As the Scaletech Conference continues, bringing together leaders and experts from across North America’s startup and technology sectors, we’re sharing key takeaways and thoughts from this year’s panel of experts with the Georgian team.
Next up is panel speaker, Michael Casey, Chief Content Officer at CoinDesk.
Educating consumers on blockchain
Like all emerging technologies, consumers need to be educated on the new technology, how it works, and how it will benefit them. When trying to educate consumers on blockchain-based businesses, remember that most people still think about the world around them in a physical — analog — context, which can make it difficult for people to wrap their head around the technical concepts of blockchain.
For example, when talking about blockchain addresses, our brain still thinks “that’s a different person.” But blockchain is designed for pseudonymous identities, making the idea of identity on the blockchain much more complex.
So, even though crypto purchases may go through multiple levels of buyers, the story – or content – that people want to hear about is the transaction from “point A” to “point B” since that’s a concept they’re used to in the physical world.
One solution can be to educate your buyers about the crypto-buying process itself. It’s simply not as linear as many people may imagine a transaction being. This could also be an opportunity to educate buyers or investors about increased security threats that can be present when purchasing cryptocurrencies. As crypto technology advances, so do the security breaches, which are evolving to find new vulnerabilities in these purchases.
Humans in the loop of AI content
In a world filled with constant noise, it can be challenging to capture your audience’s attention – even for just a few seconds. One area that AI tools that can generate content instantly, like GPT-3, excel at are topics where a general consensus exists. But they tend to do poorly with new, emerging topics or content where multiple view points exist.
With more content generated automatically, it’s ever more difficult for content marketers to capture the scarce attention of their audience. So, what are we mere humans to do? How do we create a smart marketing strategy that stands out from the noise? Focus on the aspects that humans excel at over AI model – the capacity to approach situations with creativity and abstract thought.
Data as a content driver
If you have access to interesting data in your industry, consider using that to drive or inspire content. For example, CoinDesk launched CoinDesk Indices in 2014 to create industry-standard benchmarks and act as a research source.
Creating a vehicle that generates relevant data, research and insights in this way is a content strategy that many companies could consider adapting to create their own narrative device. Beyond providing your customers with information and potentially showcase your company’s value proposition through the research you’re offering, it can also help you source topics that are top-of-mind for your audience while helping you generate content to meet their needs.
Consider how you can use these stories to create connections between people and your products – a.k.a. what makes your product and research unique? – it can differentiate your business by encouraging people to build their own narratives about your offering(s).
The great Merge debate
Recently, Ethereum went through a major change, known as the Merge, to upgrade its proof-of-work mechanism to proof-of-stake. Proof-of-work requires miners with access to intensive computing power to validate transactions and add new blocks to the blockchain, while proof-of-stake requires a network of validators to stake their own crypto tokens to add blocks to the blockchain. The idea was to make Ethereum more energy efficient, though there are continued debates about which consensus mechanism could eventually lead to centralization — the very thing crypto proponents are against.
As conversations swirl about centralization, it’s becoming more important for crypto buyers to know that their transactions are above board, which can be difficult to track in a blockchain environment. One way to solve this, is to create staking pools run by identifiable companies, to censor transactions – however, censoring the blockchain system essentially defeats its purpose.
So, what’s the answer? Proof-of-work, or the process that makes it difficult for spammers or cyber attackers to access blockchain systems, can offer one solution. However, the computers needed for proof of work need massive amounts of energy to consistently run and process data. This energy consumption can create equally large carbon footprints – but, if crypto miners can be swayed through incentives to use renewable energy sources, this is perhaps solvable – and appealing to those who prefer mathematical equations as the baseline for pure proof of work.
As for the future of the crypto world? Building a decentralized system, with a base interest rate, could be a revolutionary way forward. This could, potentially, also have significant influence on socially motivated causes, by creating new solutions or opportunities within them. One example is eco-friendly cryptocurrency, which can offer carbon credits as NFTs and reward eco-friendly behaviours, like purchasing products that are sustainable. The sweet spot is understanding the functionality, and risks, of utilizing blockchain environments, and applying feasible solutions to these challenges, while maintaining cryptocurrencies’ functionality.