Blockchain marketing news in June 2020
We're only halfway through 2020 but it has proved to be a very interesting year for blockchain marketing so far.
The global pandemic has exposed flaws in our health, economic and financial systems, which seem to have triggered increased interest in digital assets and blockchain. It isn’t clear whether this has also led to a resurgence in interest in blockchain marketing or whether that’s now occurring as a result of the progress made by some projects over the last 18 months.
Facebook and Google have appeared quite a bit in our news during 2020 and June was no different to other months in this respect. Google has been in the spotlight for seeming to rank fake bitcoin trading platforms and potential crypto website scams, while Facebook’s Libra project features again. If the project continues to baffle you, we suggest Frances Coppola's opinion piece that provides a solid analysis of where Libra stands right now.
In other social media-related news, Reddit is pushing forward with its blockchain-based incentive system and Ethereum-based social network Minds has reached 2.5 million users.
There were also signs that blockchain is getting more attention from established brands too. The New York Times is in the second phase of testing blockchain solutions to fight fake news and disinformation, while PayPal is rumoured to be enabling direct crypto trading for its users. We’ve also featured a survey from Deloitte in our ‘And Finally’ section that demonstrates how established enterprise firms are continually increasing their involvement in blockchain, which can only have a positive knock-on effect for blockchain marketing.
On top of all that, we have two in-depth interviews with prominent figures in the industry. One is with Andreessen Horowitz's Katie Haun and the other is with Andrew Levine, former Head of Communications and Advocacy at Steemit, who provides his inside take on one of the biggest recent stories in blockchain marketing.
News and Reports
It’s been suggested that fintech giant PayPal will offer direct sales of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to its 325 million users. Although PayPal declined to comment on these claims, its long-standing relationship with Coinbase and the formation of the Blockchain Research Group has added weight to the rumour.
Last month Reddit announced a new reputational rewards system that utilises the Ethereum blockchain. Now they are asking the crypto community for assistance in finding a scaling solution for their 430 million monthly users. If everything works out well, Reddit's involvement could be a big step forward for crypto usage.
Brave browser has faced serious criticism on Twitter this week after one user discovered it is redirecting search queries to affiliate crypto companies for Brave to profit from. Whether this is going to compromise Brave’s integrity, we will have to wait and see. For now, they've apologised and promised there will be no more mistakes like this one.
Blockchain-powered platform Minds is trying to grow into a significant competitor to social media giant Twitter, at least in Thailand. Dissenting Thai users are deserting Twitter after its recent update sparked privacy concerns. Minds prides itself on user privacy and security, although Decrypt suggests it has security risks of its own.
Bitcoin Trader promotes itself "as the best trading app that can help people earn $1,300 a day". If this doesn’t sound fishy enough, the minimum deposit of $250 definitely does. Most troubling though is the fact that many fake reviews and scam checks on Bitcoin Trader are well-ranked by Google, making it look legitimate.
Comcast Corporation, Charter Communications and ViacomCBS announced that they will take equal ownership of Blockgraph, a blockchain-based platform for TV and video advertising data. John Halley of ViacomCBS commented that data confidentiality was needed for addressable advertising to work at scale and Blockgraph makes that easy.
Features and Interviews
In this in-depth interview, Andrew Levine, the former Head of Communications and Advocacy at Steemit, reflects on what the community meant to him, why he couldn't take part in Tron's acquisition and what he expects from OpenOrchard, a new company he has co-founded with former Steem developers.
NYT is the first major publication to test blockchain to prove the authenticity of journalistic content. After trial testing, product manager Pooja Reddy said it "could be a viable tool in helping preserve the origin of news photos, but there are a number of challenges that would need to be addressed before it could be widely used".
Andreessen Horowitz like crypto and Katie Haun, a general partner at the firm, has said she expects money to become largely digital in 10 years, with more Libra-like projects expected in the near future. She thinks that we are still in the “dial-up days of internet money” but we are slowly getting into the prime time of crypto dominance.
This piece offers some good advice on how to run a successful marketing campaign for a cryptocurrency company. Although the start of it might sound discouraging with the thought that “around 90% of all startups will fail within three years”, stick with it as there are some useful lessons to take on board.
In this opinion piece, Frances Coppola does a great job of distilling what’s really going on with Facebook’s Libra project right now. As it attempts to smooth out the ripples caused amongst lawmakers, it is clearly becoming more aligned with the existing financial system. If you like crypto because it challenges government authority, that's not Libra.
We sometimes feature news that isn’t directly related to blockchain marketing but is worth knowing about for blockchain marketers. This month it’s Deloitte’s Global Blockchain Survey, which shows 4 in 10 respondents have blockchain in production and over half see blockchain as a top priority. Interest in and awareness of this industry continue to grow.