How Financial Services Can Survive from the Massive Bitcoin Attack

December 12, 2017 / by Shiho Hashimoto Shiho Hashimoto

How Financial Services Can Survive from the Massive Bitcoin Attack

People are vigorously arguing about Bitcoin, especially on Twitter and Facebook. These platforms are rich sources of information on Bitcoin. 

But what’s really relevant and important for you?

If you are in the financial services sector, you’d better be prepared for a massive Bitcoin attack.

Current situation

On January 18th of this year, Business Insider reported the price of a Bitcoin to be $ 879.99. At the beginning of December, the price has climbed up to about $14.500, and it will keep changing dramatically at least until the first quarter of 2018.

Within about 11 months, the price has increased by 1547,7%. This presents a huge potential for investors to jump into the Bitcoin world. These investors believe that the future of Bitcoin (or cryptocurrency in general) might challenge the existence of orthodox fiat money.

One characteristic of Bitcoin is its limited supply (only 21 million Bitcoins is in circulation). It acts as a store of value like gold so that the government or central bank cannot print out more or change the value of any of them as they do to orthodox fiat money.

To get a Bitcoin, an independent Bitcoin miner can operate a special software on a powerful computer base to process complex mathematical algorithms. The miner has the right to own it after his successful mining. Also, he can purchase high-quality mining devices easily from the Internet or other supply sources. This increases the possibility of possessing a Bitcoin and leads to the decentralization of Bitcoin ownership. Eventually, governments and banks will not be the only players in the financial market.

Bitcoin is a new phenomenon for financial regulators, and they are now forced to conduct a serious study immediately. The study may take a while to define whether Bitcoins should be a legitimate trading instrument or not.

Meanwhile, the return rate of Bitcoin ascends at an insane speed that raises skepticism and doubts about a bubble manifestation similar to dotcom boom. So, despite the positive viewpoints of Dara Khosrowshahi (the new CEO of Uber), Bill Gates, or Kevin O'Leary (The chairman of O'shares ETF), many heads of leading banks such as Kasper Ahrndt Lorenzen (the Chief Investment Officer at ATP, Denmark) or Casper von Koskull (the CEO of Nordea AB) express their disagreement. Even Jamie Dimon, the chairman/ CEO of JPMorgan Chase (one of the biggest banks in the USA), has called Bitcoin as "a fraud."

Why is Bitcoin such a hot issue?

Bitcoin is a fantasy for those who are looking for freedom, privacy, and security in trading and wealth storage. People have been rumbling about this topic on social media in recent years, and it began to break out during the middle of 2017 when people noticed the rapid escalation of Bitcoin price. More people now wants a share of this pie that actually jeopardizes the profits of traditional financial service providers. Controversy has exploded.

How should financial institutions deal with Bitcoin phenomena?

Heated altercation related to Bitcoin has been occurring on social media. The conversation is likely to get bigger in scale because no one wants to miss the chance to earn more or to be cast out from the crowd psychologically. By monitoring the conversations on social media, you can get abundant information and speculations related to Bitcoin.

1. Follow the flow of the conversation

It’s important to monitor conversations related to Bitcoin across various social media platforms.

Whether you are for or against Bitcoin, you cannot avoid this topic anymore. Obtaining sufficient knowledge about Bitcoin is crucial. Controversial issues typically create new terms and ideas, which you can pick up from social media quickly by conducting trend analysis, and be on the forefront of these upcoming trends.

The deeper you understand Bitcoin's essential features, the less harm it may do to your business. By understanding the foundation and tracking trends of the conversations, you will be able to formulate proper perspective towards the issue at hand and a strategic roadmap for your team to overcome this overwhelming phenomenon.

2. Be specific about what you are monitoring

The amount of social conversations related to Bitcoin is massive, but it develops and divaricates into different directions. If you need to monitor discussions related to Bitcoin, the keyword #bitcoin is not enough. Here are some trending hashtags for you to follow:

#btc
#crypto
#cryptocurrency
#bubble
#coinbase
#ethereum

In addition to monitoring the discussions with specific keywords, it is also essential to monitor how your brand is being associated with the topic. If the existence of Bitcoin is affecting the business you are in, you should track social mentions about your brands and your employees, especially top-level executives.

Here is an example.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, which is one of the most powerful banks in the US, defined Bitcoin as "a fraud". What he got back is a tsunami of outrage from the Bitcoin supporters. As Bitcoin price keeps climbing, people mocked him with sarcastic words and photos.

 

 

Jamie Dimon is not the only victim Bitcoin supporters are targeting. Bitcoin supporters point the gun at the financial institution Jamie Dimon has been working for. They started digging up JPMorgan Chase’s historical scandals (London Whale and money laundering in Swiss case) to attack both the company’s and the CEO’s dignity.

 

 

 

People even mention #JPM in their posts, attacking JPMorgan Chase’s brand image.

 

 

You won’t be able to anticipate how and when an attack against your brand might happen, but you can still prepare yourself with sufficient data to tackle any negative incidents on social media immediately if you continuously monitor conversations related to your brand and your social influencers (who can also be your top-level executives in the company).

3. Measuring the sentiment towards Bitcoin topic

Is Bitcoin a joke? No one seems to be sure yet.

Are opinions of financial and technological luminaries, such as Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, or Elon Musk, credible to listen to? Yes, they are. But, it’s just not enough. The public's opinion matters greatly as well.

You don't need to read through every single tweet or post related to Bitcoin. What you need to determine is the overall sentiment of the whole netizens who actively participate to this conversation. The high fluctuation rate of the sentiment analysis indicates whether most Bitcoin investors make decisions based on speculation or not. Long-term and regular sentiment tracking will give you precise indication whether Bitcoin is a bubble case or not. If it seems to be a bubble case, you just need to stay stable and try to protect your brand. If it turns out to be a potential, you will have a chance to become a pioneer who projects and offers services related to trading Bitcoin in the future.  

4. Be careful with what you say

If you are a financial service provider, Bitcoin has direct influence on your business. People are hungry for any feed on this topic at the moment. So, any of your utterance on social media related to Bitcoin will receive a massive amount of engagement. This is a good opportunity for your brand to gain some awareness.

But, before posting anything on social media, you need to think carefully whether what you say would hurt your brand image or not.

One of the foreseeable problems is related to the speed of sharing on social media. A single post can go viral within a very short time. Whether you are speaking for or against Bitcoin, people will listen during this controversial period. But what might happen when the whole picture becomes clearer?. For example, if you support the investment into Bitcoin but its price drops drastically as the bubble bursts, people will doubt your professionalism and qualification. Pleading their sympathy is impossible because they are losing money then. You will lose their trust as an individual as well as hurt the brand image of the financial institution you are working for. If you can bear that risk, go right on ahead and participate actively to the discussions.

If you are unsure about the fate of Bitcoins, you can be silent or then express your thoughts with a neutral sentiment on social media. You should keep on tracking and monitoring the Bitcoin discussions and see in which direction it develops.

Feel ready to go social already now?

In order to efficiently monitor trends related to Bitcoins, make sure you have a high-quality social media analytics service in place. Relevant and accurate data will help you formulate your future marketing strategy, not only to avoid attacks on your business but to also jump on the trending wagon before your competitors do.

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Tags: Brands, Marketing, Social Analytics, Social Media, Social Media Consultation, Brand Ambassadors, Brand Insight, Brand Management, Communication, Crisis Management, Big Data, Sentiment Analysis, Social Listening, Brand Visibility Metrics, Trend Tracking, Audience Response, Social Media Alerts, Landscape Tracking, Social Media Monitoring, Brand Health Index

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