An Interview With Crypto Content Creator Marcus Chan

🔥Crypto Fireside #42 — Interviews with crypto people.

A photo of Marcus Chan
Marcus Chan

🔥Hello! Who are you, and what do you do?

MC: Hi, I’m Marcus Chan. I am a full-time writer for Crypto.com.

I break down crypto/blockchain-related concepts for the average crypto user. With the help of my team, I create articles and guides that help non-crypto-savvy people understand how the technology behind it works.

Beyond my full-time job, I run a blog, a newsletter, and have recently launched an e-book. Occasionally, I also take some freelance jobs to make a few bucks. Largely, I cover topics about life, money, and work.

I think of my side hustles as a channel for me to express my creativity as opposed to an income-generating means. As a 24-year-old writer, I’ve gained over 5M+ reads over my channels and I am not stopping anytime soon.

🔥What's your backstory, and how did writing for Crypto.com come about?

MC: Back in 2017, when I was still pursuing my business degree, I was THE degenerate trader. But, because I was just starting out at that time, crypto was like an alien language to me, so I day-traded stocks. I hate to admit it, but I’ve lost more than what my tuition fee cost. Although, I eventually made it all back.

Eventually, this experience helped me land a writing job with a crypto company. Well, I was employed under somewhat of a marketing agency, but I was predominantly writing crypto-related articles, scripts for their presenters, and social media copies.

At that time, my impression of crypto was that it’s just another grand marketing ploy to get investors’ money. Kind of like what happens in the penny stock markets where stocks were pumped on day one, and then the insiders would sell into the spike by offering shares on day two. But, after doing the research and diving into the deep ends of blockchain jargon, I changed my mind.

In August 2021, I further pursued this confounding industry of crypto. I joined a derivatives exchange firm as their content writer and wrote loads of newsletters, website copy, and press releases. Although I looked like an idiot who barely knew anything when I joined, this company, BitMEX, was where I got to understand the intricacies of this industry.

Fast forward to May 2022, I got the opportunity to take another step further in this industry. This time, I got the opportunity to make a real difference by educating the public (the people who have no clue about crypto at all) about crypto. It is everything I ever wanted in a job. I write about the concepts and the foundation of what makes a cryptocurrency.

This is such a fascinating industry and the fact that I get to learn a little more about it every day is my version of a dream job.

MC: Making sure an article does well in terms of statistics requires 3 things — 1) good writing, 2) incorporating SEO elements (to get top rankings on Google), and 3) a proper dissemination process.

One thing I always keep in mind when writing these articles is that we’re ultimately writing for humans and optimising for the algorithm.

With that, I always attempt to take out any jargon I can and replace it with human language. Let’s face it, if you’re not in the blockchain world, you won’t come across terms like “proof of work” or “consensus mechanisms” or “validators”.

🔥Take us through your daily process of what it is that you do.

MC: One of the best things about this job is that I don’t have to sit in meetings I dont want to attend.

Every morning, I’d wake up, work out, shower, either get ready to go out to a co-working space or make a cup of coffee myself, and I’d start writing. I do my best work early in the morning when I am not bogged down by the brain fog from the overstimulation, so I’ve sort of developed a routine where I write out as much as I can for the first two to three hours of the day, edit for the next two to three, and do the housekeeping and planning when I’m worn out.

For the most part, I work alone. Unless I need to ask someone on my team for advice or clarification, I’ll be by myself, absorbing all the knowledge from my Google search voyage and spitting it back out in a human form. As an introvert, I enjoy that a lot!

Some days, however, I’d encounter a topic that is incredibly hard to write about. These situations are when the information available is written in such a perplexing language that I am convinced they aren’t meant for mere mortals to understand. On these days, I always try to make sure I take breaks in between writing sessions just to clear my mind and let the information season itself in deeply. That way, I get to fully understand the bigger picture as to why certain technology exists and how it benefits the users.

🔥What has worked to attract and retain readers and followers?

MC: One thing I’ve noticed since I started this role is how there is a lack of education among those who are not in this industry. Even the very core of what all of this is based on — blockchain — feels intimidating to many people. Much less if I talk about things like decentralised finance, proof of work, and yield farming stuff. All of this is jargon, while it makes the writer sound smart, it does not help with the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. If we were to achieve that, these terms must be broken down into everyday English words to help the public understand the technology.

Then, and only then, we might have a shot at truly using crypto as an alternative currency. That's what I try to do. Break all of the techno-blockchain jargon into something understandable.

