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How to Build Industry Credibility for Blockchain Startups

By Sophie Foggin 7 May, 2020

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If you want to listen to the audio version of How to Build Industry Credibility for Blockchain Startups, press play here.

When it comes to blockchain startups looking to prove value and trust, their primary project goal tends to focus around building industry credibility. 

Launched over 10 years ago, hype around the blockchain industry seems to have existed for years, yet – although many are still confident in its long-term potential – the emerging technology has been slow to take off. 

Take, for instance, decentralized trading platforms. While this form of distributed ledger technology is common knowledge in circles of the tech community, it’s yet to find its way into the mainstream conversation.

Despite this, according to Deloitte’s 2019 global blockchain survey, last year was a turning point for blockchain momentum. Over half of those surveyed, across 12 different countries, claimed that blockchain technology had become a critical priority for their organizations over the course of last year: a 10% increase from the previous year.

However, with 20% of survey respondents claiming that the lack of proof behind blockchain technology was preventing them from investing more in it, blockchain startups continue to struggle to build credibility within the skeptical industry.

For this reason, we’ve put together a list of tactics that blockchain startups facing this problem can utilize in order to tackle building industry credibility head-on. 

Transparency

According to blockchain developers, one of the benefits of the architecture of blockchain technology itself is transparency. This is because every transaction and its associated value recorded on the public blockchain can be seen by everyone else in the network. 

However, for those who don’t know how the technology works, fear of the unknown and a lack of trust continue to be the industry’s own worst enemy. This fear is not unjustified, with reports predicting that cyberattacks will be costing the world approximately $6 trillion per year by 2021. 

Although many governments across the world have decided to explore the potential of the  technology, the fact that some countries continue to refuse to do so adds fuel to the skeptical fire. 

For this reason, it’s all the more important that blockchain startups adopt the right approach to transparency as a means of building up their credibility.

In order to build transparency in blockchain, startups such as Bratislava-based blockchain content distribution platform DECENT have created step-by-step explanatory videos. These videos feature DECENT team members and ensure that potential customers fully understand the process before they buy into it. 

By being completely transparent about their processes, blockchain startups can hope to generate a trustworthy relationship with their clients. These same clients will then be more likely to spread the good word of blockchain, building up the startup’s credibility within the industry. 

Language 

28% of those interviewed in Deloitte’s 2019 global blockchain survey claimed that a barrier to their investment in the blockchain industry was due to a lack of in-house understanding of the technology, and subsequently the skills to be able to work with it. 

If customers struggle to understand how the technology works, it follows that blockchain startups won’t be able to build on their own credibility within the industry. 

This is why it’s important for blockchain startups to break down their language into layman’s terms in order to make their services more user-friendly, and therefore more attractive to customers. 

This informative blog post by UK-based fintech startup Revolut, for example, breaks down the complexities of what blockchain technology is and how it works in an easy-to-read Q & A format that customers can refer back to. 

Media outreach 

For blockchain startups, having a robust media outreach strategy is key to improving their reputation among customers and potential customers. The more earned media a blockchain startup gains, the more customers will be able to find out about it before visiting the company’s website itself. 

This could mean reaching out to journalists to pitch related news articles, obtaining other press coverage such as interviews, or getting the startup featured in a product review or by a blockchain industry influencer. 

Given that new blockchain startups have been popping up at a steady frequency over the last few years, it’s important that they ensure to stand out in terms of credibility in a market which has the potential to become saturated.

Take, for instance, blockchain startup TillBilly, which had articles featuring its service published in digital publications such as Medium and The Sociable. Features on a mixture of top-tier and tech-specialized publications is a blueprint for how earned media can build credibility for blockchain startups. 

Soft rollout 

If a blockchain startup’s service is only just launching, a tactful way to build industry credibility among customers is by rolling its service out gradually, using pilot programs. 

By selecting particular user demographics to target and trial-offering the service to them first, blockchain startups get a better idea of which audiences to target. It also allows them to build up a certain level of credibility before rolling out their service to a mass market. 

If blockchain startups prove their services are essential to their customer profiles, customers can see the intrinsic value blockchain offers to their own business, making them more inclined to invest. 

Asset management blockchain startup Swissborg is one company that used this process when launching its new Wealth App last month.

By rolling out the app on a country-by-country basis, the startup’s strategy was to maintain credibility, and therefore trust, among their customer base in each country they operate in.

Wrapping up

As blockchain technology increasingly becomes a critical priority for businesses across the world, there’s never been a better time for blockchain startups to focus on the project goal of building industry credibility. 

By improving levels of trust and understanding, not only will blockchain PR become easier to attain, but it could also open up new markets and customer bases for blockchain startups, whose full potential is still yet to be uncovered.


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