On 16 February, Bitcoin made headlines for doing once considered the impossible – surpassing $50,000 per coin.
Crypto sceptics were in awe, forced to reconsider their position on the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In the same month, it was revealed that the crypto market had doubled its market capitalisation to hit $1 trillion – an achievement that took only three months. This was followed by calls from leading public figures for the world to embrace digital and decentralised money.
For advocates of crypto, this was less a surprise and more an inevitability. And naturally, the press took note. Soon, the broadsheets and redtops were churning out features discussing how high the value of one Bitcoin could go, and other lesser-known coins that could experience the same surge in growth. This was complemented by stories of people who bought Bitcoin years ago when its value was under $100.
Momentum remains strong, and public interest is rife. However, the real challenge for the wider crypto sector has just begun. Simply put, it needs to win the public’s trust by showing that digital currencies are not a short-term fad, but a permanent part of our evolving financial landscape.
This is easier said than done. While people love to hear about sudden price rises and significant gains, we cannot overlook the inherent problems the sector currently faces. Two come to mind.
The first is volatility. Prices can rise and fall in seconds, wiping as much as half the value of a coin’s price. The fact markets are open 24 hours a day also means these swings can happen at any time.
The second is complexity. The crypto market is full of jargon to describe processes that simply did not exist a decade ago. This steep learning curve can make it incredibly difficult for people to understand the value of certain coins, and why sudden price fluctuations occur.
The reality is that cryptocurrencies are no longer confined to a niche group of traders; one could argue its recent growth in market value is due to the sudden spike in interest from the public. To ensure it can build on this momentum and maintain sustainable growth, the sector must begin looking at ways of engaging with a new breed of eager, yet novice crypto investors.
An image overhaul is required. And this is where PR and communication strategies have an important role to play.
The long-term success of crypto will be determined by the public’s willingness to accept it as a fundamental part of the financial market. This means winning the support of regulatory bodies, governments, businesses, institutional and retail investors. PR can ensure that cryptocurrency organisations, be it exchanges or trading platforms through to companies creating new coins, can effectively connect and build relationships with these organisations.
Digital currencies need to become accessible, and this will only occur by actively reaching out to the public. It must control the narrative by presenting digital currencies as a fundamental part of the financial system, not a fad fuelled by memes and hype. Engaging with the press will also ensure stories are written acknowledging the future of crypto as a series asset. Already, there is clear potential for a new breed of crypto experts to become spokespeople for the sector, providing insight into the world of crypto which can be digested by the public.
It is this type of approach which will be fundamental to the long-term success of digital currencies.
The time for this image overhaul is also ideal.
One only needs to look at the hype surrounding Doge coin – a favourite of Elon Musk. His recent appearance on Saturday Night Live was being touted as the catalyst that would propel the price of Doge to $1. Initial signs were promising, yet the violent sell off during the performance had the opposite effect, with the price of one Doge dropping from over $0.68 to under $0.45.
In one respect, it has damaged the reputation of the coin. However, with Elon Musk tweeting soon after that SpaceX will be launching a space mission to Mars next year funded entirely by Doge coin, crypto will still be a trending topic for many months (and years) to come.
The key is winning the hearts and minds of the public. Failing this, there is a risk we have already witnessed the full potential crypto has to offer.
If you would like to find out more about how PR could connect you with the right audience for your crypto offering then please get in touch with us today.