Recommended: Blockchain And The Cryptocurrency Business Need A Good Publicist (
Robert Wynne 

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It’s been a bad week, month and year for the technology known as Cryptocurrency.Earlier this week, Bitcoin prices plunged, yet again, after Twitter, Facebook and Google announced they will no longer accept ads for Initial Coin Offerings.

"We are committed to ensuring the safety of the Twitter community. As such, we have added a new policy for Twitter Ads relating to cryptocurrency," a Twitter spokesperson told CNBC Monday.

"Under this new policy, the advertisement of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and token sales will be prohibited globally. "
If you’ve seen some of the ads on Twitter, Google and Facebook, this is quite insulting.

These tech giants take money from a variety of clients, and countries, so if the ICO market doesn’t make the grade, it looks really bad, like being kicked out of Studio 54 a year after it was shut down. Upon hearing the news about the advertising ban, many people probably wondered two things:

  • Is Bitcoin a scam?
  • What’s an ICO?

“An ICO is a recently emerged concept of crowdfunding projects in the cryptocurrency and Blockchain industries, according to CoinTelegraph. “ICO stands for Initial Coin Offering. It’s an event, sometimes referred to as ‘crowdsale’, when a company releases its own cryptocurrency with a purpose of funding.

It usually releases a certain number of crypto-tokens and then sells those tokens to its intended audience, most commonly in exchange for Bitcoins, but it can be fiat money as well. As a result, the company gets the capital to fund the product development and the audience members get their crypto tokens’ shares.”

Unlike an IPO, or Initial Public Offering, the ICO doesn’t have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other entities. Because most investors don’t understand the benefits, much less the definitions of what these products and technology offer, one solution would be a Cryptocurrency Council or a Blockchain trade group focused on public relations and marketing.


Bitcoin exchange shop at Grzegorzecka Street in Krakow, Poland on 15 March, 2018. (Photo by Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Here are some other groups that pool their resources to lobby legislators, the media and the general public:

The National Peach Council

American Petroleum

Solar Energy Industries Association

Specialty Coffee Association of America

International Solid Waste Association

California Avocado Commission

American Dental Association

If the industry wants to be taken seriously, they should educate the public on their technology and embark upon a PR campaign. The topics could include ease of transactions, safety, reliability, the democracy of a decentralized financial network, lower transaction fees, and more.

The Bitcoin Foundation is one such group. They define their mission to "coordinates the efforts of the members of the Bitcoin community, helping to create awareness of the benefits of Bitcoin, how to use it and its related technology requirements, for technologists, regulators, the media and everyone else globally."

In February, CryptoUK was announced. It will be “a self-regulatory trade body to set standards for the volatile sector. The group’s founding members includes trading platforms, exchanges, intermediaries, and asset managers, among other sorts of firms.”

These two advocacy groups seem  like a good start, but without healthy and consistent public relations efforts, they may not succeed. Too much bad news coupled with public ignorance or misunderstanding can’t be battled with regulations alone. 

Here’s what's happening now – bad news hits the market, Bitcoin and similar currencies lose value, competitors to the blockchain technology (banks, credit card companies, etc.) pile on, and there’s no official worldwide trade group to fight back.

Because many people still don’t know the difference between blockchain and Bitcoin, baubles and beads, my previous column on the PR Battle for Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency gained some traction. My friend and former client, attorney Sky Moore, succinctly defined the terms in his Forbes column:

  • "Blockchains are permanent records of transactions that are recorded on chains of individual computers (“blocks,” and thus the name “blockchain”). By creating a permanent digital record over an entire chain, blockchains permit instant verification and authentication of any information, including contracts, account information, currency transactions, and records of stock ownership.”
  • “Cryptocurrency means any digital medium of exchange, generally traded using a blockchain. A cryptocurrency only has value to the extent that people are willing to accept it in exchange for something else, like dollars.”
  • Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency, and it also introduced and used blockchain technology."

If there are going to be future Bitcoins, the industry needs to organize, educate and lobby. Otherwise, the industry gambles on becoming the next Betamax, and Bitcoins will be used like pennies stuffed into those metallic press machines found at the zoo or the local amusement park.

There’s still time to avoid this development. Recent prices for Bitcoin dipped below $8,000, but that’s still much higher than $1,100, roughly the price from one year ago, according to Coindesk. Of course, pessimists will note the price topped $17,000 as recently as January.

If the industry is serious about propping up their financials and their reputations, they won’t wait much longer to create a credible -- and fast acting -- public relations trade group focused on education and promotion to publicize their benefits. 

Otherwise, investors in cryptocurrency may not be able to buy a bushel of peaches. Or some delicious California avocados.

Robert Wynne owns a public relations and events agency in Redondo Beach, CA. He is the author of the Amazon bestselling book, "Straight Talk About Public Relations." 

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    • 1
    Martin MR i agree completlly,cryptocurrency is future
    • 1
    Francisco Gimeno - BC Analyst "You must be a good person, but you have to appear to be a good person too", Saint Augustine stated already in the 5th century AD. #Blockchain and #crypto are hailed the best thing after invention of the wheel, beer and bed, by evangelists and enthusiasts, but a lot of education, promotion and lobbying is needed to be recognised by the financial actors and the public as it, in order to really make it the motor of the new society.