
In her career as a journalist, she was the first reporter who made it a mission to cover crypto-assets full time. Her work has been distributed in a range of reputable publications including Newsweek, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times.
Now, she is a freelancer who still contributes cryptocurrency articles to Forbes. She hosts two crypto and blockchain podcasts – Unchained and Unconfirmed. Going by her Muck Rack profile, she’s also working on a book about crypto.
Before we get into her work on crypto and why she’s considered an expert in the field, who exactly is Laura Shin and how did she get into the cryptocurrency and blockchain niche?
Laura Shin’s Childhood
Laura Shin grew up in an environment free from rules. Helicopter parents? Hers were probably the farthest from them. In a Tedx Talk, she recounted a childhood where she could eat whatever wanted and watch as much TV as her heart desired. Imagine growing up without any limitations placed on you.
This invariably influenced how she grew up, saw the world, and lived her life.
Laura spent her college years in Stanford University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Modern Thought and Literature. Even as a student, her gift for writing was apparent. She wrote as staff, and later senior staff for the university’s independent daily newspaper, The Stanford Daily. In her senior year, a story she wrote tackling graffiti in the Bay Area won the “Best Intermission Article” award.
Eleven years later in 2008, she completed her Master of Arts from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. During the mid-career journalism program, she focused on science and sustainability.
After a decade spent as a freelance writer, she decided to join LearnVest Inc. – a financial planning company that has since been shut down. Because of the nature of the company, she wrote business and finance news.
At the same time, she was a features editor at CBS Interactive. Part of her job was to oversee the work of 25 writers about global business. She became a Forbes contributor in 2013. After four years, she was promoted to Senior Editor. This is where she wrote mainly about the crypto space, blockchain, and digital assets. Not even a year after being promoted, she left to once again become a freelancer.
The singularity and quality of her work as a crypto journalist coupled with the insights she brings to the table, has been recognized by the community. It’s evident that she doesn’t just churn out content and in 2016, she was awarded Most Insightful Journalist by Blockchain Award.
For majority of her professional life, Laura Shin has been a freelancer and she attributes it to her upbringing. She just isn’t used to someone telling her what to do. Her flexible work schedule is more favorable than just being another “cog in the wheel of large corporations.”
As self-employed journalist, she is her own boss and own worker. She pays herself directly with her revenue, without having to go through a large entity which has to give part of the profits to other parties such as owners and shareholders.
This is a trend that has become increasingly prevalent throughout the years, which indicates a change in the way we earn our money, and how businesses conduct their business.
Does that situation sound vaguely familiar? This brings us to her support for crypto and how she found her niche
Support on Crypto
“Oh, so she’s an expert on crypto. She must have invested a ton in it!” If that’s what you’re thinking, then you are wrong. She actually a nocoiner – someone who owns no bitcoin. However, she recognizes the value of crypto and how it can change the future.
In 2018, she even gave a Tedx Talk on how empowering crypto is, opening the possibility for people to run their own business and become their own boss. She likens her self-employed experience to cryptocurrency; particularly how self-employment could disrupt how large corporations conduct their business, similar to cryptocurrency.
Laura Shin may not be the founder of a crypto-related company. However, reporting at the frontline of blockchain technology, being able to talk directly with the top minds and innovators of crypto, has allowed her to have a unique perspective of the crypto space as more development unfolds. Her podcasts with key players of the industry have brought light to some issues. They have played a role in educating people and further bringing crypto into the mainstream.
For instance, her view of the future where leaderless user owned peer-to-peer networks exist, cannot be ignored. She’s talked to the people leading the direction of the crypto wave. The possibility of this network to displace tech giants and banks cannot be discounted.
Of course, as these companies are also looking into how they can get in on blockchain technology, we cannot be certain how everything will play out. There’s also the issue of how and when regulation will come into play, as it’s a growing concern in the community.
How Can You Contact Her?
If you want to learn more from Laura, she has a twitter account you can follow for updates and thoughts. She also has a monthly newsletter you can sign up for on unchainedpodcast.com. If that isn’t your cup of tea, you can just listen to either one of her weekly podcasts:
One of her weekly podcasts, entitled Unchained: Your No-Hype Resource for All Things Crypto features ideas from different people in the crypto space. She has a conversation with
developers – some fresh out of school, and some dropouts – about the world of decentralized finance.
Her other weekly podcast, Unconfirmed: Insights and Analysis from Top Minds in Crypto, allows her to present analysis of current issues from different experts in the field of Fintech.