A consultant is someone who saves his client almost enough to pay his fee.
– Arnold H. Glasow, American author and businessman
If you do a Google search for “blockchain consulting,” it will turn up nearly 50,000 results. A large number of them appear as ads; Google puts paid placements at the top of the page. Therefore, it’s clear that there’s some pretty hot competition in a crowded market.
Blockchain consulting is a very broad term. What does a blockchain consultant actually do? Well, because the term is so vague, we’ve done some digging to try and find out.
What we’ve discovered is that a blockchain consulting firm can perform a wide variety of tasks. Here, we dive into the world of blockchain consultancy to see the kind of value they bring to the space.
1. Marketing and PR
Marketing and PR is by far the most common service offered by blockchain consulting firms. For a blockchain startup, the value of a powerful marketing strategy cannot be underestimated. After all, an ICO or STO depends on attracting enough people to your platform who believe in your project and are willing to part with their cash to support you in bringing your product to the market.
A blockchain consulting firm specializing in marketing and PR could provide a range of services, starting with developing a marketing and branding strategy, down to managing the day to day marketing activities for an ICO/STO. These tasks include:
- Writing a white paper
- Designing and building a website
- Managing social media campaigns
- Writing press releases and finding publications willing to cover them
- Organizing airdrops
- And many, many more
Within the blockchain space, marketing has almost become a dirty word due to the number of scams such as CTR coin or USI Tech. For that reason, channels such as Facebook and Google banned advertising of crypto projects, making it that much harder for blockchain startups. This has only made the marketing role all the more critical. Decent blockchain marketing firms will have established networks of media contacts, which helps to justify the value of their services.
2. Navigating the Regulatory Minefield
Back in early 2017, this part of the blockchain consulting role didn’t exist. However, fast-forward to 2019, which has been touted as the year of the STO, and the regulatory piece has become critical. Particularly for companies running a token generation event in the US, the requirements for avoiding the wrath of the SEC are stringent, to say the least.
Therefore, one of the services offered by many blockchain consulting firms is legal and regulatory compliance. Legal consultancy services cover things like:
- Analyzing the legal landscape of the jurisdictions in which you plan to offer your tokens
- Helping to organize the necessary know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) processes
- Creating legal agreements for the rights of token holders
- Making sure all the project documentation, such as white papers or technical papers, contain the necessary disclaimers and caveats
3. Technical Services
Sometimes it may be that someone has a stellar idea for a blockchain solution, but absolutely zero technical understanding of how to develop it. They could try and find a blockchain developer to work with them or alternatively hire a blockchain consulting firm for their technical services.
Many blockchain consultancies employ technical specialists who know programming languages. They can develop a customized blockchain solution or a decentralized application on an existing platform such as Ethereum or EOS. They can configure smart contracts, carry out all testing and debugging, and get the project up and running as a live product.
4. Knowledge and Education
Because blockchain is still a nascent technology, many people know very little about it. A large number of existing businesses could benefit from incorporating blockchain but don’t understand the technology or how they would go about implementing it. Therefore, some blockchain consultancies put a heavy focus on training and education.
This might include offering online courses, but it may also mean they send a representative into a company to conduct training. They could also help a company to understand if a particular blockchain solution would be beneficial. This includes offering to oversee a project that implements the solution.
5. Post-ICO Services
Once a blockchain project is up and running, it needs to run itself as a legally compliant company. This means employing and paying team members and keeping the finances in good shape. It also requires ongoing marketing and long-term business planning.
Some blockchain consulting firms will offer services that help a startup to transition from the ICO stage to the steady-state business phase. They may even offer services such as financial reporting, human resources management or marketing support.
6. Crowdfunding for Existing Companies
Now that we’re in the age of the security token, where digital assets can be underpinned by real-world ones, new possibilities are opening up for existing companies. For example, a company wanting to venture into a new business or product could sell shares in the company itself via an STO. Aspen coin is a real-life example of a hotel in Colorado that sold shares in itself to investors, in order to fund the building of new hotels.
Blockchain consulting firms can help existing business to understand their options and opportunities for using blockchain as a means of crowdfunding for raising capital.
Blockchain Consulting: A Jack of All Trades?
It would be very difficult for a single individual or small blockchain consulting firm to perform all of these services, despite what they may say. Many smaller firms focus on a single niche area. They may partner up with firms offering services in other niches to provide a more complete service. So a blockchain marketing consultancy may partner with a technical consultancy, for example. Only the biggest firms have sufficient personnel with expertise covering all of the above services.
Blockchain consulting may be a new role, but it’s certainly growing fast. It provides opportunities for those who have blockchain knowledge to share their expertise and get paid for it. A blockchain consultant can also help provide some welcome relief to tech founders who may be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work involved in bringing their creation to the market.
Featured image courtesy of Pixabay
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