Proponents of bitcoin in Hong Kong are openly challenging the established financial order by running an advertising campaign to persuade the territory’s residents to swap their bank accounts for hardware wallets. The Bank of China HK, HSBC and Standard Chartered HK now have prominent bitcoin advertising situated in front of their headquarters saying, “Be Your Own Bank.”
Since its founding in 2012, the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, which has about 5,000 members, has been one of the most active local bitcoin communities. From September 11, the organization will be using donations to pay for advertising space to highlight “the risks and merits of bitcoin.”
Leo Weese, co-founder of the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong, told Bitcoin Magazine, “The goal is mainly to kickstart a conversation around the merits of bitcoin, especially in the context of the ongoing economic challenges. I think the beauty of it is that it is not a company advertisement, but instead purely focused on bitcoin itself, as a disruptive technology, a hedge against inflation and as a means for financial inclusion.”
The campaign has five main messages drawing attention to bitcoin’s potential as a catalyst for change. Featured in the messages are quotes from Internet pioneer Stewart Brand and FCC Commissioner TAM Craven, as well as phrases highlighting bitcoin’s strengths.
At the bottom of each advertising panel is the message: “Disclaimer: Your Bitcoin are your responsibility. There will be no bailouts or quantitative easing. Bitcoin transactions are irreversible. Not suitable for money laundering.”
When asked about the reaction to the campaign, Weese told Bitcoin Magazine, “There is no pushback yet, the advertising company was a bit worried we might be pushing an investment but they would have been satisfied with adding a disclaimer as well. The ads were put together in just two weeks from inception, fundraising, design and deployment.”
The campaign, which runs until October 8, has generated a buzz on Twitter.