Anchorage Digital
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Anchorage Digital

Eight Questions: Communications Lead Leslie Ankney

Welcome to Eight Questions, where we profile individual members of the Anchorage team, diving into their career paths, what brought them to crypto, and what makes them tick. Why eight? Because it’s the number of decimal places a bitcoin can be divided into. It’s also the last single digit number in a Fibonacci Sequence, and we like that.

To kick off the series, meet one of our newest hires, Leslie Ankney, Communications Lead. Leslie comes to Anchorage by way of Ditto PR, where she was Director of Blockchain and Digital Currencies Practice and AVP, taking point on all things comms for clients including Blockchain.com, Decred, and Uphold (and Anchorage, of course). Before Ditto, Leslie covered crypto at various publications including Forbes, and worked with various blockchain companies as the founder of UpScale International, a firm dedicated to digital marketing in the crypto space.

  1. How did you get into crypto?

Years ago while I was living in Bangkok, I was invited to a crypto meetup. The people that I met and conversations that I had sparked my interest in that rare way that sent me down the rabbit hole of learning and finding out as much as I could about crypto. I remember reading the bitcoin whitepaper and defining term after term to understand how it worked — we all have to start somewhere! Journalism in crypto at the time wasn’t very thorough, mostly just rehashing press releases, and I wanted to take it to the next level so I built up by learning and writing on a number of publications. From being a journalist to moderating panels of experts to working alongside founders and developers towards a decentralized future, it’s really become a passion.

2. What interests you most about digital assets?

I love how it brings financial access to everyone. Crypto is a great equalizer in that it allows people to define what money is to them, and empowers them to use it in the way that best suits them individually, everywhere in the world.

Being a part of crypto’s evolution from an experiment in programmable money to an innovation that will forever change finance as we know it is exciting. Embracing crypto is learning economic theory, regulations, engineering, and it’s constantly changing. I love the pace and the culmination of all these worlds into one industry that I truly believe is transforming finance as we know it.

3. What is the biggest challenge working in communications in the crypto space?

Translation, hands down. The longer you’re in crypto, the more you know how easy it is to slip into industry-speak. I help engineers who have been living and breathing blockchain protocols, or traditional traders who speak jargon as a first language communicate with people with very different realms of expertise in a way that everyone learns and grows. Communicating effectively is complex, and incredibly satisfying.

4. What brought you to Anchorage?

From getting the first national banking charter to providing lending, staking and brokerage on top of its custodial foundation, I don’t think any crypto company has come this far this fast, and I want to be a driving force in its growth.

5. As a team, Anchorage is currently still distributed. How has remote working affected you?

I am already used to remote working, having worked from various countries around the world while traveling for several years, so it’s great being able to give advice to people who have been going through it for the first time. I feel really productive working remotely, because there is always a quiet space to think or take a meeting, but you also need to take the time to get exercise, move around, and make sure you don’t stagnate during those long work days.

6. What is one tip you would give to people working remotely for the first time?

Don’t be afraid to own your calendar. Block out productive work time around the times of day you are most effective, while still taking time to connect with people.

7. You’ve lived all over the world now. Could you share a highlight from your travels?

The Songkran festival in Thailand is amazing. Imagine a country-wide water fight in the streets. Nowhere is safe, and everyone is laughing and having a great time. It’s a great way to celebrate the new year, and it breaks you out of any ruts or societal norms by turning everything on its head.

8. What are your favorite lockdown activities these days?

I’ve really been enjoying live events moving online, so I can go to events I normally wouldn’t have the chance to attend. I’m a big fan of comedy, and I just got to watch the SF Sketchfest from the comfort of my living room. Normally, I’d only be able to catch one or two acts in person at the festival, so getting to see so many legends of standup in one event was something I never would have been able to see otherwise!

Please join us in welcoming Leslie to the team! You can find her on Twitter @CryptoLeslie.

Holdings of cryptocurrencies and other digital assets are speculative and involve a substantial degree of risk, including the risk of complete loss. There can be no assurance that any cryptocurrency, token, coin, or other crypto asset will be viable, liquid, or solvent. Nothing in this communication is intended to imply that any asset held in custody by Anchorage is low-risk or risk-free. Digital assets held in custody are not guaranteed by Anchorage Digital Bank National Association and are not FDIC-insured.

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