Blockchain marketing news in July 2020
The rally in crypto prices was the big market news in July but the unprecedented Twitter breach, which compromised dozens of US celebrities' accounts in order to scam people out of their Bitcoin, was the most notable blockchain marketing story.
The incident has highlighted security vulnerabilities in the centralised social media system and prompted more discussion on whether this would have happened if the platform was backed by blockchain.
There was also more unfortunate news for Twitter - along with Google and Facebook - in the shape of a $600M lawsuit over a crypto ads ban from 2018. And that wasn’t the end of troubles for big tech corporations either, as Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple faced a series of antitrust hearings that focused on their power over the internet and social media.
These events don’t necessarily look like blockchain marketing news but they are because of the outcomes they might bring about. That’s because it’s becoming clear that huge centralised systems are unsustainable and distributed ledger technology might provide a better alternative.
With this in mind, you will see a lot of this month’s stories focus on the growing use of blockchain technology within marketing and advertising. Whether it is the Forbes article about Brave browser or Cointelegraph’s features on the future of blockchain in advertising and marketing, momentum is building behind the idea that blockchain can have a transformation effect on these sectors.
In other news, cryptocurrency payments are also on the rise. Amazon-owned live streaming platform Twitch is offering Bitcoin payments to its 15 million users, while Visa is planning new digital currency projects for its 61 million global merchants.
And finally, we’ve got a review of the first five years of Ethereum from Consensys that’s worth a look...if only to remind you how young the biggest smart contract platform actually is!
News and Reports
More blockchain marketing technology but this time in the area of influencer marketing. Raiinmaker, the platform from Colin LLC, has launched its beta platform and claims that it "will empower fans and social media influencers to receive rewards for endorsements", while helping brands to measure return on investment.
Influencer marketing platform Raiinmaker has launched a limited public beta version, which is meant to encourage users to share their campaign and be rewarded for their efforts. Their first campaign is to promote an upcoming docu-series called Open Source Money, and includes a shared budget for fans of $50,000.
Apple, Biden, Musk and Obama are only some of the high-profile Twitter accounts that have been hacked in one of the biggest crypto-related scams the platform has ever seen. Accounts have been compromised with a message urging their followers to make a payment to a specific bitcoin wallet, with a promise to double the amount in return.
The Twitter hack that compromised some of the platform's most prominent accounts is still one of the most talked-about topics in the crypto world. The incident has highlighted the security vulnerabilities of centralised infrastructure and prompted more discussion about blockchain-based alternatives.
Travala.com, the leading blockchain-based hotel booking platform, and Brave browser have launched a global advertising campaign that promotes Travala.com via Brave ads. According to Juan Otero, CEO and co-founder of Travala.com, it is a great opportunity for the platform to reach more of its target audience.
Another announcement from Brave this week involves them partnering with NYIAX, an advanced contract management exchange and upfront advertising marketplace, so that NYIAX can “enable advertisers to connect with consumers in a way that prioritises personal choice and respects new privacy legislation".
Japan’s biggest crypto exchange BitFlyer has partnered with the privacy-protecting browser Brave to develop a new crypto wallet. Japanese users of Brave cannot earn Basic Attention Token (BAT) because of local regulations so this partnership is expected to enable more reward opportunities for Brave users in Japan.
Internet titans Google, Facebook and Twitter are about to face a $600 million class-action lawsuit as many Australian crypto businesses are suing them over cryptocurrency ad bans that date back to 2018. This amount could rise to $200 billion if more crypto businesses join the suit.
In a recent blog post, Visa outlined its planned digital currency projects and the importance of crypto and blockchain in the "future of money". Adding to its established work with regulated wallet services such as Coinbase and Fold, the company is planning to "bridge the gap between cryptocurrencies and Visa’s 61 million global merchants".
Amazon’s live streaming service Twitch is bringing back Bitcoin payments. After removing this option in 2019, Twitch is now offering a 10% discount when paying with crypto. This strategy encourages the use of Bitcoin and could lead to wider cryptocurrency adoption across online services.
A German collective - Ideas Are Like Flames - is offering small bitcoin incentives to everyone who places Bitcoin-related stickers in public spaces around the world. The idea behind this guerrilla marketing campaign is to dismantle misconceptions about Bitcoin and so far it has received a great reception among Bitcoiners.
Features and Interviews
Blockchain and crypto's relationship with advertising is covered a lot in this newsletter and Cointelegraph's article demonstrates how big this topic is right now. It covers the usual subjects that regular readers would expect, from crypto advertising bans to the progress of technology like Brave, and is a good long-form article on the topic.
Continuing the advertising theme, this article is a handy rundown of the main blockchain platforms you should know about in the space. It doesn't go into a huge amount of detail about any of them but it is a useful primer for anyone that doesn't know the scene or anyone who just needs a quick reminder.
After three female influencers spoke out about gender inequality in the blockchain community, they saw their Instagram accounts banned shortly afterwards. It is still unclear who or what is to blame for this but this article looks at the incident and what it can tell us about gender disparity within the crypto and blockchain space.
Big Tech corporations - Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple - have testified in a series of antitrust hearings held by the US Congress. These hearings are focused on the powerful position of tech corporations over the internet and social media, and could have a knock on effect for decentralised alternatives.
This Forbes article does a pretty good job of covering the Brave browser, explaining the benefits of its blockchain-based marketing technology. While it's probably most useful for someone who has never heard of Brave before, it's also a useful reminder of how the platform's business model differs from traditional online advertising.
This Cointelegraph article explores the advantages and limitations of blockchain technology in the marketing and advertising industry. Although this topic is well-explored and extensively covered in our previous newsletters, it is always good to see some new perspectives on how blockchain will further advance the marketing ecosystem.
We finish this month’s newsletter with Ethereum’s five year anniversary celebration. This article from Consensys is a great review of all the challenges Ethereum overcame on its “quest to upgrade the Internet”. Today, Ethereum has the most active blockchain community in the world but there’s no doubt it’s on its way to even bigger and better things.