🔥Why did you choose to focus on writing about crypto topics?

MC: I didn’t.

I am a writer who happens to be insatiably curious about all manner of things and of course that encompasses the crypto industry.

I got a job at one of the leading cryptocurrency firms in the world so here I am.

Writing is not just a way for me to help educate the world around this topic and make it less intimidating, it’s also a method for me to really comprehend a concept. If a writer only understands half the picture, they would not be able to write a complete article/guide on that topic. Trust me, I’ve tried.

In a way, this holds me accountable and helps me better understand this industry. I love every bit of that.

🔥How are you doing today, and what does the future look like? Let's talk numbers!

MC: I am not at the liberty to discuss specific numbers, but I will say that I’d like to 5x that amount. With some time, effort, and guidance, this is very much an achievable goal.

The more people understand these seemingly mythical concepts, the faster we’re going to achieve mass adoption. And the faster we’ll be able to spend our crypto.

Personally, I have just launched my e-book, The Fight. Although this is my first attempt at an e-book, I’d like to keep this momentum going. I already have plans to launch another book that talks about finance and serves as a guide for beginners.

Too many of my friends and the normal working class need help in this area. If I can help them understand how the financial world works, I believe that will change their long-term financial health.

🔥Through writing for Crypto.com, what is something you have learned that surprised you?

MC: Throughout my journey as a crypto enthusiast and a content writer, there is one thing I noticed that is shared — action breeds more clarity than thought. Given that both of these industries are rather modern career paths, nothing is really clear until you dig your fingers into the dirt and feel what’s beneath. Action breeds more clarity than thought, because, at the end of the day, you can only figure out what works and what doesn’t by doing.

It’s just like how a developer almost never writes a perfect bit of software on their first try. If they did, it’s probably because they didn’t take enough risk and decided to stay within the comfort zones of what they’re familiar with. Instead, a great developer will write it, run it, and then deal with the bugs later.

🔥Mistakes were made. What were they and what did you do?

MC: No one is born an amazing writer. Except maybe Emily Dickinson. For the rest of us, it’s a matter of consistent effort and the willingness to get better. My manager and the proofreaders often leave hundreds of comments on my articles and I’ll need to go back and address them all. While some writers will take it personally, I take these comments as feedback to help me grow as a writer.

🔥What have been the most influential things in your life that affected your project? This can include books, podcasts, or people?

MC: I would say, the fact that I write almost every night and as much as I can. They say, practice makes perfect, but in an online writer’s world, the more quantity you have, the more your work gets seen and the more opportunities you’ll attract. That’s why quantity often trumps everything else in the online writing world.

If I can give any general advice, it’d be to read books, get knowledge, and learn how to make friends. These three will get you through the hardest of times.

🔥Do you have any advice for other creators, entrepreneurs, or developers who want to get started or are just beginning?

MC: Work your f*cking ass off.

Obviously.

But, close your laptop once you’re done.

You never want to work so hard that you sacrifice your loved ones. Remember why you’re working hard. If you lock yourself away to only focus on work, you’ll be successful, no doubt, but then you’ll have no one to celebrate it with. And that emptiness is the most hollowing feeling of all.

My writing advice would be to read everything your favourite writer produces and read them slowly. Over time, you’ll start sounding more and more like them. Be obsessed with them. Do everything they do and do them better. Then, there is no other way for you to go but up.

🔥Where do you see the blockchain, cryptocurrency, and decentralization space going in the next 5 to 10 years?

MC: Personally, I would like to have more regulation in the crypto world. Not because decentralisation is bad, but because the market is plagued by dishonest founders who are out to get investors’ money. Without regulation, this would be a huge issue. So much so, that investors will actively avoid this industry because they don’t know who to trust. If they do invest, what protection do they get?

In traditional finance, if the bank goes bankrupt, the users are insured (in most countries). But in crypto, when the company files for bankruptcy, the money is gone. For sophisticated investors and users, this might not be an issue. But for normal retail investors, this is a big red flag. And because of this, crypto will lose a giant amount of potential users.

I believe governments and users will push towards a more regulated environment in the next few years. And it will take another few years for the industry and the wider market to pick up. In 10 years, I would like to believe that the market will have at least 1 billion users.

🔥Where can we go to learn more?

MC: I recently wrote an e-book, The Fight, talking about my life, my struggles, and how I overcame them. Check it out, it’s free! If you’d like to read more of my stuff about life, money, and work, you can check out my Medium, Twitter, or subscribe to my newsletter.

🔥Thank you, Marcus!

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