2018 - This Year in Crypto Valley

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Euphoria. Ecstasy. Elation.

Everything that 2017 was for crypto and blockchain enthusiasts, this past year was not.

And that’s putting it mildly.

Falling prey to fickle market trends, the growing pains of an immature technology and unrealistic predictions, many blockchain startups failed to live up to expectations.

Crypto Valley, Switzerland was not immune to this trend as well. First, there is the issue of dealing with Swiss banks for ICO proceeds. Then there was fallout from the Tezos scandal. And in the end, it was just as “human” and pumped as any other place on the crypto map.

That’s not to say there haven’t been good parts of the story. Swiss stock exchange SIX Group has launched its own digital exchange project. This past year also saw some of the biggest names in blockchain show up in Crypto Valley for crypto events.

You could say crypto became a victim of its own happy marketing. Is that the reason things all “blew up?”


And here’s why…

Three reasons marketing isn’t the problem with crypto

1. Blockchain is visionary

In the “classical sense” (whatever that means…) marketeers have always been striving for two things in their craft: controlling perception and changing behaviour. In the case of blockchain - and more particularly, crypto and bitcoin - early perceptions of the technology were that it was used for illegal activity. In this sense, blockchain marketeers have done a good job of change that perception.

But isn’t marketing what pumped everything up over the course of 2017? To the detriment of everyone in 2018?

You could make that argument - but then again, how many people heard about blockchain and started realising its potential, because of the “noise?” A lot…

On top of that - blockchain is a visionary technology. It isn’t fully developed yet. Marketing such technology and getting people to invest in it (i.e. changing behaviour) will also come across as “pumping” to some people - no matter who they are.

2. People aren’t dumb - or maybe they are…

Some of the “lower” marketing tactics employed by teams in the crypto space are clearly reprehensible. Claiming to have a fully developed product when there isn’t one, employing armies of bots to fake Telegram groups, signing up “hostesses” to woo potential investors - the list of tricks could go on and on.

But seriously - people aren’t that dumb. In most cases, these strategies did little or nothing to fool a large amount of contributors. In fact, using these kinds of marketing is often a clear indication that it’s NOT a good idea to put down money. Most people are smart enough to see that.

There are some who are not. But as with fine art, the adage holds true: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” When people want a quick buck, they will willingly give in to the basest of tricks. That - in and of itself - in now way discounts the power of the technology or product being marketed.

2. Open doors

And finally - let’s be honest. In a space as new and transcendent as blockchain, there is a lot of leeway. Because regulators have been slow to dig into the details of what this new technology means, the door has been open for a wide range of interpretations and possibilities.

And how are you supposed to market something that - according to the current playbook - doesn’t actually exist yet?
If there is one single reason that marketing for blockchain and crypto projects has gotten a bad name over the last year, it is because the field of possibility is so completely wide open that no one knows how to define reality!

And Crypto Valley? Is it over-hyped as well?


Will it need to change, grow and mature alongside the rest of the world-wide ecosystem? Absolutely.

And that’s why the year 2019 will be just as exciting as the last two.

Follow Sionik Communications for more “hot takes” on the latest developments in Crypto Valley - plus deep dive resources for startups and innovative teams!

Ian Simpson