ZapChain’s Speaker of the Week: Anthony Di Iorio

Anthony Di Iorio wins this week for his answers on marketing sources for bitcoin companies, the fate of industry conferences, and ways to do more for bitcoin.

Anthony Di Iorio, executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, tells about Toronto's first bitcoin ATM. Photo: Erica Rae Chong/YouTube

Anthony Di Iorio, executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada, tells about Toronto's first bitcoin ATM. Photo: Erica Rae Chong/YouTube

ZapChain is a cool bitcoin and altcoin-focused community-based website founded by Forbes 30 Under 30 two-timer Matt Schlicht. The site features a range of Q&A topics, all asked and answered by the virtual currency community. We consider the voices and opinions shared on ZapChain to be some of the most intrinsically valuable to the virtual currency landscape, and so every week our editorial team picks the most interesting and notable voice of the past 7 days to trend on the ZapChain!

 This week’s winner is Anthony Di Iorio for his great answers on the site concerning the bitcoin’s current marketing and publicity status. Anthony is founder of Decentral, co-founder of the Ethereum Project, Kryptokit and RushWallet, executive director of the Bitcoin Alliance of Canada (BAC) and founding member of the Global Bitcoin Alliance (GBA).

Below are highlights to Anthony’s Q&A contributions over the past week along with our own view here at CoinSpeaker:

At last count, there were something like two or three dozen Bitcoin conferences just over the last 12 months. Do you think there are too many Bitcoin conferences?

Anthony’s Answer: I wouldn’t say there are too many conferences although globally it does seem like there are a couple each month. The benefit of having many conferences are that locals in the cities they are being held in can attend without having to travel. What I think we’re going to see happen in the next few years is a couple conference companies will own the global market. It looks like Inside Bitcoins is the largest player and will continue to expand there events. The North America Bitcoin Conference also puts on a great show doing a few a year.

The conferences I’m most enthused about are the community run events. The last Latin America Bitcoin Conference in Argentina was phenomenal as was the Bitcoin Expo in Toronto. With Argentina considering how relevant the rise of bitcoin is to that country, its those events have have the most energy and are the ones I would definitely recommend attending. The Toronto event The Bitcoin Expo in Toronto which was run as a non-profit event with tens of thousands raised that went back to the non-profit Bitcoin Alliance of Canada.

I’m super excited about the Brazil conference this year in December, being run by people who organized the Argentina event.

CoinSpeaker’s Answer: As long as there are paying attendees, an industry can never have “too many” conferences! Conferences are a sign of a blossoming industry with lots of customers eager to pay for the chance to engage, network and interact with other like-minded participants. As far as value networks are concerned, that’s a great thing!

That said, we know of a number of conference organizers who are running a loss-leader situation – which is to say, companies that are taking a loss this year on a conference in order to position themselves and/or their publications at the forefront of the bitcoin revolution. This is having the effect of pushing up costs (via lowering revenue) for the bitcoin conference community as a whole. When it’s all said and done, how long all the various organizers stay in the game may well come down to how deep their pockets are.

What is the best way to do marketing in the bitcoin industry?

Anthony’s Answer: I’m finding there is a severe lack of quality marketing outlets in the space. In the print realm there is YBitcoin and Bitcoin Magazine. I’ve used both but am not convinced the ROI makes it worthwhile although I’m more partial to YBitcoin than Bitcoin Magazine. We’ve run ads on Let’s talk Bitcoin and have been happy with the results. Conference booths and sponsorship can be hit and miss. Reddit advertising on r/bitcoin is now near impossible as its perpetually booked. Some of the best free advertising seems to come from getting on the top page or Reddit. If you’ve got the cash consider hiring a firm such as SocialRadius to handle PR and Social Media outreach. If you want to keep it in house try to find a social media / marketing rock star with expertise in the space. Very difficult to find though.

CoinSpeaker’s Answer: We couldn’t agree more with Mr. Di Iorio here: quality marketing outlets are far and few between. We hear this the whole time from companies in the bitcoin space looking to translate adspend into customers. This is mostly because the industry is still run by a bunch of tech developers and college kids, neither of which has cut their teeth in any real way on tough real-world marketing jobs for mid-size brands looking to make it in oversaturated markets (such as mobile telco products): this is the only way you get any good at marketing. There’s an opportunity for the right team here right now, for sure.

Instead of talking about what bitcoin can do for us, what can YOU do for bitcoin?

Anthony’s Answer:

1. Find out about bitcoin.
2. Spend sleepless weeks devouring all the Bitcoin info you can.
3. Get involved in the local btc community by joining / starting /attending meetups.
4. Realize your job sucks and that you’d rather be doing something in the Bitcoin space.
5. Get it in your head that you want to do Bitcoin full time.
6. Quit your job and follow your passion.
7. Start a bitcoin business or 10.

CoinSpeaker’s Answer: Why not tell us how publishers and editors – that includes all of us, from the mighty to the indy – in the bitcoin space can do more in the comments below?

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