Messari Community Update | Building an S&P for Crypto

TLDR:

  • We’re revving up our community efforts once again. New tools, new perks, new members, same mission and long-term vision.
  • We’ll continue to share data freely, and sell premium tools that help professionals better digest that data.

I wanted to give our broader community an update on what we’ve been working hard on over at Messari, and how we’d love to re-energize this base of supporters that we’ve built in the past year…a formative year for Messari.

In short, we are attempting to build an S&P Global for crypto. What does that mean, and where does this outstanding community fit in?

An S&P for Crypto

S&P Global and Bloomberg are the world’s two largest financial data companies. Bloomberg is private, but their valuations are about the same. S&P Global is a $50 billion enterprise that has built its business on three business lines: indices (market cap weighted aggregate prices), ratings (primarily around creditworthiness), and market intelligence (data, research, and analytics tools).

We’ve only known two things for sure from the start: first, the Bloomberg/S&P of crypto won’t look like the incumbents, which were built pre-telecom, and second, a crypto data juggernaut would require open-source ethos, a rethink of the entire reference data stack, and a strong social component. We’ve always thought about building this business in three phases:

1. Registry: Rearchitect EDGAR since no common taxonomy exists, and crypto disclosures are hard to come by. While it’s too early to do anything resembling cryptoasset ratings (at the risk of disparaging teams working on this, it’s stupid to ascribe quality scores to assets that are as immature and inflated as crypto’s), we can do transparency benchmarking — for both token sellers (25 teams onboard and growing weekly), and exchanges (an initiative we’re working on in Q2). Our registry was the first pillar of the business, upon which we thought we could curate reference data that overcomes the “garbage-in, garbage-out” problem. You guys were nothing short of incredible in helping us bootstrap the rough draft of our disclosures registry. And we, and the industry, are better for your help here. Project disclosures should always be free to consume.

2. Market Intelligence: As excited as we are about the registries and our ability to decentrally curate a list of self-regulating projects over time (the TCR), it’s probably not a moonshot business. We’re in this (along with our investors) to win big, and Phase 2 means leveraging our brand, market expertise, and reference data from the disclosures registry, as well as our more proprietary tools (OnChainFx and our curated news and research feed), to build a comprehensive market intelligence tool for professionals. This doesn’t exist in the market today, but it’s where we plan to deploy most of our (non-registry) time and attention going forward. The earliest manifestation of this is our Unqualified Opinions “product”, which really started as a mere newsletter we leveraged for content marketing, and to call attention to our other offerings. In the weeks ahead, we’ll be adding a subscriber only-podcast and AMA with our team, and inviting more paying subscribers into the discord. If you have contributed to Agora, and would like a comped subscription, please email Eric and Zack. Lots more to come on this front, as you might be able to glean from all the product updates we’ve made recently.

3. A Data Platform: A common question we get asked is “who is your primary competitor?” The answer, I suppose, is no one. But also everyone. That’s the nature of the business we want to build, a single platform that can surface any piece of information an investor might need related to a person, company, investor, asset, sector trend, or news story. We have worked hard over the past year to play collaboratively with others who are working in the crypto data realm, and will continue to do so. We think there is more than enough work to go around, we just think we happen to be pretty darn good at data and information curation above all else. We hope that over time, we can drive value to other data providers, and grow the pie vs. hog the early scraps.

The data and conversations in this industry will not be plugged behind a $20k / year physical terminal.

The S&P of crypto will appeal to digital natives, and social sharers.

So our community will continue to be critically important to our success, and we plan to keep much of Messari’s (and OnChainFx’s) data open and free. We want to create tools that make it easier to contribute to, share from, and customize the pages in our massively growing data library.

We hope you’ll stick around with us for Phase 2, and look forward to seeing you in the Discord.

- Ryan (TBI)