Today we will talk about the growing popularity of Bitcoin and how it makes this cryptocurrency an interesting marketing tool. We will also learn about four interesting recent cases of using cryptocurrencies in PR communications.
Burritos for bitcoin — a national restaurant chain launches a Burrito Day promotion
Many elements of blockchain technology can be extremely interesting marketing tools. For example, non-fungible tokens or large cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.
A popular fast-food chain Chipotle decided to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon and launched a special website “Burritos or Bitcoin” on April 1. The American fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill celebrated National Burrito Day by giving away 100 000 dollars in bitcoins.
Users had 10 attempts to guess a valid six-digit password and win one of three main prizes — each worth 25 000 dollars in bitcoin. Another 50 winners could receive 500 dollars in BTC each. And every participant could win a free burrito.
The PR company was inspired by a rather sad story of former Ripple CTO Stephen Thomas, who is also the founder and CEO of the web content monetization platform Coil and co-author of the Interledger blockchain payment protocol.
Thomas’s story gained popularity earlier this year when several major media outlets published numerous articles about him losing access to 7002 BTC. Nowadays, this amounts to more than 413 million dollars. Thomas’s private bitcoin key is locked on the encrypted IronKey flash drive, and he hasn’t been able to remember the password to open it. According to the latest information, Thomas has two more attempts left.
A very sad case.
Music school in Edinburgh will accept payments in cryptocurrency
Last week, on March 30, Morningside Music School in Edinburgh announced that it will begin accepting cryptocurrency from students as payment for tuition fees.
Morningside’s director Linda Boyd explained that they are striving to meet the modern needs of the school’s adult students, many of whom now work in the city’s developing fintech sector.
Since 2019, the fintech industry in Edinburgh has been on an upward trajectory. FinTech Scotland, which works in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh, recently received a 22.5-million-euro (30.9-million-dollar) grant to establish a Global Open Finance Center in the city in recognition of its status as a prominent national fintech cluster.
In reality, many small businesses are following the example of large enterprises and adding cryptocurrency as an alternative and quite viable payment method.
“Sometimes we use things like bitcoins to pay for school supplies, so we know how fast and easy it is, and we want our music students to be able to do the same,” said Linda Boyd.
And a Latvian airline now offers flights for Dogecoin and Ether
Cryptocurrency adoption is gaining momentum in a wide variety of industries, and especially in the travel and hospitality industry. A national telecom operator was one of the first to accept cryptocurrency payments back in 2014.
A Latvian national carrier is known as the first airline in the world to offer cryptocurrency payment options. Passengers can now pay for tickets using cryptocurrencies: Ether (ETH) and Dogecoin (DOGE). Other digital currencies accepted by the airline include Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and four stablecoins pegged to the US dollar: USD Coin (USDC), Binance USD (BUSD), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and Paxos Standard (PAX).
Commenting on the airline’s decision to expand supported crypto payment options, airBaltic’s CEO Martin Gauss said:
“As an innovative airline, we always strive to look for ways to improve the customer experience, starting with the booking process. Over the years, about 1000 customers have used this payment option. It may not sound like much, but it still offers passengers a unique payment option that is hard to find anywhere else.”
In addition to flights and bookings, the aviation industry is also adopting blockchain technology for a variety of uses. The need for digitalization in the face of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic also seems to have prompted more focus on the use of new technologies.
Why is the New Zealand Pension Fund allocating 5% to bitcoin?
One cannot ignore how quickly the flow of institutional investors entering the digital asset space is increasing. The New Zealand Wealth Funds Management followed the trend and created a retirement plan for 350 million dollars with 5% of assets allocated in Bitcoins.
James Gregor, a chief investment officer of New Zealand Funds Management, named “Bitcoin’s striking resemblance to gold” one of the main reasons for the decision.
His words will seem fair if you know the background of the decision.
New Zealand Fund Management first acquired Bitcoin in October 2020, when it was worth about 10 000 dollars. To complete the deal, the company had to make changes to a number of its internal documents and give permission to invest in cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin price reached over 61 000 dollars earlier this month, bringing KiwiSaver 6x profit in just five months. Although the price of bitcoins has dropped over the past week, the retirement fund is still making huge profits in bitcoins.
“If you’re happy to invest in gold, you can’t ignore bitcoins,” James shared with Stuff, a New Zealand news agency, adding that over the next five years, BTC will be used in more products from their subsidiary company KiwiSaver.
Gregor explained that KiwiSaver “is mainly built from traditional asset classes,” but noted that other opportunities are opening up. In the case of Bitcoin, this asset class can help “give people the best retirement they can get” by mixing currency assets.
Summary — bitcoin as a marketing tool
There is a rule in the world of cryptocurrencies — the more people talk about you, the more impression you make. And Bitcoin is no exception. It has become popular, in part due to the fact that this particular cryptocurrency is seen as one for potential widespread use in the corporate world.
And in today’s case studies, we have seen that Bitcoin-powered promotions can deliver high engagement rates at a low cost and in a short time.