The mass email marketing manager, MailChimp, announced on March 29 that they intend to ban any “businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering.” The company quickly received backlash from users and the online community blaming MailChimp for censorship. MailChimp defended its position saying they needed to prevent “scams, fraud, phishing, and potentially misleading business practices” from being facilitated through their platform.
However, MailChimp said that they will not ban all cryptocurrency related information and that “as long as the sender isn’t involved in the production, sale, exchange, storage, or marketing of cryptocurrencies”, emails can still be sent. MailChimp elaborated that this includes discussion of cryptocurrencies by journalists and publications, but did not elaborate further on how the platform intends to differentiate between the two.
Difference between malicious and beneficial marketing
Since MailChimp did not elaborate on how they plan to detect whether cryptocurrency mass emails are only discussion vs. benefit the sender from cryptocurrency adoption, it is important to discuss that very fine line. A journalist discussing cryptocurrency vs. marketing cryptocurrency can often overlap since many within the cryptocurrency space advocate for larger cryptocurrency adoption, so they can benefit from the advantages that come with a growing economy of scale. Many crypto advocates and groups want to see more merchant and user adoption of certain coins, but also do not participate in “scams, frauds, phishing, or misleading business practices”. Thus, it can be seen how MailChimp’s new policy is a very loose structure that can be used as an excuse to ban many accounts that are not necessarily malicious.
It should also be noted that MailChimp’s ban goes a step further than the bans implemented by Google, Facebook, and Twitter since many advertisements are unsolicited and appear simply by using those platforms. However, emails sent via MailChimp are email subscriptions that must be voluntarily signed up for and must include an opt-out feature as required by CAN-SPAM laws. So even if it is assumed that ads are involuntarily harming consumers, it is much harder to make that assumption for MailChimp emails since they are voluntarily opted-into and users can opt-out at any time.
Marketing is sometimes misconstrued as only being needed if a product is inferior on its own or a scam. However, this is not the universal case since many quality products throughout the modern economy advertise to raise awareness to the larger population. In fact, it can be argued that a complicated marketing strategy signals a quality product because it has a complex team confidently behind a sophisticated product to organize the marketing strategy. Conversely, products that are scams typically do not put much effort into advertising since detailed advertising of its attributes could reveal its faults as a scam.
Cryptocurrency marketing is getting harder, which places Dash in an advantageous position
The increasing bans on cryptocurrency advertising is placing more of the onus on coordinated and sophisticated marketing efforts since the lowest hanging fruit of online advertising (Google, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp) are being eliminated. Now advertisements need to go through sponsorships, individual advertisement arrangements with websites/conferences/brick and mortar stores, or teams spreading the word on the ground. This is becoming a battleground that favors Dash with its governance and treasury system.
Dash’s treasury fund and governance system allows coordinated large sponsorship deals with individuals and conferences along with organizing an even larger promotional strategy. Dash sponsors MMA fighters (Rory McDonald and Davis Dos Santos), sports teams like the Dash Leopards and Dash Aerosports, independent journalist Ben Swann, and partners with numerous cryptocurrency companies. Dash is able to organize its own conferences as well as sponsor even larger events such as this year’s Porcfest. These marketing campaigns require a complex organization and large funding that is unachievable for many coins, which puts Dash at an advantage during the cryptocurrency advertising bans as well as demonstrates the authenticity and sophistication of Dash.
Written by: Justin Szilard