The headline probably sounds like the title of a Hans Andersen piece, and it may not be far-fetched too. After all, one might wonder what do marketing and advertising have in common with unregulated digital currency? A lot, if you are looking from the right perspective.
With discussions about how cryptocurrencies and blockchains are disrupting some industries, from resolving shipping problems to easing the delivery of medical marijuana, we cannot deny the impact it will have (or already has) on marketing; particularly digital marketing.
In this post, I’ll talk about issues such as cryptocurrency advertising and how it is reshaping Japan, the most-likely cryptocurrency to disrupt the ad industry and what this all means for advertising practitioners.
How Japan is introducing cryptocurrency advertising- and the pushbacks
In Shibuya Crossing, clearly visible to every passerby is a massive billboard for a cryptocurrency exchange.
It features the face of a Japanese celebrity with a smug smile on her lips, and her eyes stare keenly at you, suggesting she probably knows something you don’t. But that’s not all — she is also coated in gold. The copy is simple and straight-to-the-point. It reads; “DMM Bitcoin”.
The boldness by cryptocurrency exchange, DMM is an indication of how cryptocurrency companies are slowly taking centre stage in both the advertising scene, and conversations on the streets of Japan.
In the UK, many Exchanges are not quite as brazen, save for a few banner ads you see on Facebook, Instagram and selective online sites. High street advertising is yet to be mainstream. Yet, in Japan the reverse is the case.
However, the development is not without its challenges. As consumers become inundated with such advertisements, the exchanges are beginning to face pushbacks from ad regulatory authorities on how they should promote their services for mega-volatile virtual currencies.
Recently, Facebook decided to ban crypto-currency related ads. In addition, following Coin Check’s latest hacking incident, a Japanese industry group coalition has called for self-regulation in the industry.
According to Sean, a senior writer at Crypto Coin Judge, Japanese exchanges are the most vibrant in the world. “This is not just because of the strict regulations in South Korea and China, but because you can use your influence to secure investments,” Sean says.
Last year, as cryptocurrency asset prices skyrocketed, more people became interested in purchasing BTC, and exchanges saw this as an opportunity to push its message into mainstream Japanese markets.
Exchanges such as bitFlyer and DMM, including Coin Check (which lost 58 billion yen last month), have all advertised on online platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.
Notwithstanding, the loss has caused interest groups and individuals alike to call for stricter advertising regulations to prevent more people from falling victim of crypto-currency hackers.
Disrupting the ad industry one cryptocurrency at a time
When AdsCash came to fore last year, it was hailed as the first stable digital currency specifically designed and marketed for the advertising industry. It allows currency holders to pay for products and services without chargebacks. The currency also provides freedom from dealing with ‘bureaucratic’ financial institutions – especially banks.
What is AdsCash?
AdsCash coin is an Ethereum-based digital currency that touts itself as a smart payment form, offering current, fully-secured, user-friendly payment system. Its main objective is to replace the current method of online advertising payment.
Other functions of AdsCash include:
- Helping organisations that use internet marketing email, social media marketing, search engine marketing, display advertising and mobile marketing.
- It can also be used by traffic providers, ad agencies, cryptocurrency agencies and anybody who wants to deal with investors and cryptocurrencies. If you deal with or are connected to the advertising industry, then AdsCash was made for you.
But is it the only currency on the block(chain)? Enter AB-CHAIN.
AB-chain is an advertising network that allows advertisers, like Bitcoin companies, to purchase advertising space from publishers by using cryptocurrencies.
The network is currently in the inception stage – it is being built by an experienced team of software developers and business experts with fintech experience and knowledge of running advertising projects such as QIWI Bonus and PINbonus.
The expansion of cryptocurrencies pushing forth initial coin offerings (ICOs) suggests there’s an exponentially developing market of post-ICO firms with lucrative funds.
However, a major concern is that most publishers don’t accept cryptocurrencies. This is mostly because the general demand from conventional organisations is not nearly enough to warrant the implementation of a new type of payment.
It has been posited that by mid-2018, the ad market will face an influx of companies raising funds through ICOs, and most of them will, therefore, have cryptocurrency budgets.
Alt Coins; and its role in the advertising industry
Another new cryptocurrency for the advertising industry, Altcoins is mined in the same platform as Ethereum. It is also believed to revolutionise the way publishers and advertisers will do business online.
Altcoins is designed to be used for transactions that occur in the ad world; it also functions as a payment substitute for digital advertising.
As at last year, the cryptocurrency had a total number of about 320,000 registered users. The value is expected to reach $2.5 million in a year if it launches an initial coin offering of 00.25 cents on the minimum and $25 on the max side.
Alt coins or alternative coins include crypto currencies such as dodge coins, lite coins, aurora coin, solar coin and more.
What does the cryptocurrency adoption mean for advertising in general?
From fashion to finance, advertising has been known to push many current practices into mainstream adoption. With the growing interest in cryptocurrency and the increasing number of advertising messages, it won’t be surprising to if Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin become more popular than they are today.
If they do, there will be a need to regulate the industry. Already, pundits have predicted a future where cryptocurrency will eventually be under control; either self-regulated or by government authorities.
If cryptocurrency becomes the method of payment for display ads and other online advertising services, Google will ultimately be forced to review the way AdSense and AdWords work. Will it be the end of their dominance in online advertising? You never know; we’ll have to wait and see.