Crypto needs a pretty face
Let’s for a moment pretend that you are a celebrity. Not only that, but you are a celebrity that has become famous quickly and without many people in the world truly understanding what it was that made you special.
But, famous you are. So much so that nearly everyone was talking about you for a good 6-months. The news, your friends and even old people playing slots down at the casino can’t shut up about you.
Obviously, that’s going to irritate people. In Australia, they talk about something called Tall Poppy Syndrome — the idea that if a poppy grows too tall the instinct is to chop its head off.
You are a tall poppy. After 6-months of hearing about you a lot of people are going to want to chop that thing right off.
You, of course, aren’t famous (well, I assume. If you are, apologies and thanks for reading!). So, this isn’t really about you. What it’s about is crypto. Replace your name in the above analogy and you have the situation that crypto finds itself in right now.
Not a specific cryptocurrency, or an isolated part of the blockchain infrastructure, but rather the very concept of crypto itself. It’s a tall poppy and a lot of people are trying to chop it down to size.
The question is how do we reverse that feeling and get people back on board. Maybe not in the over the top way that they were 6-months again — some perspective and long-term thinking would be nice — but not in the nearly universal negative way that is happening now.
Here, again, it’s useful to imagine what a celebrity would do. They’d hire a PR agency and start to spin the positive side of the story. You get a pretty face out there in front of the news talking about how great things are.
That’s what crypto needs right now — a pretty face spinning its virtues. What it has now, in the public’s mind, is a bunch of tech bros pushing an agenda that is hard to understand and seems vaguely designed to rip them off.
Elon Musk’s Twitter account is basically doing PR for crypto now. That’s not good. At all.
This need for a softer image crossed my mind today with the news that venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz — better known as a16z — had promoted Arianna Simpson to general partner and tasked her with launching a $2.2 billion USD crypto fund.
This is exactly the face that the crypto space needs right now. It’s young — she’s only 30 — pretty and accessible to the mainstream.
That’s important. Part of working in the crypto space right now is selling it beyond the true believers and to do that you need the right person as your face. Clearly, Simpson is going to be acting in the interest of a16z, but in doing so she could also bring everyone else up in the space up too. To use another old saying, a rising tide raises all boats.
You may not like that we need to think like this — that we have to be aware of the reputation of crypto and look to put people forward that will be more accessible (and, yes, likely, more female), to sell the space.
But, we do. Otherwise people are going to keep chopping those heads off.