Social media continues to impact industries in profound ways. One such industry is cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. Much of cryptocurrency growth and popularity can be attributed to social media.
From the social forums of digital currency’s humble beginnings to mainstream social media channels, social media and cryptocurrency have a very close relationship indeed.
This relationship between social media, cryptocurrency and blockchain continues to evolve in new and exciting ways. The influence of one on the other has even become mutual as cryptocurrency and blockchain technology blossoms. There are even blockchain-based social networks sprouting up.
How did this intricate digital relationship come to be? Let’s take a deeper look into what cryptocurrency is, its relationship with social media, and what the future may hold for both.
The First Cryptocurrency Transaction Negotiated via Bitcoin Forum
Cryptocurrency has grown exponentially in value and popularity over the last few years. The blockchain technology cryptocurrency is supported on, is on the minds of many global financial institutions and businesses, such as JP Morgan, Microsoft, and Overstock.com.
However, this popularity and interest is only recent. Less than a decade ago, the world’s most famous digital currency, Bitcoin, was worth less than 0.06 cents.
At the time of writing this, Bitcoin is worth over $11,400.
How did this happen? Well, social media has played a huge role in the mainstream success cryptocurrency is currently enjoying. But it all began on a small forum (at the time), Bitcoin Talk, where Laszlo Hanyecz posted a potential Bitcoin transaction for two Papa John’s pizzas.
The two pizzas were bought for 10,000 Bitcoins, worth millions today. This simple social forum transaction has led to bigger things, and thus began the relationship between social media and cryptocurrency.
How the Relationship Between Cryptocurrency and Social Media Works
From forums to mainstream social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and others, cryptocurrency is trending. Social media is of course a no brainer, since social is how most people get their news.
In fact, two-thirds of American adults get their news from social media.
This has led to the popularity and growth of digital currency. This is nothing new to marketers. For example, Facebook is one of the most popular social ad choices to reach a large target audience.
In fact, Facebook is also considering cryptocurrency for business growth. “Facebook, with over two billion monthly active users, can basically drive the mass adoption of anything,” Clement Thibault of Investing.com told Futurism.
As long as cryptocurrency articles, news, and updates continue to dominate social media news feeds, the future looks bright for crypto-social relationship. Social media and other media outlets can cause cryptocurrency price fluctuations, for better or for worse.
Trending news about a large digital currency exchange hack can cause a significant drop in digital currency value. For example, when Hong Kong based exchange Bitfinex was hacked, Bitcoin value dropped 20 percent. This presents a big pitfall in the crypto-social relationship.
Current Social Impact on Cryptocurrency
Social media and forums are still essential for the growth of digital currency and blockchain technology. How so? Well, as cryptocurrency growth continues, people and companies are more interested in investing in it.
To get the most updated crypto-news you will most likely need to turn to social media and forums. For instance, Bitcoin can attribute much of its growth to social forum Reddit.
In fact, Reddit is one of the biggest social influencer platforms. From crypto-enthusiasts to crypto-analysts, they can all be found serving up insight on Reddit. For example, Bitcoin subreddit has detailed information on everything Bitcoin.
Other influential subreddits for crypto-news include:
Where do journalists get breaking cryptocurrency news? Reddit! Crypto-journalists are also using social media channels like Slack and Telegram to organize and share information about trending digital currency and blockchain news.
“Our group settings occupy places like Slack, Trello, and Google Hangouts,” Jamie Redman, cryptocurrency journalist, said in a 99Bitcoins article. “This is where writers, editors and publishers congregate to discuss news and opinion.”
In fact, most of the trending cryptocurrency stories that hit other social media networks have originated from Reddit.
Future of Social Media, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Will social media and forums continue to influence the future of cryptocurrency? This will happen for sure, since social media influences just about everything. However, digital currency and blockchain technology has begun to make its own mark in the social space.
Enter blockchain technology. The future of cryptocurrency may be all about utility rather than specific coin value. With potential adoption of blockchain technology around the corner in multiple industries, the role of social influencing cryptocurrency is being reversed.
Blockchain technology could disrupt the current social media construct. In fact, many of the core blockchain concepts are perfect solutions to many current social media pain points.
Blockchain-based social media networks can offer:
- Truly decentralized social content. A blockchain-based social media network will be decentralized with no central server. This gives control to the users and the content they choose to post. The entire network itself will oversee the management of the social network. No more bending to the whims of Facebook or YouTube.
- More secure social network. From hackers to government sponsored information sharing, current social media networks are gathering up user information and selling it to the highest bidder. Crypto-based social channels can allow users to maintain their personal and online data and habits. This enhanced security is in many ways a breath of fresh air for social fans.
- Better consumer payment options. Consumer transactions that happen over social media can be cumbersome, since there are only a handful of ways to make payments. This is also bad for marketers who spend a hefty amount on social ads with poor ROI. A crypto-based social platform can change all that. Users will get more ways to pay, and pay securely. Advertisers can net better leads and attain consumer data using Basic Attention Token (BAT) processes.
Basic Attention Token (BAT)
The Basic Attention Token is one example how blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are disrupting social media, and pretty much any future digital marketing strategy.
Why is this important? Well, mainly because of ad blocking. More than 25 percent of Americans use ad blockers, according to eMarketer with a steady rise since 2014.
This is a big problem for marketers, but the disruption of social media via blockchain technology could change everything.
Instead of digital marketers using platforms like Facebook to serve up ads to their target audience. They will go straight to users to get more accurate consumer data. Consumers get more control and rewarded with BAT tokens for their information and viewing habits.
“The key idea behind blockchain applications should be to shift the internet from application-centric models to structures where users are at the center, maintain control of their digital footprint, and can decide who will access it,” said Ben Dickson of VentureBeat.
Steemit: How Cryptocurrency is Now Influencing Social Media
Steemit is one example of the new relationship between social media and cryptocurrency. Changing the way social networks are ran, now users can be free of censorship and payment restrictions.
For instance, Steemit content creators get paid via members of the social platform and not from ads. Using cryptocurrency Steem, users upvote and pay out a fraction of Steem if they like content and want to support the author.
This has given content creators a new way to connect via social and get paid free of obstacles traditional mainstream social media networks have in place. Anyone can use it, and anyone can get paid without posting a single ad.
Will the Relationship Balance Keep Shifting?
There is no doubt that social media played a huge role in boosting cryptocurrency to its current status. Global companies are taking a serious look at cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to streamline many of their current, somewhat antiquated business processes.
But the balance does seem to be shifting. Crypto-based social platforms are on the rise and solving many of the issues traditional social networks have in place for both users and businesses.
The relationship between social media, cryptocurrency and blockchain will continue to evolve, and it will do so at lightning speed. However, there will be more of a two-way partnership in the future. What role do you think social media will play as cryptocurrency continues to grow?
Nick Rojas is a self-taught, serial entrepreneur who’s enjoyed success working with and consulting for startups. Using his journalism training, Nick writes for publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. He concentrates on teaching small and medium-sized enterprises on how best to manage their social media marketing and define their branding objectives.