Crypto has forced marketing to reinvent. Since Facebook and Google banned the promotion of ICOs and cryptocurrencies people got creative. How can one grow a community from scratch, without access to the biggest user databases in the world? Diversity was the answer. Entrepreneurial individuals figured out that one channel is not enough to get big, so everybody started chasing different niches and audiences.
Listing websites, crypto influences, expert review platforms have skyrocketed in number and of course, in revenues. From having no marketing tools, we got to having too many of them. Putting together a listing website is no small thing, as one should track ICOs, analyze them, follow them and rate them. Obviously, monetizing these new channels was key to having a working system. Although this is perfectly fine from a business perspective, we got to a point where it’s almost impossible to distinguish between a legit review assessment and a paid one. Furthermore, launching costs for an ICO (which ironically aims at raising funds) have become extremely high and few can afford to keep up.
What about Experts?
These guys have undergone an experiment to determine how easy it is to buy expert ratings. Their results are quite frightening for those of us who used to trust those so-called experts. One should be very skeptical of those who call themselves experts of the crypto market. Some basic due diligence might indicate these people have really nothing to back their experience in the field. As a quick experiment you could go on icobench.com, randomly pick a few of the experts reviewing ICOs and see how many > 4 star reviews they have given. While some are more careful and try to at least make the reviews seem legit, some of them have no problem with giving everyone 5 stars reviews.
Advisers. A Must?
A different issue is related to crypto/blockchain advisors. In theory, an adviser is somebody with some kind of expertise in the field, who can assist the project developer with creating a sound tokenomy, giving useful insights and critical feedback. Good advisers are usually lawyers, economists or businessmen with experience in the crypto market. Because their reputation precedes them, their involvement gives your project a higher level of confidence. However, nowadays advisers are merely names of experts ICOs list on their websites to gain some sort of trust. The cost of placing their name on your website depends on how acknowledged the expert is within the community. ICOs whose teams come from only one country sometimes feel obliged to add a few foreign names on their websites, because this gives them more credibility. However, most times these practices don’t really help the project or the investors for that matter. Now, mind you that there are people in the industry that can help with real advice, although usually, their feedback doesn’t really matter as long as their name is on the ICO’s website. More on this here.
Telegram Groups. On Fake Communities
Online communities are definitely the Holy Grail of ICOs. Telegram groups are key to anybody who’s launching a crypto service or product. Everybody likes to see there’s a lot of hype around a project before they invest in it. If so many people like it, it must be great, right? Sadly, these large groups are often anything but real communities. With very little money one can buy Telegram users with a very low drop rate. Airdrops are also used to generate hype and attract users into the ICO group with the purpose of leveraging them. However, 99,9% of these users will never engage, interact or invest in your project. So, I can’t help but wonder what the point is really?!
What is the Solution?
We’re not naive to think about the existence of a world where reviews are all legit, communities are real and everything is transparent. Then, having non-monetized review systems are not sustainable. Nobody’s doing charity in the crypto business. We actually believe monetizing is key here.
Knowledge and time can be monetized, and reviews can remain honest and transparent at the same time. Blockchain can help us develop such platforms that can work for us and not the other way around. Then, what says more about an ICO’s success than its performance? Being able to know what project leaders do with the money if they fulfill their milestones or not is actually a way better performance indicator than fake expert reviews and fake communities. That’s exactly what we’ll offer you! Stay tuned!
Staying Real in a World of Fake Crypto Reviews was originally published in Data Driven Investor on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.