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The Most Crucial Step In Successful Token Marketing

Thanks to animal spirits and regulatory uncertainty 2017, every initial coin offering, legitimate or not, seemed to raise millions. Times have changed. Competition for funds has increased and investors are more skeptical.

Those investors now need to be convinced. They need to believe. Consequently, faith entices capital and legitimacy has become the cornerstone of a successful raise. In order to shine bright above the multitude of shady projects and outright scams, finding reputable legal counsel is perhaps the first step to consider when contemplating the raising of capital via ICO.


Marketing tokens may be defined as the set of activities that attract the investment of cryptocurrency required to transform a concept into a product, service, company or organized pursuit. The purpose of token marketing is to identify inventories of rent-seeking cryptocurrency (like BTC or ETH), inspire speculation, and constantly assure an abundance of satisfied token holders.

These activities are different aspects of building a community of faithful token holders. Faithful is an important adjective. The faithful believe in holding the token. They believe that it has value.

Token marketing is somewhat straightforward for computer science or engineering heavy ICOs with accomplished teams focusing on really challenging problems. Speculators are willing to make bets that a suitably qualified team will solve a difficult problem.

In the case of reverse ICOs, or other asset-backed offerings, the token marketer need not proselytize. They need not do more than communicate the underlying value of the token. Marketers may be more conventional as financial performance of the targeted firm is sufficient for speculation.

However, token marketing is much more challenging when there is no evidence that the token has any value at all. This situation arises when the venture is truly in the concept stage. Advisors with inappropriate or insufficient accolades, inexperienced teams, and other competitive disadvantages do nothing to remedy the situation.

Having the good fortune to promote a token that is purely in the concept phase requires the token marketer to transform into a religious figure. Instead of creating a banal religious group though, the token marketer is required to inspire a bevy of ardent token holders.

In such offerings, credibility rules. It is hard to build impregnable credibility on illegitimate, sinking sands. Fortunately, lawyers build legitimacy.

A Brief History Lesson

It was not so long ago that Bitcoin had a legitimacy issue. Thanks to the Silk Road, faith in Bitcoin ebbed. Fortunately, early promoters of Bitcoin, like Roger Ver, had the foresight to form the Bitcoin Foundation.

Roger Ver, like him or not, is perhaps the world’s premier cryptocurrency marketer. He proselytizes so hard that he is known as Bitcoin Jesus. Roger cannot shake the name. If he tried, his Twitter feed, like Judas, would betray him.

His colleague Charlie Shrem first uttered the moniker in 2012 just before they, along with Gavin Andresen, Mark Karpeles, Peter Vessenes, Patrick Murck and Mehul Puri, started the Bitcoin Foundation.

The Bitcoin Foundation is probably still not the beacon of legitimacy that its founders aspired to create. However, it was created when the fledgling currency was still desperately struggling to become the peer-to-peer electronic cash system that Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned.

While the Bitcoin Foundation’s execution was poor and board member quality wanting, perspicaciously inviting Patrick Murck to act as chief counsel paid dividends. According to an article in the Washington Post, Patrick Murck’s testimony to the US Senate committee convened to assess digital currencies was well received. Patrick Murck was big on Bitcoin following rules and regulations. This inspired faith.

Building Faith

Instilling faith starts with minimizing the risks of token ownership. It is the foundation of the token marketing campaign. Large funds and well-heeled investors may apportion some of their wealth to speculate on the token. Before doing so, many want to be assured that speculating on the token will not impact them or the rest of their portfolio.

Patrick Murck essentially convinced a Senate committee that holding Bitcoin was not a bad thing. His arguments put substantial distance between criminal activity and the act of holding Bitcoin. He lowered the risks of ownership.

For token marketers, lowering the risks of ownership means engaging lawyers to ensure that the fledgling token and its infantile concept are not violating any laws. Lawyers ensure that ventures following their counsel are not overly exposed to regulatory risk.

Great lawyers have domain knowledge. That means that they know the latest regulation around token sales in their jurisdiction and are part of a team that has experience working with successful raises. They should err on the side of caution. After all, their purpose is to lower the downside risk of token ownership.

Essentially, when the lawyer’s work is done the pitch to investors changes from, “you could go to heaven, or you could go to hell” to “you could go to heaven, but you certainly won’t go to hell”.

To be continued…


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Useful Coin provides market research and business strategy services. In this Medium Publication, Useful Coin shares research into cryptocurrencies, cryptocurrency-based fundraising, and financial services delivered over peer-to-peer network technologies performed for clients in South Korea, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, and the United States of America.