The Blockchain Bandwagon – 4 Companies That Jumped Aboard
At BitShouts we’re firm believers in the power that blockchain technology has in revolutionising many industries across the globe. However, just because blockchain technology has the ability to do good, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t those out there who are happy to jump on the blockchain bandwagon without much need for it, to try to reap the rewards of publicity. Here are 4 companies which took advantage of the blockchain trend – with varying results.
1. Mine Your Teeth
So, how does blockchain help with a toothbrush? Great question, where the simple answer is: “it doesn’t”. However, that hasn’t stopped Chinese company 32Teeth from trying. The toothbrush is loaded with sensors that keep track of how well users have cleaned their teeth, and if they tend to miss any particular areas, as well as an augmented reality function which gives you a closer look at the inside of your mouth. Of course, blockchain isn’t needed for any of this.
Users are “rewarded” for brushing their teeth with more than a guilt-free smile – they get paid in AYA coins for staying on top of their dental hygiene; these can then be used for a discount on other discounts as well as dental procedures. This isn’t to say that this system is bad, but it’s simply nothing that a traditional system of “points” wouldn’t be able to pull off, with no blockchain or crypto connection whatsoever.
2. Exercise And Earn
“Get ripped or die mining”. Ignoring the slightly ominous slogan, Fitcoin was all about bringing crypto and fitness together. Users could launch the app and perform certain workouts when connected to their fitness tracking devices, and would subsequently be rewarded in Fitcoin, which you could sell on exchanges or buy sports gear with directly. The idea isn’t all bad – incentivising fitness by rewarding users is a nice concept. Unfortunately, mining is traditionally an incredibly time and energy consuming process. The amounts gained at the time were in the cents rather than dollars, though there is the chance that those tiny sums earned have turned into little chunks of change by now – at least if exchanged into Bitcoin at the time, as the coin is now trading at multiples lower than its all time high and sections of the site appear to have died an untimely death. Maybe they were just ahead of their time.
3. Liquid Name Changes
Long Island Iced Tea Corp. decided that 2017 hadn’t been crazy enough, so in that spirit changed their name to Long Blockchain Corp. This was claimed to be part of an effort to pursue alternate revenue streams for the company, including the alleged future purchase of 1000 Bitcoin mining machines (which is no longer happening), while still handling drinks production through their subsidiary Long Island Brand Beverages LLC.
This story would already be a strange one, but gets even stranger when you hear that this move led to the company’s shares increasing by up to 500% before settling at just over 200% up – not bad for a rename. Long Island weren’t the only to try this – Bioptix renaming to Riot Blockchain being another. Business Insider covered several of these renames and their associated stock increases. Once they caught wind, the SEC gave a stern warning to companies not to pursue these avenues if they’re just intended as “investor bait”, though they didn’t call out any particular offenders.
4. Bacon On The Blockchain
We can get behind this one – if only because we have a slightly unhealthy obsession with bacon. Oscar Mayer spotted an opportunity in the form of marketing gold when they launched their so-called “Bacoin“. Every BACN is tied to a certain number of slices of Oscar Mayer Bacon, which, over the course of the few days that we observed, fluctuated between 12 and 1 slices – mirroring the volatility of the real crypto markets quite closely. Bacoins can actually be traded for coupons which can be used to buy real slices of Oscar Mayer Bacon, giving them more utility than the other projects on this list, but that’s not to say that this isn’t a gimmick – just a respectably savvy marketing ploy of a gimmick.
These kind of projects are likely just the start, and as the technology finds increasing real-world utility and adoption we’re bound to see a lot more companies jumping on the blockchain bandwagon. All in all though, it can be seen as a somewhat positive development – brands wouldn’t be trying to incorporate blockchain tech and faux cryptocurrencies into their products if there wasn’t an overall climbing interest in the space.