$MEGA Sells, But Who's Buying?
When entertainment-plus-crypto hits the so-called “real world," a Kafka novel ensues.
Let me start by saying, this newsletter is not about poking other communicators and marketers in the ribs and taunting them with the seven words that can kill a movement, as Bob Metcalfe once put it:
“You just don’t get it, do you?”
We had enough of that kind of nonsense during the Web 2.0, social media era. Fact is, everyone is in the learning game. Even the so-called “experts.” And, yes, even the inexplicably popular Don LaPre of marketing. (Okay… He gets a poke in the ribs. Because reasons.)
$MEGA is the official cryptocurrency of Megadeth and our community.
By buying, holding, and transacting with $MEGA, fans will gain access to exclusives and premium benefits. Cyber Army members that also hold $MEGA will unlock additional exclusives, access, and offers.
Premium and Digital CYBER ARMY members automatically get some free $MEGA. If you’re a Premium or Digital member, click the buttons below for details on how to get your free $MEGA.
Whether you do this with the so-hot-right-now NFTs or mint some kind of currency as Megadeth has done, the possibilities (practical and otherwise) for influencer marketing are intriguing. Imagine a world where:
There’s a secondary market for $MEGA as a measure of brand value
There’s a $MEGA/$SLAYER trading pair, or even a $MEGA/$WEEKND one.
People ask themselves “Do I spend dollars or $MEGA on this?”
Megadeth asks “Are $MEGA perks too generous? Not generous enough?”
Dave Mustaine’s accountant frets about unclaimed $MEGA parked in the “liability” column.
The topic of crypto in loyalty programs has been amply discussed, of course. Every so often, one still hears about Dubai’s desire for an Emirate-wide loyalty coin. This newsletter might revisit the topic at another time.
But the issue, as it so often is, comes down to the user experience. To participate in $MEGA, this is what I had to do:
Get an account on megadeth.com, as I wasn’t already a member. I opted for the free tier, which entitled me to two free $MEGA. Not bad, I guess.
Get an account on Bonfire, which is managing the token allocation/delivery.
"Connect Wallet?" Sure. I'm thinking "I've got Metamask like everyone else in crypto, so I should be alright."
"Do you have a Rally account?" WHAT!?! Okay, fine. I go through the KYC/AML (“know-your-customer / anti-money laundering”) and mandatory two-factor authentication gauntlet.
Rally wants my Ethereum address? I generate a new one.
Getting out of that by the skin o’ my teeth and after all of this symphony of privacy destruction (three accounts on three services I didn’t really want in the first place), I only received one of my two promised $MEGA!
A breach of trust...
I chronicle this train of consequences, not to say that Megadeth’s handlers are bad at their jobs but to highlight the exact opposite. I think they should be recognized for pushing the marketing envelope the best they could given the constraints that they were under. Their lawyers were more than likely sweating bullets over the whole thing.
My beef is with the absolutely insane, crazy-quilt regulation that more than likely forced that crazy patchwork of accounts, services, and handoffs. It’s a situation worthy of Mustaine’s famous anti-authoritarian lyrics, rants, and outbursts.
This is perhaps underscored by the list of countries that are not allowed on the Rally platform, since they are not supported by their payment processor Bridge Out. (Yet another groupie on this tour bus.)
Angry again, I find that these banned jurisdictions fall into four categories:
The BRICs — Brazil, Russia, India and China
A Mount Rushmore of human rights violators, including Central African Republic, North Korea, and Myanmar
Some unfortunate inclusions — Singapore, Japan, and South Korea
New York State
I’m sure the discussion started with “Let’s mint a token,” worked backward from there, and arrived at the above. I sympathize, of course. I work on a project that is more quality- and compliance-focused than its notional peer set. Sometimes that means we to have to take the long way. So be it.
But so long as we try to govern the digital future based on rules written to restrain early 20th century robber barons, it’s hard to see how innovation in this space won’t wake up dead if rulemakers have anything to say about it. The threat is real.
“A Penny Ahead” is for marketing, communications, and media professionals are are serious about their careers and are also so much MORE than their careers. We feature tech and crypto, but also culture and art. Ask “The Mad Attic Mailbag” at phil[dot]gomes[at][alphabet subsidiary email service]. Subscribe!
TECH: “Scientists Unveiled the World’s First Living Robots Last Year. Now, They Can Reproduce,” Smithsonian Mag (2021) — It’s not keeping me up at night, but there’s a nanometer-wide gap between this and “grey goo.”
TECH: “In 1997, Wired Magazine Predicts 10 Things That Could Go Wrong in the 21st Century: ‘An Uncontrollable Plague,’ Climate Crisis, Russia Becomes a Kleptocracy & More,” OpenCulture (2021) — So… How are we doin’, two decades in? They got a lot right, here.
LEGAL: “Lina Khan’s Battle to Rein in Big Tech,” New Yorker (2021) — About eight years ago, I attended a hearing convened by the Federal Trade Commission. Two big takeaways among many: 1) the agency doesn’t have to prove an intent to deceive in order to prosecute, and 2) the agency has successfully prosecuted businesses where maybe five percent of consumers exposed to the content misunderstood any disclosures. (By way of comparison, I can probably convince five percent of my city block that contrails emit mind-control gasses.) It’s worth paying attention to where this commission is headed, recognizing that monopolies very often are rendered less-powerful without the government’s help.
Don’t lie. You’ve dreamt about doing this for decades.