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Data: SimilarWeb; Chart: Axios Visuals

A slew of new crypto media companies have gained enormous traction over the past year, thanks to the digital currency craze taking over Wall Street.

Why it matters: “For the first time ever, crypto has become relevant to the global macro-economic conversation, and therefore, the investment conversation," says Jason Yanowitz, co-founder of Blockworks, a financial media brand catered to investors.

Details: Founded in 2018, Blockworks is one of several crypto-focused media companies with skyrocketing revenues.

  • The company anticipates $8-$10 million in revenue this year, Yanowitz tells Axios — up 3x from last year.
  • It plans to double in staff from 17 to nearly 40 by the end of the year, with the majority of new hires coming from the content side of its business.
  • The NYC-based firm is most well-known for its editorial site, daily newsletter, conference series, and its network of nearly 20 podcasts.

The big picture: "Similar to how previous cycles in crypto saw the emergence of new exchanges, this current cycle has seen an emergence of several media firms all trying to win mindshare in a young market," says Mike McCaffrey, CEO of The Block, a cryptocurrency-focused media startup.

  • The Block recently bought out its non-employee shareholders, including its investors and co-founders (who have left the company).
  • Another sizable crypto media business is CoinDesk, which Axios reported makes a profit selling ads, as well as custom reports.

Be smart: For many of these companies, the advertising support base is rich.

  • Blockworks has listed two dozen strategic advertising partners on its website, including Fidelity Digital Assets, CME Group, Coinbase, Gemini, and BlockFi.
  • Roughly 70% of The Block's revenue comes from advertising, while the rest comes from subscriptions to its paid news content and research products, per Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva.

The big picture: The risk with these companies for a several years was that the crypto market could at any time fade away. But today, that seems unlikely. Nearly 15% of all U.S. adults own some form of cryptocurrency.

What to watch: Media companies supporting the trend will continue to rise and innovate to meet the latest crypto trends.

  • For example, McCaffrey tells Axios, firms are testing new business models with tokenomics, "attempting to align interests of readers and creators, subscriptions, and ad revenue sources."

Go deeper

Investors fear inflation, labor shortages in second half of 2021

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors entered 2021 concerned about the transition to a new U.S. president, the form of new fiscal stimulus, the distribution of vaccines and the reopening of the economy. Now, top risks include supply chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, inflation and slower GDP growth.

Why it matters: Stocks have rallied almost unabated for over a year, leaving many to wonder if the market is overdue for a big selloff. Last week's declines amplify those concerns.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Trump works refs ahead of book barrage

Graphic: Axios Visuals

Former President Trump has given at least 22 interviews for 17 different books since leaving office, with authors lining up at Mar-a-Lago as he labors to shape a coming tsunami of Trump tomes, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Trump advisers see the coming book glut as proof that interest in "POTUS 45," as they call him, has never been higher. These advisers know that most of the books will paint a mixed picture, at best. But Trump is working the refs with charm, spin and dish.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

The swoon in college enrollment

Expand chart
Data: National Student Clearinghouse Research Center; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

The pandemic's effects, along with a decline in the number of young adults, have depressed college enrollment, with community colleges bearing much of the brunt.

Why it matters: A college degree is becoming more important as the demand for higher skills sharpens. The drop in college enrollment — which is especially steep for Black and Latino students — is bad news for both the higher education industry and broader social mobility.