WhyThe Temptation For Content Creators To Shitcoin

Bitcoin is a nascent asset class, and even at 13 years in the making, the vast majority of the planet does not realise it even exists. Of the population that does, most do not own it. When something is so new, volatile, and daunting to begin to understand, it alienates many people from getting into the weeds. Having gone through the journey myself, I know how taxing it can be and how many mistakes are required before finding your way into Bitcoin.

It takes proof of work; you need to do the research, which requires you to find good and bad sources of information. It would help if you then learned to distil that information and use your critical thinking to break down what are biases, what are marketing gimmicks, what is shilling, what is misinformation and what is quality information.

To find the signal among the noise takes time as you calibrate your senses. It’s one of the reasons we created TBM, so we could be the resource we wish we had when starting our Bitcoin journey.

Now I am not saying we get it right all the time; these are our findings, we share openly and freely. Even so, I would recommend contesting anything you read on the site, asking questions, share opposing views. We can take it; we’re not snowflakes, we know we will be wrong sometimes, and we’re open to learning.

That’s how it should be; the teacher learns from his pupils, as well as pupils learn from the teacher.

When making your way into Bitcoin.

There is no set path into Bitcoin, you sort of stumble upon it with plenty of pitfalls along the way. While information is readily available, as more people create educational content, it isn’t easy to find.

One can easily get distracted, even if you’re moderately dedicated to learning.

You are at the mercy of search engines with their AI curation; social media feed algorithms pushing the most engaging content, not the most accurate and the noise created by influencers, mass media and paid media.

While it is a free market, the market is still rigged by those who are willing to pay for it or those ready to play the games that digital platforms require for you to gain a considerable reach.

Education in Bitcoin is lacking.

I’ve learned tonnes from some great Bitcoin authors, podcasters and writers who continue to push out valuable content, and I have nothing but respect for these educators. Bitcoin educators compete with peoples intellectual bandwidth in a free market of ideas, and if there is one industry that can profit from the way you think, it’s the investment sector.

If you believe a certain narrative, you begin to shape your world around these ideas and are willing to part with your money based on ideas, many of which could be false assumptions.

The larger cryptocurrency market plays on peoples naivety and appeals to their emotions rather than their rationality, which is why it is far more appealing than Bitcoin content.

Additionally, Bitcoin only content limits you in terms of earning potential; since you may not receive sponsorships, you will get fewer views and syndication of your content.

If your goal is to make money from content, incorporating shitcoins, regardless of how you feel about them, is a profitable venture.

Shitcoins do not have the brand or value proposition of Bitcoin, so they are forced to spend money leveraging already established networks, influencers, media publications and partnerships.

The lack of short term incentives in Bitcoin and the oversupply of short term incentives in shitcoins encourages people who have their rational self-interest in mind to focus on this low hanging fruit.

Like Bitcoin, Bitcoin education is profitable over the long term.

When we launched TBM, we knew very few people would consider reading out content or following our accounts because we are Bitcoin only. It is a decision that limits our reach within the current cryptocurrency market because of the way it is constructed now.

I don’t see how it will be limited in the future, as the total addressable market for Bitcoin information is the entire population. It’s only a medium-term limitation due to the type of demographics that currently dominate the space.

Creating Bitcoin only content is about staying power; most of these other projects will fade with time, while Bitcoin will continue making the information we create evergreen in appeal. The more people we can educate about Bitcoin, the more people will purchase Bitcoin, pushing up the value of our current stake in BTC.

It may not be a direct payment, but it’s a reward nonetheless.

Not having the pressure of sponsorships allows us to say whatever we like and only create content we think would be valuable to others because we find it valuable.

Applying a consumerist business model to investing.

Most if not all cryptocurrency influencers and content creators don’t have a background in technology or finance, they merely saw a trend take off, and they were riding the wave of this emerging asset class. When you don’t really have a background from which to build critical thinking, you’re always going to create surface-level content.

