The digital asset PR machine trundles along without a care in the world, clearly indifferent to such pesky matters as an ongoing crypto winter, FTX’s collapse, or Sam Bankman-Fried.
The first week in January is usually a relatively slow one for business and banking news. A few appointments might trickle in while the average jaded newsgatherer parses his email account, filing away the dime-a-dozen market outlooks and any accompanying invitations.
One industry, however, is still behaving like it is all very 2021. The digital asset public relations machine. Anything that can be converted into binary ones and zeros, from NFTs on down, and put out there on the blockchain, the cloud, social media, and even Web 3 warrants an email and a PR representative.
Almost as if Bitcoin and Ethereum weren’t three-quarters off their all-time highs. And as if Luna, Terra, BlockFi, Celsius, Three Arrows, FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried had never happened.
Following an uneventful Monday, things kicked into high gear on Tuesday with a mass email being sent out to unnamed media recipients announcing the impending launch of a Zodiac sign-based NFT collectible series for charity on a blockchain-enabled fund-raising platform.
Not only will the NFTs be individually numbered and minted but they will be the first of their kind to be religiously blessed by a Thai Abbot.
That itself raises interesting theological considerations for the digital cum Web 3 set, given each NFT would theoretically need to receive an individual consecration to remain truly non-fungible. A question was put to the PR company involved but no response had been received by the time this article was published.
That was followed by regular emails sent at least once or twice a week by a UK digital PR agency. This time it was research compiled by CoinJournal showing that Hong Kong and Singapore were the fourth and five most targeted locations in Asia for crypto fraud, behind South Korea, Japan, and China.
Almost on cue, as if they knew what was going on in shared media email inboxes the world over, the Federal Reserve issued a short joint statement on Wednesday with eight bullet points detailing the main crypto-asset risks to banking organizations.
It seemed to be digital threat day, with events topped off by another email asking about the possibility of conducting an interview about trends in things like synthetic fraud using AI and machine learning.
Definition of CX
Then, thankfully, it was time for the customer experience aficionado. If you had not known it, the term is now CX, not to be confused with the airline, for our reshaped digital world. Here, the PR machine suggested an interview with a listed company on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) that is ostensibly a global leader in video-based human insight to talk about the Singapore digital experience ecosystem.
Then we get a UK-based launchpad and trading platform, which announced to the world at large that it has adopted an external solution for its onboarding, compliance, and AML needs, which they call their orchestration platform, clearly tipping off their hat to a certain Rimsky-Korsakov in the process.
Social Media Feed
Although Wednesday was topped off by an insurtech appointment announcement, things weren’t that different as the week passed on social media. Among other things, LinkedIn had the HKMA promoting a one-day regtech workshop, while Cisco’s Meraki suggested one might want a cloud-managed smart space for personalized customer experiences – with real-time analytics.
Huawei Cloud APAC had an e-commerce special at half-price while a company called Aktana predicted the next chapter for life sciences companies in the digital-first, artificial intelligence era.
There was also something on sonic branding using Tik Tok, although being based in Hong Kong, I passed on that.
There is a larger point to all this. Even though the crypto market has crashed, and Big Tech has come back to earth, everyone is still out there looking for the next big thing, whatever that eventually turns out to be.
But none of it feels like it will become a hands-down coup as many things did in the first days of the internet when the new felt both simple and intuitive. Like receiving a long sought-after book from Amazon in a distant mountain valley or logging on to a retail bank account for the first time to pay bills without needing to write a check or go to a post office.
Besides, we haven’t even reached Friday yet. Maybe something will still turn up.