From a visual identity standpoint, the brands of cryptocurrencies are a fascinating area. Just as the technology is decentralized, so too are the brands; they’re writhing ideas, passed around the rhizome of the web, being modified, muddled, mixed, and memed along the way. There is no central authority who issues marketing collateral on behalf of bitcoin. There are no brand guidelines for ethereum or litecoin. They’re blank slates, filled in by user-generated rhetoric and mythology. These are truly decentralized brands. And for the future of money, this represents a fascinating time of transition into Human self-perception. The technology, the brands, the touch points of currency; all the rules are being written as we go, into the unknown.
The chatter and the memes that surround the future of money are not facile; they’re the clearest expression of internet Humanity’s perception of money, hope, gambling, wealth creation, sovereignty and the meaning of life. Of course, this is exactly what the branding of money makes reference to.
Mixing cash and cryptocurrency appears to be like mixing oil and water. Cash is a fading public utility, whilst cryptocurrency is the digital savior. Why would anyone mix or hybridize the two? Well, cash has some unique, irreplaceable properties that cryptocurrency cannot replicate…
MONEY AS A BRAND
The most powerful aspect of cash is its physicality. Physical currency is a fundamental touch point in money’s brand. The concrete feeling of ownership, and the quality of cash production instill trust in a currency, and the institutions that issue it.
TRUST VS TRUSTLESS
Cryptocurrency is the digital savior – it removes the requirement for trust and replaces it with verification. This is brilliant in its own context, but as soon as cryptocurrency interacts with the ‘real world’, it must obey the same laws of branding as everything else: we still need to ‘buy in’ to the idea of a cryptocurrency in order to feel secure in using it. Despite the trustless nature of crypto, this ‘buy in’ is created from a foundation of trust. Enter banknote production…
AESTHETICS AND SECURITY
Banknote production falls within a larger industry known as ‘security document printing’. This highly specialized form of print design has been built to blend aesthetics with security, to create trust in the user. The purpose of ‘paper with pretty pictures on’ is to perfectly merge pleasing visual design and celebratory imagery, with print technology that protects brands.
TRUE SOVEREIGN MONEY
Cryptocurrency is marketed as sovereign money. Indeed, the parallels between crypto and precious metals have been well articulated. But a key ingredient of sovereign money is privacy. Cryptocurrency suffers from total transparency in this regard. On the other hand, cash is unbeaten for facilitating face-to-face, private trade, with or without wifi coverage.
THE MISSING PIECE
We’ve taken our technical security print know-how and our artistic originality, and blended it with patented technology that allows unhackable, individuated cryptocurrency to be held on a hardware wallet, and used in a similar way to cash: cash-like cryptocurrency.
This technology is unprecedented in the cash and card industry. When combined with security document printing, we can create a retail-facing crypto storage solution that leaves nobody behind. There are no transaction fees with cash – our cash-like hardware wallet is off-chain.
This hardware wallet can be verified at any time with an NFC capable Smartphone. And yet, without wifi, it is able to function purely as cash.
This unique product is only possible through patented technology, mixed with superior print knowledge and art direction.