Vanity Awards: The Latest Deception in the Crypto Industry
Every year, companies around the world release lists that document their favorite entrepreneurs, companies, or industry trends that they’ve experienced throughout the year. In any industry you look at, you’ll be able to find a range of awards that people in that sector work for. The most visible awards are based in entertainment, with millions of people tuning in each year to see who won an Oscar, Tony, or Video Music Award.
Yet, in the world of business, yearly awards are even more common. Nowadays, it seems like every company site you visit has a litany of awards that they’ve won, often from establishments that don’t exactly ring a bell. The further you dive into this field, the more the inconsistencies start to show.
Vanity awards are awards that an individual or a company will buy, using their money to earn a spot on the list and use that for marketing purposes. Vanity awards are truly everywhere, with this occurring across multiple industries. Most recently, one industry has stood out as truly next level when it comes to vanity awards – cryptocurrency and blockchain.
While many of the pursuits within the blockchain industry are reputable, some people take advantage of the lack of regulation within this sector to push the boundaries. Not only are people buying awards for their companies, but they’re even creating false lists and award schemes just to create fraudulent social proof for their customers.
While this happens in many industries – Forbes 30 under 30 notably being a list that people can buy their way onto – it’s now reaching an alarming status in blockchain. In this article, we’ll dive into why companies create or buy these awards, as well as pointing out exactly how you can spot the real from the fake.
Why Have Vanity Awards Become Popular in Blockchain?
As an industry, blockchain has never lacked public attention. However, what it has lacked is public trust, with the notorious history of cryptocurrency scams having scared the industry’s public perception. Blockchain companies have to work much harder to win the trust of their audience, especially considering that their products are often routed in decentralized financial systems.
In order to gain more trust, many new blockchain companies turn directly to awards. As younger companies, they probably don’t have the required history or impact to win industry awards. So, instead, they turn to buying or creating fake awards to give themselves. Vanity awards allow them to put a seemingly impressive accolade on their website.
From there, when a new customer arrives on their webpage, they’re fooled into thinking the company is more trustworthy than they actually are. This form of false social proof is rampant in blockchain, with companies wanting to skip the arduous process of building real trust and transparency with their audience.
What To Look for in Blockchain Awards
In order to work out which cryptocurrency awards are accolades that companies have won based on merit rather than through marketing, there are a number of factors you should be aware of. As blockchain is still a fairly young industry, there isn’t the same level of industry award renown as other industries.
For example, in certain sectors, award bodies have been giving out the same prize for so many years that that award has now become a cultural currency. On a large scale, a prize like the Nobel Prize falls into this category. Due to the longevity of the award, its authenticity is traceable.
In blockchain, there isn’t a similar history of longevity. Most prizes are still young, having only been founded a few years ago at max. With this in mind, the amount of years that an awards body has given out a prize isn’t necessarily the first thing you should look at. Instead, take stock of:
- The Institution Name – Does the institution have a name that’s big in the industry or recognizable?
- The Prize Pool Recipients – Look at recipients of the prize from past years, is there any pattern?
- Longlist rounds – Is the prize announced overnight or is there a documented journey of different rounds and longlist contenders?
By focusing on these factors, you’re able to rapidly see which companies have simply bought or created awards from themselves. A great example of a company that has won awards through merit and displays that information is StormGain. On their site, you can see awards from World Finance and other major publications.
With a verifiable history behind these prizes, you’re able to certify their reputability and trust in the award to a greater extent.
Vanity awards aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, as a powerful marketing tactic, we’ll probably see even more of this strategy over the coming years. However, in YM;YL industries like health and finance, readers need to know how to discern the real from the bought. By using the pointers outlined in this article, you’ll have a much more comprehensive understanding of the markers to look out for.
Next time you come across an award, be sure to stop and check its validity before taking it at face value. Even if the award seems real, there will always be markers or a paper trail that you can attempt to follow. If you discover that a business is forging their awards, they’re probably not a blockchain company you should consider working with any time soon.