The surface-level content, news updates, “technical analysis”, coin reviews and founder interviews are easy to make and can be mass-produced. You will never run out of topics or ways to repackage the same garbage to your audience.

When you create surface-level content, you purposefully attract those who aren’t willing to do due diligence and conduct their research. You are building an audience of the most impressionable people on the internet. An audience that scams and unproven businesses/business models looking for funding would love to access.

It’s the marketplace aligning incentives, its high time preference creators, appealing to a high time preference audience to fund high time preference projects.

As is the case with fiat, high time preference economic models are always about value consolidation, and this is what happens in the space. If you cannot see that the cryptocurrency content creation market is a product of low effort, high time preference, instant gratification, the consumeristic world of fiat, then you’re NGMI.

There is a reason why shitcoins and shitcoin marketing appeal to people because it’s familiar; it’s what they’ve always experienced in the fiat world. Shitcoins just supercharge the value accrual process and makes it easier.

Now I am not here to excuse these paid shills; my personal feelings on the subject is that it’s rather immoral. You are skirting a grey area, pushing financial products on your audience, but you do it from a position where you profit either way.

There are several ways cryptocurrency content creators make money.

  • The influencer gets paid from YouTube, Medium or their blog for impressions on ads.
  • The influencer receives a set allocation of tokens in exchange for content, and then as the price rises, they can sell it into the market demand they create.
  • The influencer gets paid in cryptocurrency or fiat for their content.
  • The influencer creates a paid course of generic information they’ve curated and repacked with their branding.
  • The influencer requests subscription fees for newsletters, or exclusive video content or access to private chat groups
  • The influencer sells branded merchandise they import from some low-cost manufacturer and rebrand it.

Out of interest, I found the following rate cards for what crypto influencers charge for selling the eyeballs of their audience to advertisers. As you can see, it’s a rather lucrative practice, so anyone who has a high time preference is going to gravitate towards this business model.

Unconfirmed rate cards for crypto influencers

Sources [1] [2] [3]

Are Bitcoin only influencers any better?

In the Bitcoin education world, Bitcoin remains the product; in the shitcoin misinformation world, you are the product.

Yeah, we heard it all before Bitcoin Maxi; you’re simply jealous, and you’re probably thinking.

“Oh, you say that because they push shitcoins, and you prefer people push BTC so they can pump your bags.”

Actually, that’s not at all the case; I don’t think any Bitcoin influencers matter, Bitcoin would do what it was programmed to do regardless, but it’s always nice to see people who are passionate about it share their views.

Bitcoin, like any other investment, will have its grifters using this brand to leverage and build their audience. There are those who are trying to use Bitcoin as a platform to build recognition or to build wealth for themselves.

I fully acknowledge that, and I think it’s an embarrassing advertisement for Bitcoin. You will also see them perform all sorts of mental gymnastics to justify where they skirt the line.

  • They will accept sponsorships from shitcoin businesses but claim they only promote Bitcoin access on those platforms.
  • They will accept sponsored deals from Bitcoin companies and not disclose them or constantly try to work in sponsored messaging.
  • They will create long-form interviews or think pieces that are simply disguised ads.

There is plenty of undisclosed ads in the Bitcoin creator space, and I find it such a shame as people think these ads are well-researched information.

I realise it’s a free market, and everyone is allowed to do as they please.

I only hope that more people take responsibility for the content they consume. Like people push for checking the labels of your food, you should check the content of the information you’re getting and question if this is good for you or are you being marketed to via a softer approach.

There is going to be plenty of people who want your money or want to divert some of your money away from Bitcoin and into your pocket. I am not saying you shouldn’t support your favourite creators if you find their work valuable or engage with their sponsors.

All I am saying is to be aware of the game and how it’s played and use the information to act accordingly.

Originally posted on: The Bitcoin Manual

Co-founder of nichemarket, a South African Business Directory and digital marketing agency — https://www.nichemarket.co.za/