It’s no surprise that most people automatically think “Bitcoin” and have no idea that there are actually hundreds of different Cryptocurrency companies on the market today. The responses I got were overwhelmingly geared towards the negative reputation that burdens the space, and the last couple of week’s rollercoaster news doesn’t help.
For some, the controversial imagery of the Silk Road, the Dark Web, and ICO scams is all that comes to mind when they hear the word Cryptocurrency, while those in the know are cashing in. If your business is part of the Cryptocurrency wave that has taken the world by tsunamic force, then you are probably already aware of the stigma that follows your brand.
Much like the Cannabis business, the Crypto Collective has been a historically misunderstood albeit a relatively new industry. A lot of this is the result of negative incidents being blasted all over the media, people’s inherent fears of what they don’t understand, and a whole industry trying to suppress a threat to their revenue.
“The industry does a terrible job of explaining itself,” wrote Connie Yang, Coinbase’s former director of design.
Why is this the norm, and what can you do to change it?
Crypto design trends
When I looked at the design trends of the Cryptocurrency industry what I found was a lot of black backgrounds, neon donut charts, and Guilloché-style matrices. I’m not trying to bash the industry as a whole; there are definitely some trendsetters in the space, but most follow this stylistic blueprint that makes them feel like the dark stigma that they are trying to dispel.
There are insurmountable hurdles when trying to generate trust, security, transparency, and credibility, especially for Crypto start-ups. What do you want the collective Crypto future to look like?
What can your brand do to rise above the industry’s reputation?
There is no simple answer but you can start by utilizing solid design principles and identify what the forward-moving vision of your brand looks like.
There has to be a balance between being digestible to the average-Joe consumer while still being appealing to the seasoned Crypto sommelier. I know it sounds easier said than done, but do yourself a favor and get design help. → → →
Though Cryptocurrency is a wonderfully disruptive and transformational alternative to traditional, government-led banking, the industry needs an industrial-strength deep-clean. Design that continues to feed into the piracy reputation, hacker-themed visualizations and black backgrounds have got to go.
In order to move away from the “Pirates of the Currency” image, the industry should visualize its future and focus on adoption, education, and trust instead of its perceived conspiracy theory origins.
Is Crypto Crippled by Corona
Say that 3 times fast. Even after some extremely volatile weeks, Crypto prophets seem optimistic. Maybe it’s because newbies will jump at the idea to get in on the market while it is at lows not seen since the early days of the industry. Or maybe it’s less likely that catastrophic sell-offs will continue. Either way, I believe crypto will make its climb back to the top of the roller coaster track.
In the meantime, my advice follows that of the great Warren Buffett: “… Be Greedy When Others Are Fearful” That is to say, invest in amping up your brand and overall design to be better positioned to take advantage of the upswing that is destined to follow.
This, like many other difficult times, will pass, but when it does, be prepared to come out on the other side stronger. Get rid of the idea that Crypto has to be in the dark ages of design and focus on the future.