Leveraging the Lightning Network for branding? Is that even possible? Voltage, a bitcoin infrastructure provider, makes a great case for it. Granted, their “Identity and brand on the Lightning Network” article is in itself a branding effort by the company. That doesn’t mean the information it contains is invalid, though. In fact, they probably hit the nail on the head with this one.

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The company’s CEO, Graham Krizek, is the piece’s author. “One of the interesting things about the Lightning Network is that you as a node operator have a “billboard” (an alias) with which to advertise your node. The alias is a human-readable, and changeable value that people interacting with your node can see,” he says going straight to the point. The other factor here is time. Companies that start their branding efforts now will reap the most benefits in the future.

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Let’s let Voltage explain what their thesis is about:

“The Lightning Network is still in the Innovator to Early Adopter phase of the Adoption S-Curve.  Despite rapid growth, participants continue to have a unique opportunity to use minimal effort to capture a large potential upside in value. The creation of a node in under 2 minutes allows companies and individuals to have a stake in the Lightning Network and leverage this to build differentiating brands.”

The keywords here are “minimal effort” and “under 2 minutes,” but don’t let Voltage fool you. Spinning up a node might be an easy and low-cost branding endeavor. Your company will have to keep it up forever to earn the trust it’s looking for, though. 

Branding Over Time And Space

The fact of the matter is this: if bitcoin becomes what it’s supposed to be, the companies that supported the network from the beginning will get a big branding boost. 

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“As a decentralized network with public accountability, the simple act of broadcasting your alias allows for a compounding effect of time on the value of trust. A strong brand relies on consistent and honest performance over time. Running a node permits you to build that brand and immediately illustrate dedication to customer security, customer privacy, Bitcoin, and a long time preference.” 

All of this is nice and makes sense, but there’s something missing. The biggest alpha in the whole Voltage article is only slightly related to branding. It’s a sneaky piece of information that makes all the sense in the world.

“This brand display on the Lightning Network is a passive and effective means of showing support for Bitcoin. As the cryptocurrency space continues to grow more muddled and diverse, having a public statement in support of any one coin can become divisive. Running a node on the Lightning Network does not require any words to be spoken or any announcement to be made.”

Some companies can’t afford to be bitcoin-only, and that’s ok. However, if you want to avoid divisiveness, actions speak louder than words. Spin up that node and make a silent statement. The people in the know will hear your message loud and clear. That’s branding for you.

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Early Adopters Building Trust

As we told you, the other factor here is time. “Strong brands require the humbling reality that time in the public eye building trust is the key to success. Early adopters compound this value of time to dominate a market,” Voltage says. Spinning up a node is the easy part, to earn the trust to open channels with other nodes takes time and effort. As all branding does. 

“Time-building trust within this network compounds through the availability of capital allocation. The Lightning Network rewards time and the building of trust by increasing the amount of traffic through the establishment of more channels. Rewards that leverage the network effect weigh the value of time heavily.”

In any case, one thing’s for sure: the time to act is now. For most companies, the Lightning Network is uncharted territory. It could become the primary way to send value over the bitcoin network, though. “The tremendous upside potential of building a strong brand in this uncongested space comes at the low expense of creating a node and capitalizing on time,” Voltage says. 

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It might make sense for your brand to claim terrain in the Lightning Network, in case it catches on.

Featured Image by Keila Hötzel on Unsplash | Charts by TradingView