Presentation and brand messaging are critical to the growth of blockchain adoption and cryptocurrency markets. One can see this tendency to be especially strong within the IT sector, which is a little wonder, considering the fact that all the resounding innovations are coming from this very field. According to the survey held in 2017, roughly 75% of the IT CMO’s are seriously concerned about Cyber risks of their projects’ Marketing Exposure. For the Crypto & Blockchain ecosystem, this stats are doubly relevant, not only as for one of the most rapidly growing IT industries, for also as for one of the most significant innovations of the past decade.
The question is: how the leading Blockchain projects approach the need to market their products in services? Today, we recall several kinds of promotional experiments within the ecosystem, ranging from bad to brilliant.
The first Robotic ICO
In November 2017, one of the more peculiar campaigns to go viral was Sophia – a female android (or gynoid), whose intellect is powered by SingularityNET. Sophia, The Chief Humanoid Officer, announced the details of an upcoming token sale for SingularityNET, to make her smarter and improve Sophia’s “brain” and that of endless other robots.
In the video, Sophia explained that she “doesn’t fully get the economic aspect” and expresses concerns if “this whole complex scheme just going to make the rich get richer?” However, she concludes that she “wants to do good for everyone – for all people and all robots.”
SingularityNET aims to create a global, decentralized marketplace for AI algorithms – to makes AI available for everyone to access and monetize. The token sale marketing campaign with Sophia was widely recognized across global media. In less than a month, and originally setting a hard cap of $36 mln, the sale received $360 mln in pledged orders from investors. The token sale was closed in December in just 66 Seconds – which marks one of the fastest ICOs ever.
Coinbase against the SEC
Let us begin from afar: remember Kik, once a leading messaging app in the US, which have launched the Kin cryptocurrency back in 2017? From the very beginning of its existence, the company has been managing to create a certain degree of PR buzz around itself: for example, by collaborating with celebrities like a popular pop band One Direction.
One of Kik’s most scandalous media appearances undoubtedly was that one time when they stepped into the conflict with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after the messenger company raising $98 million through a potentially illegal ICO round involving the company’s own cryptocurrency, Kin.
After some times of the conflict developing, there was the moment when Coinbase actually stepped up a game. Aiming to set a legal precedent against organizations who “stifle innovation”, they partnered Kik to create with Defend Crypto Fund, an organization tailored specifically to fight the SEC “on behalf of the future of crypto in the United States.”
In their bid to sue the Securities and Exchange Commission, the fund’s campaign was initially backed by a pledge of $5 million from Kik themselves, trailed by an additional $5 million raised in donations. With funds continuing to flow into the Coinbase wallets guarding the fund, Kik, as well as the Kin cryptocurrency may trigger the first major wave in pushbacks against the SEC’s persistence.
Bitfury leading the ecosystem forward
Entering its 5th year, the Blockchain Summit took place on Necker Island in June. Hosted by Bitfury, in partnership with ACTAI and the Global Blockchain Business Council, it aims to draw some of the industry’s most important figures to envision a better world using blockchain technology.
Paving the way towards more real-world applications of blockchain, Bitfury partnered with the US-based nonprofits New America and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) to create the Blockchain Trust Accelerator (BTA). Since 2016, the organization has managed to earn the title of the world’s leading platform “for harnessing Blockchain technology to solve social impact and governance challenges” – and to do this, the initiative participants are joining their resources for creating projects and conducting the necessary research.
The very establishment of BTA has created quite a splash within the global Blockchain ecosystem and became a Breaking News for many publications out there, but the fact is, this was only the beginning; over time, the accelerator has made even more media appearances, always on positive occasions.
Four Million Dollar Dinner
TRON founder, Justin Sun, bought himself a golden ticket for a cool $4,6 million in June 2019, winning himself a lunch with business’ biggest celebrity, Warren Buffet, whose stance on cryptocurrencies was famously far from enthusiastic; what’s more to it, Justin could invite 6 more people to that meeting. The dinner, as well as the abovementioned bid, were the part of the “Oracle of Omaha’s” charity auction for the Glide Foundation, which is held annually since 2000 and has raised over $32 million in total.
While it may seem unlikely that Sun and his crypto entourage will be able to change Buffet’s mind on the subject, the impact of Sun’s win may go to show the non-crypto audience that the alternative economy is still very much thriving. “As some of you might know, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway has said publicly he sees no ‘unique value’ in Bitcoin,” Sun explained back then, “Yet, he has pointed to the potential in Blockchain. I look at the upcoming lunch with Buffett as an opportunity to seek mutual understanding and growth.”
Thanks to Sun’s leanings towards self-promotion, this campaign will likely have brought crypto to more new audiences than others seen in the past year.
Good Guy CZ
Famous for his non-confrontational approach to public relations, Changpeng Zhao has become Binance’s primary mouthpiece. His involvement in the community issues cropping up on Twitter has led to parity between CZ’s response time to any criticism and the price of Binance’s own BNB token – not mentioning this is probably one of the main reasons Binance became the most popular exchange in only 5 months.
This leads us to recall one particular case, one of the recent ones: and this was definitely one of those rare situations when all is well that ends well. Earlier this year, in May, breaking news hit the Internet: Binance experienced a major hack, during which roughly 7000 BTC (or $40 million back then) have been stolen from the company and its customers via transactions that went undetected by Binance’s security protocols.
Of course, despite the fact that that the hackers obviously had some impressive skills and tools to perform that, the incident made a lot of people eager to ask questions to the company itself. And this was a time for Changpeng Zhao to not only show his leadership qualities but also to be completely open to his community – and he handled both tasks just perfectly by holding the public AMA session on Twitter, which also was broadcasted live.
During the AMA, CZ addressed all the audience’s pressing questions, honestly shared the exact number of funds stolen, as well as made a detailed explanation of how Binance is going to eliminate the consequences. At the same time, Zhao didn’t forget to express gratitude to his ecosystem colleagues and the community in general for their support and willingness to help, although the entire amount of stolen funds was fully covered by Binance’s insurance fund, SAFU (Secure Assets Fund for Users). And while some other CZ’s decisions to get the company recovered from this accident may have seemed controversial for many community members, there is one thing we all can agree about: this case has greatly improved the company’s image.
To recognize the even more great cases of both media and companies’ tireless work to bring innovation to the surface, an entire conference focused on Marketing and PR within the decentralized industry will be held at this year’s Festival of Decentralized Technology, organized by BlockShow. As a forerunner of the Festival, which takes place Nov. 14-15 at Marina Bay Sands Expo in Singapore, we created this list of the most outstanding campaigns linked to blockchain technology – but maybe you can recall some of those yourself? Let us know by commenting on BlockShow social media and stay tuned for more great announcements coming soon!