While the hype around blockchain technology and cryptocurrency is still very real, most people don’t actually know much about the topics. Cryptocurrency exists as an online currency and blockchain powers it — that’s usually the extent of it, if anything at all. The rest is left to programmers clad in thick-rimmed glasses dwelling in their mother’s basements, and the crypto firms themselves.

We’ll let you in on a trade secret: It’s really not rocket science. Sure, you’re not going to develop a deep understanding of blockchain technology and how cryptocurrency exchanges work overnight, just like you’re not going to become an accountant or a lawyer tomorrow. But learning the basics is entirely possible, and as a blockchain PR agency that deals with all things crypto PR, we’re here to help. Let’s walk you through the fundamentals.

Blockchain PR 101: Cryptocurrency and blockchain are not the same thing

For the untrained reader, it can be easy to confuse cryptocurrency with blockchain, the technology that makes it work. That’s because the terms are so often used in the same news stories and sentences that it can sound like they’re interchangeable.

Terminology in this industry is key, and the first thing you should know is that they are very much not interchangeable. Let’s define them separately to make that clear. 

Cryptocurrency is, put simply, digital money. It’s a currency that operates independently from a central bank and isn’t backed by fiat currency, gold, or anything else. A cryptocurrency coin’s value is determined purely based on the market in which it trades — the more people buy it, the higher the price per coin. As it stands today, crypto is the ultimate capitalistic currency as only the laws and supply and demand determine its fate. 

The first cryptocurrency coin, Bitcoin, was founded in 2009 by someone (or multiple someones) using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Others, such as Eretheum and Litecoin, followed suit and more than 1,500 exist today. 

O.K., so we have our digital coin. Now how does it work? That’s where blockchain comes into play. 

The tech that enables cryptocurrency to exist, blockchain uses encryption techniques to create and regulate digital coins and verify the transfer of funds between individuals or organizations. 

In plain English, a blockchain is a list of encrypted records (blocks) that are linked to each other through cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic algorithm (hash) of the previous one, a timestamp, and transaction data. All cryptocurrency transactions are included in blockchain. The system ensures new transactions are verified and that the spender actually owns the money spent. 

Delving any deeper than that would be unnecessary, especially for average folk not employed at a coin PR agency. So we’ll move on to the next common mistake.

Blockchain PR agency weighs in on: The difference between tokens and coins 

Another widespread misconception about cryptocurrency is that coins and tokens are the same thing — and no one can be blamed for confusing the two incredibly similar terms. But a cryptocurrency PR agency or anyone working in the field should tune in here — as any PR coin manager or PR token manager will tell you, this difference is important.

Just like our traditional currency throughout history has evolved, cryptocurrencies have also taken on different forms. At different points in history we could trade in seashells, livestock, or even Parmigiano cheese. Paper bills were first introduced by the Chinese who started folding money during the Tang Dynasty. It took Europe another 500 years to catch up, and begin to adopt bills and credit notes.

We all use traditional banking methods. Banks are government regulated, long established and centralized, so we feel comfortable putting our hard earned cash into them. But thanks to both regional and global economic crashes, and banks’ misuse of trust, confidence is declining in the institutions we know, and individuals and businesses are looking for solutions to improve on the service customers receive. Roll in cryptocurrency…

All coins and tokens are considered cryptocurrencies, however a blockchain PR agency will understand the subtle differences between the two. To start with, coins sometimes do not function as a currency or medium of exchange, yet are often given the misnomer of cryptocurrency. If you want to master crypto PR, you need to understand the difference between the two. Let’s break it down into the two main forms of cryptocurrencies you will often encounter during your work with a blockchain PR agency: coins and tokens.

Coins– Coins (also know as altcoins or alternative cryptocurrency coins, are digital money that store value over time. They are the digital equivalent of money, although they do not always have to offer a medium of exchange. Bitcoin is the most famous coin. Coins have the same characteristics as money, in that they are fungible, divisible, acceptable, portable, and there is a limited supply. Many believe that coins will replace fiat money in the future.

When promoting your PR coins, remember that: (1) coins are tied to a public, open source blockchain that anyone can participate in, (2) coins can be sent, received, or mined, (3) coins have no outside purpose or functions beyond acting as money. 

