Modern Consensus covers the technology, people, and culture of the cryptocurrency and blockchain world.
John Packel, editor
An entrepreneur since the dotcom era (notwithstanding a 9-year corporate tour of duty at American Express), John Packel jumped down the crypto rabbit hole in 2013 a few months after first hearing of Bitcoin via an interview in which early digital currency entrepreneur Brock Pierce was asked about Bitcoin and replied that he was going to check it out. Experimentation with Ripple (then called OpenCoin) led Packel to frequent Bitcoin meetups and blockchain conferences in 2014, where he met passionate founders starting to build the decentralized future (and made angel investments in several projects still going strong today). Gravitating toward the Ethereum community in 2015, Packel was inspired by the pragmatic evangelism of Joe Lubin and the early ConsenSys team to pursue crypto full time. After completing a software engineering bootcamp, he joined ConsenSys in 2017 as a developer and eventual co-founder of two projects, one of which spun out as its own company in 2020 with backing from ConsenSys Mesh. Having been an early adopter of Foldapp (now a leading Bitcoin rewards card) and then advisor to Keep Network (creator of decentralized Bitcoin bridge tBTC), Packel was a very active Keep community member and staker, and this led to various roles with Threshold DAO (formed January 1, 2022 in the first-ever on-chain protocol merger – with another privacy solution, NuCypher). Packel currently serves in elected roles on Threshold’s Council and its Treasury and Marketing Guilds. He has also written dozens of freelance articles for a wide variety of publications dating back to the mid-90s, most recently contributing to Sea of Reeds publications on book and music topics where he’s compelled to share how an artist’s work has moved him.
Ken Kurson, founder
Ken Kurson served as the editor in chief of the New York Observer from 2013 to 2017. During his tenure, Kurson led the transformation of the publication to become a digitally focused, national outlet growing from 1.1 million monthly unique users to 6 million and increasing page views nearly sevenfold to 20 million. Kurson was named 2014’s Journalist of the Year by Algemeiner magazine. At the Observer, Kurson personally broke dozens of stories, including unearthing audio of Hillary Clinton proposing to rig the 2006 Palestinian Elections, a campaign by Samsung to undermine activist investor Elliott Management that resulted in Congressional inquiry and a change in Samsung policy, and the revelation that a boy investor who had supposedly earned $72 million made up the entire story. Kurson has appeared on television and radio hundreds of times worldwide. Kurson frequently wrote about cryptocurrency in the Observer and under his editorship, the publication printed some of the best-read stories on the topic, including an epic feature about the race to succeed bitcoin. Prior to the Observer, Kurson was chief operating officer for the Rudy Giuliani Presidential Committee. Kurson has authored four books, including the New York Times No. 1 best-selling book Leadership, co-authored with Rudy Giuliani. Kurson wrote a column in Esquire magazine for 17 years, including his story in 2013 about bitcoin, which was an early mention of the currency in the mainstream media and the very first mention of Ripple and XRP in the mainstream media.