Blockchain marketing news in August 2020

Blockchain marketing took an interesting turn in August, when we saw two leading crypto investment companies - Grayscale and Galaxy Digital - delivering ads on TV in the US and in the Financial Times newspaper.

In the past, cryptocurrency ads have never had such a high profile but this month there was a full-page advert in the Financial Times that read: “Now is the time to invest in Bitcoin”. Clearly we are experiencing a spike in public awareness of cryptocurrencies but how effective can mainstream media be for crypto?

While many believe that these traditional ad campaigns will reach millions of new potential investors, others think that crypto influencers are still the driving force for blockchain marketing and crypto adoption. Whatever the truth may be, the debate surrounding the effectiveness of different forms of blockchain marketing is an interesting one that will surely not stop here.

Messaging and media channels formed a consistent theme throughout the news this month, with a number of other stories touching on these topics. They included two related project launches, in the shape of Rally’s Creator Coin for influencers and the Ethereum-based MadNetwork for programmatic advertising. But one of the most interesting in-depth studies came from The Journal of Digital Social Research, which looks at how the general public perceives cryptocurrency and blockchain. Check out the And Finally section for that one.

In addition to all that, we’re featured news that Instagram is apparently becoming more and more popular among crypto influencers (and scammers), as well as retail-trading app Robinhood hiring an ex Novi (that’s Facebook’s Libra wallet) marketer as its new CMO. An interesting month for blockchain marketing that could have reflected the crypto market rally.

News and Reports

Robinhood hires Facebook’s cryptocurrency marketer as its new CMO

Stock-trading app Robinhood has appointed Christina Smedley as its new CMO. Prior to this position, she worked for Amazon, Paypal and Facebook’s digital payments wallet, Novi. According to the announcement on Robinhood's blog, Smedley has a long history of “bringing humanity to financial and technology-based brands.”

‘Crypto Instagram’ is becoming a thing, scams and all

Although Twitter and Reddit are the most popular crypto social media platforms, the number of Instagram crypto influencers has increased in recent months. The problem is that it has been difficult for users to identify genuine accounts, as more and more crypto scams "are running rampant on Instagram in 2020".

Rally launches Creator Coin cryptocurrency for influencers

Rally, a blockchain venture headed by gaming entrepreneur Kevin Chou, is launching Creator Coin, a personalised digital token that will allow influencers to reward fans and increase their engagement. The new cryptocurrency seems to fit well with Taki, the influencer platform that Rally has already set up.

Game show winner loses $39K in bitcoin Facebook scam

Graeme Garioch, a former winner of the game show Deal or No Deal, has lost most of his retirement savings (nearly $40,000) after investing in a Bitcoin scam through a sponsored ad on Facebook. This is just another example of scams that attempt to exploit crypto, which have been spreading across social networks lately.

Features and Interviews

Blockchain, TikTok and the influencer economy - what are the connections?

This Forbes article is a great read on how blockchain technology could help to manage intellectual property (IP) rights. By offering IP privacy, protection and appropriate compensation for the creators on content platforms, blockchain can significantly accelerate equitable growth of the influencer economy.

Social engineering: a plague on crypto and Twitter that is unlikely to stop

The teenager charged as the mastermind behind the Twitter hack used social engineering to gain access to influential accounts. These attacks "take advantage of human fallibility rather than code vulnerability”, and are becoming an increasing security threat for those operating online.

With blockchain, fraud will not be able to steal digital ad revenues

The advertising industry is losing billions due to supply chain inefficiency but there are a few promising blockchain solutions that could solve this ongoing problem. AdsDax, MadNetwork and AdLedger are newly developed adtech aps that are changing the digital advertising landscape, and we are sure to hear more about them in the future.

Ethereum-based MadNetwork aims to clean up advertising’s ‘programmatic cesspool’

This Coindesk article builds upon the previous topic, as it covers more details about earlier mentioned custom-built blockchain solution MadNetwork. With an expected launching date around the 1st of September, this tech transparency project built on Ethereum is aiming to "cut through the Gordian Knot of programmatic advertising".

Industry Opinions

Can cryptocurrency save digital media?

Digital publications have experienced a serious decline in ad revenues because of the coronavirus, which exposed the vulnerability of their revenue models. This article explores the potential of blockchain technology and crypto micropayment alternatives, which could revolutionise the business models of mainstream media companies.

Key timing for adoption? Crypto goes mainstream with tv and newspaper ads

Cryptocurrency markets have been buoyant recently and two major crypto investment firms have decided to tap into this positive sentiment by launching television and print ads, which are presumably aimed at driving mass adoption amongst more traditional investors.

What’s better for crypto adoption: print and tv ads or influencers?

Following on from the traditional campaigns mentioned above, this piece explores which crypto advertising approach is more effective - mainstream media or influencers? According to this writer, while crypto reached millions of new potential users through the traditional approach, the crypto influencers still win.

And finally…

‘Blockchain good, Bitcoin bad’: the social construction of blockchain in media

This is an interesting study published in the Journal of digital social research that looks at the general discourse surrounding blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Drawing upon the most popular news about blockchain on Twitter from October 2014 to July 2018, their findings reveal a predominantly positive attitude toward blockchain technology.

Latest resources

Crypto thought leaders - Balaji Srinivasan
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