Tokens– When you start working on your PR token, it’s imperative to understand what makes that token different from coins. Tokens are digital assets, issued by a project, that are often used as a method of payment insider a project’s specific ecosystem. They exit on their own blockchains, performing similar functions as coins, but there is an important difference that any cryptocurrency PR agency will understand: holding a token gives the holder the right to participate in the network. Rather than just storing value like a coin, tokens perform the functions of a digital asset, representing a company’s share, giving access to the projects functionality, and more. 

PR Blockchain Basics: ICOs vs STOs vs IEOs

The crypto winter is over, and it seems like summer is shaping up to be one of the best seasons yet for a crypto company.  There is nothing like some PR blockchain to get your company back in the game. While the space all once seemed like a big wild west excursion, it is now much clearer to companies and their ICO PR agency or crypto currency PR agency what needs to be done in order to make some noise.

But in order to make the noise for your PR blockchain, your blockchain PR agency must understand the difference between ICOs, STOs, and IEOs.

ICOs, or Initial Coin Offerings, were once the preferred method for investors and crypto enthusiasts to raise money. The model provided a way for crypto companies to quickly make money and grow their businesses. With the crypto crash of 2018, loss of purchaser confidence and regulatory pushpack killed the ICO and companies had to scramble to find a new funding model. Thus was the birth of the IEO crypto trend and the IEO PR agency.

An IEO, or Initial Exchange Offering, is a crypto funding model which has been closed off to the public; so, instead of publicly marketing new cryptocurrencies, companies use crypto exchanges to communicate the launch of their projects while also offering tokens to their customers. Since the projects will need to comply with the exchange’s own requirements, the public can be reassured that there is some kind of protection. Meanwhile, exchanges are able to secure competitive advantage by working alongside the best projects. The new IEO marketing method helped raise more than $80 million in March alone. 

STOs on the other hand, are security token offerings, rather than a utility token offering, embracing the fact that tokens are actually securities. They have improved the approach to funding while providing greater transparency. For VCs in particular, this was a new opportunity to introduce the concept of tokenizing assets through STOs, which guarantees profit and provides liquidity to the notoriously illiquid industry of venture capitalism. As many blockchain-based companies hurried to become a part of the new funding phenomenon, token PR agencies had to be on top of their game to provide the necessary guidance for the newest crypto marketing trend.

IEOs have given crypto PR agencies a new challenge: to disconnect the reputation ICOs have with the media and introduce the world to IEO PR. As with any new concept, it begins with education and approachability. We must continue to read and understand the differences between both, while analyzing both financing methods separately from each other. 

Unlike ICOs, companies participating in IEOs are already trading. This is a huge advantage for the token buyers and for the market, but at the same time it puts more stress on the project. So, while the marketing campaign period is shorter, IEO PR is forcibly more aggressive from the get go.

How do you publicize your blockchain brand with a blockchain PR agency?

Blockchain-based startups and cryptocurrency creators are continuously popping up all over the world, offering solutions to the world’s problems in the form of code and inventive mining strategies. However, in order to curate and create to the extent that these experts do, blockchain startups, like all other startups, need a solid PR strategy, as well as a token PR agency, to get them off the ground and make a name for themselves. I’m not talking about a “traditional “ PR boutique or firm, but a token PR agency that specializes in crypto is imperative. Especially one that can provide advisory services while enabling crypto companies to shine bright like the great stars that they are.

Last but not least: Choosing the best crypto PR agency

A good way to find the right crypto PR agency is to ask the most experienced professionals in your blockchain network to refer you to the best crypto PR recruiters they know. You can also start by searching Google for the most successful ICOs campaigns and blockchain startups, and check which PR agency they worked with. Enter keywords, such as the crypto PR agency, bitcoin PR, best ICOs, and then hit “search.”

You should always define as clearly as possible what you are hoping to achieve from your PR crypto activities, what publications you wish to be featured on, and how much you’re asking your agency to do ahead of time. The second step is to find out whether your crypto PR agency matches your blockchain field of expertise: do they specialize in the entire tech industry, specific types of blockchain or just ICO PR campaigns? Most crypto PR agencies do it all, although some do not have experience promoting ICOs. On the other hand, some may only have ICO experience, but may be completely in the dark in regards to other tech subjects, which limits them in terms of strategy and media contacts.

Now that you’ve gotten to the end of this post, you are officially up to date in all things PR token related. Especially during the harsh crypto winter that we’ve faced in the past, it’s important to understand all the moving parts that are constantly changing in the blockchain space. If you are not sure you can do it alone, that’s where a great blockchain PR agency is here to help!