Amid a Brutal Bear Market, Firms are Shying Away from Using Crypto Word

As the bear market persists, crypto terms have become dirty words due to the crash

For many years, attracting attention to your company could have been as simple as adding a crypto-y word to your name or publicizing new cryptocurrency-related initiatives from Long Island Iced Tea Corp.’s infamous 2017 decision to rebrand itself as Long Blockchain Corp which sent its stock soaring to big-name.

Companies touting Web3 and NFT (non-fungible token) initiatives, and yelling about your crypto credentials was a surefire way to generate buzz. However, during a brutal yearlong bear market, even bitcoin miners, who continue to play a critical role in powering the largest cryptocurrency, are refraining from using crypto terms. It’s a sign that the scandals and massive investment losses have taken their toll, and it suggests that much more work is needed for crypto to reach mainstream adoption. There’s a general desire by companies to distance themselves from the recent crypto bubble, D.A. Davidson analyst Chris Brendler said. “It makes dealing with more traditional financial institutions easier.”

The crypto name problem is especially acute for crypto miners because they require a large amount of capital and thus must appeal to outside investors. Some have dropped the term “blockchain” from their names. For example, Riot Blockchain Inc., one of the largest publicly traded bitcoin mining companies, changed its name to Riot Platforms Inc. (RIOT) last week and described itself as an “increasingly diversified business.” In 2022, its stock had fallen 75%. In November, Applied Blockchain Inc., a miner, and data center operator, was renamed Applied Digital Corp. (APLD).

The company said in a statement that the refreshed name more accurately reflects the company’s mission, services, and broader business offerings to serve customers who require large amounts of computing power for applications. Its stock dropped 92% last year. It’s not just miners who are unhappy with crypto terminology. This week, the CEO of Jump Crypto, one of the world’s largest crypto trading firms, tweeted about the potential need to avoid certain key terms. The words cryptocurrency and smart contracts have set the industry back quite a bit, Jump Crypto’s president, Kanav Kariya, tweeted.

Panelists at different sessions at CES 2023, a tech trade show in Las Vegas held this month, expressed enthusiasm for the potential of the metaverse but were less enthusiastic about industry terms. Brian Weiner, CEO of entertainment industry ad and marketing firm The Illusion Factory, said he was stepping away from the term “NFT” and using “digital collectibles” instead because of the negativity associated with NFTs. During his appearance on a panel whose description included the term “NFTs,” he stated that the goal was to “dejargonize” the technology and focus on the experience rather than how it works.

During another CES panel, “Metaverse Media Leadership,” Ted Shilowitz, futurist for Paramount Global, stated that while he is “very pro and very bullish on Web3, blockchain underpinnings,” he is “very negative about the terminology of the metaverse,” even claiming that the term’s inventor, Neal Stephenson, “will agree [that] the terminology has replaced the reality of what’s going on.”


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