Miruna Codeanu

Branding the Bitcoin

In espresso on April 9, 2013 at 5:45 am

Bitcoin is the new black. Or the new gold. Or the new coin. What is Bitcoin anyway? A coin as in currency, yes. Yes, but we have some other coins too, Europa had national currencies and then it had Euro but now it seems that the Euro is crashing and some countries are considering going back to their national currencies and some others are forced to re-issue their currencies, and the yen is also quite unstable and we had gold and gold seemed stable, but lately gold has been fluctuating and it seems untrustworthy too. And yes, that above was a sentence with many, many “and”s because this is how it is now: too many factors to think of, too many countries on the verge of  bankruptcy and too much instability.

Right now it seems like the financial world is made of all the coins around and the Bitcoin. Nicely done Bitcoin, you really got some  positioning on the market and USP there, you’re making yourself obvious. Surely, the “awareness” chapter in your recent life is not doing so well, but I think that you got some hype aroung and you’ve defintely got the press working for you: with minimum 2 articles a day in the business press, your PR team must be really great! Also, your value has been constantly on the rise in the last 6 months, reaching 170$. Wow! You’re doing better than Apple shares and that was the most spectacular rise lately.

Bitcoin is a descentralized digital currency, regulated only by the market. You can use it in the same way as any coin only that it is not controlled by a central bank: you can buy things with it, you can exchange it, but you can also mine it-which would translate as manufacturing money. What’s the hype with it then? It is the coin with the most spectacular ascension, financial trendsetters recommend it as the most stable coin, it is digital and it buys you real things and you can also generate it (by you I mean your computer).  Bitcoin like everything on this world is a product. Yes, even money are a product. What are its attributes: digital, self regulated, on the rise. Enough to create a hype. Enough to sustain a hype? Probably not, unless something happens. That is, what I call “branding the Bitcoin”. Sure, for the moment it has some attributes that can place it on the market, sell it to the niche, but the aim of the all the hype around it would be the grow the niche into a wider target.

The momentarily niche for the Bitcoin is made of entrepreneurs, financial analysts, risk takers. Enlarging the audiences for this digital coin means adding some attributes to it, making it worthy, making it trustworthy. This is what created banks in the first place: trust. Of course, this kind of relationship needs time to build. On the other hand it seems that the competition: all the other currencies, nationally or internationally regulated are doing the negative PR for themselves: recent events throughout Europe, with its most horrifying example, Cyrpus is working as a lobby agent for Bitcoin. For the moment it could be that Bitcoin is not a choice but a negative choice, running from traditional and regulated financial systems into the online non regulated financial Bitcoin system.

Question is: will the self-inflicted negative image for banks and regulated currency be enough for the Bitcoin to gain power or does it need some branding activities? Ask me, I bet on some minimal branding online activities whose initiators will be the ones owning Bitcoins. With the rise of social media we are all aware we’re no longer consumers but also brand message carriers and this will probably become more obvious at this particular moment, when the digital life we all live has its own coin that is as real as possible.

  1. […] of you believed it was a joke: an online currency. At the beginning I was: wow, this is pure genius, we needed this. We already live our lives online, therefore we needed an online currency. And there were some […]

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