Brands, a human’s creation to market their products in the marketplace, have existed for centuries. The interesting part is not how they were formed, it is how they have evolved into their final form.
The proverbial first form of Branding was “the burn mark on cattle”. The modern word “Brand” itself is derived from word “Brandr”, a word from Ancient Norse meaning “to burn”. When people began to trade, this “burn mark” was a way of farmers to announce ownership. In times of fierce competition, this “burn mark” then became the mark of distinction. In times of doubt and uncertainty when the fake and the real becomes a blended reality, this "burn mark” (now is a brand logo in modern vocabulary), becomes the mark of belief. I believe this “mark of belief” is the final and also the purest form of Branding.
Brand is a Belief in distilled form.
Beliefs have existed long before brands found their market presence - the belief in God, deities, superpowers, belief in religion, belief in community’s values, belief in science, belief in systems, governments, belief in yourself, belief in certain organizations, belief in wars, or even the belief in aliens… Belief is embedded in each and everything we do. Belief makes us human and it is the most powerful human attribute which can transform the past and take it into the future. Brand represents the same humanness in the mechanism of Business for businesses to relate with, gather and move people.
What makes Cryptomarket a brand by itself?
Needless to say that the market is in a fragile state currently, mostly after the COVID effect accelerated cracks in the global centralized financial systems to a potential economic recession. In times like this, when seeing red in the market seems normal, the presence of the CryptoMarket only adds fuel to the fire and invites divided opinions, especially after the recent BTC attack, and the crash of the Terra system. The existence of cryptocurrencies might be the beginning of another dramatic transformation and the time of ‘Fear’ as well as ‘FOMO’.
There is an old Wall Street saying that “the financial markets are driven by the two powerful emotions - fear and greed”. Greed makes it boom and Fear makes it burst. However, in the case of cryptomarket, perhaps the opposite of “Fear” is not only “Greed”, it is also “Belief”.
Unlike any other form of money, Cryptocurrencies, the “decentralized money” which does not require a single trusted third party to validate its transactions, is the product of Belief and every coin in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is a brand of a collective “decentralized vision”. “Decentralized vision” is the underlying Belief in the existence and the presence of cryptocurrencies, where the power and control over its inherent value passes on from the hands of a central authority to the hands of the people. This vision of a new world which is trustless but truthful, is empowered by the unique nature of Blockchain technology storing and validating unalterable indestructible ‘proof of ownership’.
Since money (profit) has a magnetic effect in pulling people’s attention and a transformational effect on social development, decentralized monetization has become the first goal and one of the fundamental pillars in the creation of this “decentralized vision” and the potential construction of a “decentralized society”.
People’s opinions and sentiments down to the financial participation towards this “decentralized vision” can be classified in 3 buckets – (1) the ones who call it “bullshit”, (2) the ones who don’t believe in it but are into it for the hype, and finally, (3) the ones who believe in it.
1. The ones who call it “bullshit” - THE CRITICS
This group is made of critics with strong views against the world of crypto and participation in the crypto-market, NFTs or any other form of the decentralized ecosystem. They distance themselves from the craze of Cryptomarket and usually refer to crypto coins as “A Ponzi Scheme” due to its extreme volatility and bash the NFTs as “the dumbest thing” due to its unreasonably inflated prices.
2. The ones who don’t believe in it but are into it for the hype - THE ACTIVE TRADERS
This group is made of crypto & NFT traders who keep buying and selling to profit primarily from the market fluctuations. It doesn’t matter if the market goes down or goes up eventually as long as they make their profit. The hype serves their position either way.
3. The ones who believe in it - THE “HODLERS”
This group is made of crypto & NFT holders who stay invested for the long term as they believe in the future of the ctyptomarket. They are different from the group of “Active Traders” as they simply hold despite the market mood-swings. They don’t prefer to sell off their shares over the short-term temptations of profit but maintain their position. “HODLers” are the key factor in driving and stabilizing the formation and growth of the cryptomarket despite its extreme ups and downs. Think of the the GameStop bet over the whales of Wall Street - the persistence of HODLers cannot be underestimated.
However, given the fact that HODLers believe in the future value of the cryptomarket, not every HODLer is a Believer of the “decentralized money” and the embedded “decentralized vision”. Though all of them are contributing to make that future happen, there are the ones who are holding it for a bigger Profit and the ones who are holding it for a bigger Purpose. The difference between them is expressed in these popular crypto memes:
Some believe ‘decentralized money’ is only the starting point of the so called “decentralized vision”. For some others, it is all about the collections from the Crypto show - the longer you wait, the more you reap.
As the Nobel-prize winning economist Robert Shiller once noted,
“Bubbles are not, in my mind, about craziness of investors. They are rather about how investors are buffeted en masse from one superficially plausible theory about conventional valuation to another”.
It is possible that the essence of this crypto bubble is not in the so called ‘evaluation models’, rather it is in the beliefs that these investors hold. The question is, which belief will prevail?
The realization of the 'decentralized vision'?
Or is it just a Crypto show?
© 2022 Narrativ.Design. All rights reserved. The author is a Strategist at Narrativ.Design. She is relentless in discovering the truths behind Brand & Marketing; Gold winner at Young Lions and Spikes. 'Heart of a Champion' awardee at Leo Burnett. Connect with her at email@example.com.