Grayscale yesterday morningThe world’s largest provider of cryptocurrency investment vehicles has temporarily stopped sucking up the supply of Bitcoin to focus on the toughest problem in the entire crypto industry: getting your friends and family on board.
Last Friday, Grayscale founder and CEO Barry Silbert was hesitant about a massive purchase of ads on Twitter with the intent of bringing cryptocurrencies to the masses, and yesterday morning he delivered them with announcements on CNBC, MSNBC, FOX and FOX Business other. Meanwhile, the Grayscale blog is launching an ad entitled “The History of Money”, translated as “The History of Money”., how:
A wake-up call for people everywhere to take advantage of what we believe is a once in a lifetime opportunity that digital currencies can offer.
Grayscale (@Grayscale) August 10, 2020
It sounds simple on paper, but the nuts and bolts are grimmer as nearly all crypto enthusiasts are familiar with teasing, furrowing eyebrows, and looking in disbelief when talking to family members about cryptocurrencies during the vacation. To be successful, This campaign would have to fundamentally recalibrate the opinion of the average investor, who remains generally concerned, about an asset class barely a decade old.
Slowly at first, then suddenly: the bankruptcy of denial
In some ways the timing seems right. Powerful people are finally beginning to understand. From their positions at the top of the economy, market makers have used the same arguments as Bitcoin acolytes for years: it’s a hedge against inflation, says Paul Tudor Jones; its digital gold is reminiscent of Tom Jessop. Consider the micro-story written about the forced smile on Jamie Dimon’s face in just a few months. His smug smile when he talked about bitcoin turned into a wet resignation. Cryptocurrency, he finally admitted, had a real use and a real future.
But while the good people of Lower Manhattan come to their senses The same does not apply to retail investors. They have been fed a diet of skepticism about digital assets by financial gurus.
However, the first signs of inflation are at times warning signs; Corporatism leaps naked and outrageous through the Capitol; A president openly discusses the possibility of defusing two of America’s largest social safety nets, Medicare and Social Security. Central bank balance sheets are generally parabolic. Unemployment remains in double digits. Macroeconomic conditions are inventing new ways every day to demonstrate the need for cryptocurrencies … and yet Hardly a quarter of Americans tend to buy Bitcoin.
Thus, space remains a persistent barrier to mass adoption: those stocks that could benefit the most from Bitcoin as it becomes a true store of value, medium-sized savers and investors looking for a bulwark against it. Inflation and uncertainty are among the least understandable types of cryptocurrency, let alone how or where to buy them.
If the general population is to benefit from buying crypto, they need to know what it is. If the grayscale ad is to achieve the goals set by Silberts, it has to do more than the advertising needs to train it.
The exceptionalism of contrarianism
While the task may seem monumental, there is at least one successful historical precedent. By late 1948, the United States faced just as dire conditions as it does today: the postwar economy was in recession, faced with a private liquidity market for stocks and bonds, and inflation and inflation rates near 10% unemployment.
And in the face of the great recession, few were willing to risk their money.
Unfortunately, risk was exactly what the economy needed. Middle-class private investment could have boosted the nation’s prospects and protected the prosperity of countless families, but there weren’t many transparent and conventional ways for individual investors to access the stock and bond markets. The SEC had only been established 15 years earlier, and the 1939 Roper poll, now best known for its mid-20th century surveillance of anti-Semitism, showed this Most of the United States believed that Wall Street was where cattle were traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Few Americans knew the difference between a stock and a bond.
Charlie Merrill enters the scene. The legendary banker is credited with popularizing investments in stocks and bonds at a time when they were still strangers to the majority of the population. He began his competitive betting career and built the merger that spawned the Safeway chain of branches when, according to conventional wisdom, grocery stores came under the attention of Wall Street companies. and later especially When in 1929 he urged investors to sell stocks, he referred to the warning from the Federal Reserve that markets would be abundant.
(He also sold all of his partner Eddie Lynch’s shares while Lynch was on vacation – Lynch was understandably angry. By Black Monday)
At the end of World War II, Merrill saw its largest contraband: recapitalize an investment-hungry country. He knew Wall Street couldn’t do it on its own, and from his experience with chain stores, he understood that The American middle class was an untapped source of economic power.
However, The question that remained was how an entire population could be won over to a foreign asset class when the share of individual investments was in the low single-digit percentile. Merrill himself said of the task:
It was probably the biggest mass education job a company has ever faced in this country’s history.
Three million answers
The spearhead of this educational project was the 1948 advertisement for Merrill Lynchs in the New York Times. “What Everyone Should Know About This Stock and Bonds Business”, in Spanish “What Everyone Should Know About This Stock and Bond Business.” The advertisement written by Louis Engel is a real rarity in the history of advertising.
The full 6,500 word page is the longest ad in a newspaper ad that has ever presented the fundamentals of markets with the simplicity of a textbook, and Merrill Lynch was mentioned only once: an invitation to request more information by phone or email to learn more.