Blockchain marketing news in January 2020
What should we make of Libra’s demise being the most significant piece of blockchain marketing news in January 2020?
Only six months ago, Facebook’s launch of this project was THE positive news story everyone was talking about. While the world’s leading tech firms gradually stepped up their involvement in blockchain technology during the first half of 2019, Facebook’s big announcement at the start of last summer blew them all out of the water.
How the mighty have fallen. Not only has 2020 kicked off with Vodafone joining many other founding members in pulling out, the Libra project was not even mentioned by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in his 2030 vision. Ouch. Frankly, it seems highly likely that Libra won’t even be worth mentioning in January 2021.
Outside of Libra, there have been some good news stories. Blockchain made it into the annual marketing bonanza that is the Super Bowl advertising schedule, in the shape of ‘Avocados From Mexico’. Also, the new Marketing DAO, a creative collective formed to promote Etherereum, has been making noise around its forthcoming efforts to increase adoption of the blockchain platform.
Finally, we’ve got some interesting perspectives in our opinions and interviews sections, including some nuggets of digital gold on interoperability from blockchain thought leader Andreas Antonopoulos.
It actually feels like a pretty positive start to what could be a huge year for blockchain marketing and the crypto industry more generally. That’s what we’re working towards and we know you are too because we are the pioneers!
News and Reports
One of the most talked-about blockchain stories of 2019 was Facebook’s Libra. However, a lot of controversies happened in the meantime and, at the beginning of 2020, Libra is looking like it’s on its way out. Mark Zuckerberg announced several ambitious plans in his 10-year vision but somehow forgot to mention Libra.
The other big Libra-related news story last month was that Vodafone is the eighth big company to pull out of the Libra Association and instead dedicate resources to its own digital payment service, M-Pesa. Dante Disparte, Libra’s vice-chair, is still optimistic and hopes that the association will “continue the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”
AFM (Avocados From Mexico) became the “first fresh produce marketer to leverage blockchain as an asset in a Super Bowl campaign” by creating a custom digital wallet and tokens that users can collect in order to win prizes. This is one of the biggest applications of blockchain technology in a marketing campaign and could go some way to extending broader adoption.
Ethereum Marketing DAO, a recently formed group of Ethereum marketing experts, has expressed its concern that the public perception is “Ethereum will deliver too few real-world applications too late, allowing newer blockchains to dominate.” Even as the frontrunner, Ethereum needs strong marketing tactics to reach a wider audience and boost adoption.
The controversial relationship between Facebook and the crypto community continues. According to well-known Twitter user Elijaboom: “Bitcoin and crypto-related websites and content could once again be considered a violation of Facebook’s community guidelines”. Might this change be driven by self-interest, ito control the negative narrative surrounding Libra?
Features and Interviews
This article from the Bangkok Post looks into the latest innovations in the Asia-Pacific region, one of the most exciting places for such activity. The three startups it highlights (BeeChat, BOB and Indorseare) are developing blockchain-based platforms and devices “to introduce more advanced versions of communication platforms”.
More insight into the Asia-Pacific market is provided with this in-depth interview with Howard Tien, the Chief Marketing Officer at SecuX Technology Inc. In it, he tackles some of the most troubling topics in the blockchain industry, including major trends and disruptions from Asia and the West, which cover governance and customer policies. Although some questions remain unanswered, there are still some good insights that are worth reading.
This Adweek article is an essential read covering how promising and revolutionary technologies like blockchain can go from “rise to stall” in just 2 years. One factor highlighted is that blockchain funding has decreased by nearly half in 2019. However, there’s still some positivity in the industry experts’ predictions for what will happen to blockchain in the near future.
Dominic Williams, the founder of blockchain nonprofit DFINITY, has a new plan for Social Media. His LinkedUp application, an open source alternative to LinkedIn, was presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland and aims to “inspire others to create open versions of other popular software like WhatsApp, Facebook, eBay and more”.
Inter-blockchain communication (IBC) is hopefully going to be a major trend of 2020. In this Coindesk article, Andreas Antonopoulos argues there will be many distributed blockchains in the future, so interoperability is a key problem to solve. This article includes a lot of opinions on the topic, some of which share Antonopoulos’s sentiment, while some are more sceptical.
We could easily feature a blockchain predictions article every month in this newsletter. Most aren’t worth reading and don’t make it but this comprehensive piece from Andrew Keys, a Managing Partner at DARMA Capital, covers 20 predictions for the 20s. His predictions are clear realistic and achievable rather than vague and unlikely so many we read.