Crypto influencers populating social media are driving Bitcoin’s growth.
Despite steady strides, the cryptocurrency sphere is still trying to get into the mainstream — over a decade after Satoshi Nakamoto created the first Bitcoin.
Until now, the true identity of Nakamoto remains shrouded in mystery, even as Bitcoin’s popularity has risen.
This rise was buoyed by a confluence of circumstance, including the 2008 global financial crisis that had people looking for alternative investment options, the emergence of Bitcoin mining cartels, and the transformation of cryptocurrencies as something like an asset class, whose price will theoretically rise when supply is diminished.
Another factor pushing digital currencies closer to the mainstream is the social media discourse around them, especially Bitcoin.
Dismissed as a fad by some, Bitcoin became a hot topic of conversation on social media, which has done a lot in terms of raising its profile and underscoring what was then the still-burgeoning influence of this online sphere.
Indeed, social media has come a long way since its emergence in the late 1990s, when people used it primarily to connect and communicate with one another.
Today, social media is awash with so-called influencers — Internet personalities who are influencing the very choices people make, from what food to eat, what music to listen to, which destinations to visit, and what brands to support.
Unsurprisingly, there are now lots of crypto influencers, or self-professed cryptocurrency experts populating social media, and they are driving Bitcoin’s continued growth worldwide.
In fact, crypto influencers are arguably changing the game now, and their approach is strikingly similar to the strategy of makeup startups.
No less than beauty mogul Michelle Phan has noticed the similarities, notably the use of personalities — crypto influencers for Bitcoin, beauty influencers for makeup startups — as a marketing ploy.
This strategy works mainly because in both industries, users tend to research on their own, often relying on peers and people they think they can trust instead of traditional media, like magazines and TV, and even online media such as company websites and review aggregators.
So, just as beauty enthusiasts are inclined to seek out the makeup recommendations of Michelle Phan, those looking to get into the Bitcoin space are likely to check out the Instagram accounts of well-known crypto personalities, like Bitcoin Man (Herbert R. Sim) and Justin Sun.
The result is something akin to digital word-of-mouth, leading to cryptocurrency communities forming worldwide.
Coinkite co-founder Rodolfo Novak bears witness to the influence these communities now wield in the crypto space, where digital currency users are helping one another learn everything about Bitcoin.
In turn, this dynamic has proven profitable for Coinkite, whose Telegram group of 773 members and counting have helped the hardware seller come close to the 1.8 million digital wallets so far sold by the startup Ledger.
The world of crypto influencing, though, is relatively nascent, but Wired reports that it is driving the hype machine of Bitcoin.
However, unlike traditional influencers in the worlds of food, music, fashion, and beauty, much of the influencing related to Bitcoin is taking place on messaging apps such as Telegram, and even on Slack and Discord.
It is then in these apps where crypto enthusiasts congregate digitally to share information about Bitcoin and recruit investors — often by offering tokens of soon-to-be-released cryptocurrencies.
Consequently, these efforts are giving Bitcoin spikes in popularity, and getting more people into this world. That said, one has to wonder how influential crypto influencers would be now if not for social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter barring crypto-related advertising.
The former has since eased said restriction, and that might just pave the way for crypto influencers to change the game even more.