Cryptos: Winklevoss twins’ Gemini ad campaign hopes to ignite the ‘people’s movement’

If you live in New York City, your eyes probably glaze over subway ads offering mattress discounts or taxi tops promoting various drinking establishments.

But those taking note over the past few days would have noticed a newcomer: Gemini, the cryptocurrency exchange founded in 2014 by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. The company rolled out a number of ads on subway cars, taxi tops, bus stops and even took out a full-page ad in the New York Times.

On Tuesday, the twins continued to spread the news, taking to the streets of the Big Apple with a bit of promotion and a little education. “It’s truly a bit of both,” said Chris Roan, head of marketing at Gemini, when asked if it was a marketing campaign or for educational purposes. “This is the first big campaign and we felt it was important to tell a story about the company, but also address what the retail investor is thinking.”

Read: Winklevoss twins want you to imagine a day when your money works as easily as email

The opaque digital-currency industry has struggled with branding as it attempts to appeal to the wider masses. On one side, staunch detractors attack its flaws, such as security and criminal use, while the libertarian-leaning maximalists argue the technology needs no branding, much like it needs no central authority given its decentralized nature. A disagreement that may have fueled the slogan on the side of the Gemini bus: “Crypto without chaos.”

But with crypto adoption on the rise, albeit slowly, the company said it needs to be ready when the masses come. “It’s the people’s movement,” said Roan. “It’s going to mature so we have to get out there and hear their concerns, like security and other consumer protection. We feel we are on the right track.”

According to Carolyn Vadino, head of communications at Gemini, if New Yorkers are the bellwether, then mass adoption isn’t too far away. “The interesting thing I found was that the people we talked to had heard of us but didn’t know how to approach crypto. ‘I’m really interested but I don’t know how to do it,’ they would say” said Vadino.

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss are two of bitcoin’s biggest bulls. The pair believe bitcoin

BTCUSD, +0.46%

 will one day be a better store of value than gold, and that a single coin could be worth as much as $320,000.

Read: Winklevoss: If you can’t see bitcoin at $320,000, you just lack imagination

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Aaron Hankin is a MarketWatch reporter in New York who covers cryptocurrency and financial markets.

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