To the Moon and Back: Crypto Marketing 2017 through 2019

1. Intro: Area 51 of Affiliate Marketing

The Crypto Rush of 2017 has sure been exciting to follow. Thousands of affiliate marketing pioneers embarking on an epic quest for epic loot and flying the Bitcoin rocket to the Moon… only to come crashing back to Earth and see their hopes and savings go down in flames.

Wait, was it really as bad as everyone says?

And what really happened back then?

Well, there are two sides to this story. And it’s only fair that you hear them both. With so many conflicting opinions roaming the Web, it might feel overwhelming for an affiliate marketer to make an informed decision on whether the entire crypto game is really worth your while. The payouts look nice, but the shroud of mystery surrounding this vertical can give even the toughest specialist cold feet.

Well, if you don’t want to go in blind, this brief article will bring you up to speed on what really happened during the Crypto Rush of 2017, if the crypto industry is dead and gone in 2018 and what to expect in 2019 – all from the perspective of an affiliate marketer.

1.1 The Grim and Popular Side

Now that the hype is gone, prophesying the slow and agonizing death of crypto is on the rise – so much that bloggers and online experts seem to host a funeral ceremony for Bitcoin once a week.

Financial predictions and market speculations put aside, where does that leave affiliate marketers looking to work with crypto offers? To cut a long story short, the most popular criticism goes along these lines:

  1. There are no good offers
  2. I can’t find the audience for this offer
  3. My traffic does not convert and it’s not my fault

Before we go any further, do these sound familiar?

Right, they are the top 3 cop-outs you’d find in every conversation about driving traffic in a new vertical. Just saying.

1.2 The Bright Side

As the affiliate network that has been through thick and thin of Crypto since 2015 and actually made the whole To-the-Moon-and-Back trip in one piece – yeah, that’s us, RunCPA – we’ve got something to say. Not only is the Crypto affiliate market alive, but it’s also doing pretty damn well. Just check out the average payouts expected in the niche:

  • CPI: $10
  • CPL: $25-30
  • CPA: $500-600
  • RevShare: 50%

Related Content: CPA vs CPI: What’s the Difference?

If those ‘vital signs’ give any hint of death, then crypto is pulling one hell of an agony out there. Impressive stuff.

Seriously tho, what these figures truly mean is that there’s plenty of riches left for affiliate marketers to win in the fields of crypto. But, sadly, getting them is not as easy as it used to be – you will actually have to work hard for those stellar payouts. And ultimately, this boils down to the old ‘high risk vs high reward’ story. Whether it’s worth the trouble or not – is your call to make, but the reward part is definitely there! You can trust us on that one.

Not convinced yet? Well, we can only appreciate a person looking to learn the whole story before passing their final judgement. If you’d like a more profound understanding of what’s making the Crypto Affiliate market tick, let’s flip through three major questions to get to the bottom of this topic:

  • Is crypto affiliate marketing a lost cause? And what really happened in 2017?
  • How are things looking for crypto in 2018?
  • Most importantly – what should a crypto affiliate marketer expect from 2019?

2. 2017 – What Really Happened to Crypto?

The infamous year of 2017 saw the second coming of the DotCom bubble – but this time, in the form of the Crypto Hype Train headed for the Moon. Yeah, a train headed for the Moon – 2017 was kinda like that.

Ahem. Stories of Crypto-Currency riches flooded the Internet, the new things called ICOs (projects trading real money for fantasy tokens) emerged in hundreds every day, the bitcoin price rocketed through the atmosphere with no intention of stopping, followed and fueled by outrageous media exposure. All of this created a myth that one could finally make tons of money on the Internet without breaking a sweat.

This myth, reinforced by thousands of success stories aggressively promoted worldwide, attracted lots of online treasure hunters who thought they could travel from ‘dirt poor’ to ‘diamond rich’ faster than light just by being involved with crypto economy. And the crypto affiliate industry was right in the thick of it.

2.1 Cloud Mining Frenzy

If shady message boards were the cradle of Crypto Affiliate Marketing, the Cloud Mining business was its golden unicorn.

It all started with the Bitcoin price surge. Hoping to get rich fast and easy, hordes of people rushed to trade their money for cryptocurrency.

Here’s the issue with this: you couldn’t buy Bitcoin just by flashing your credit card in Walmart. That’s where the ‘cloud mining contracts’ came in, allowing your regular Joe to rent a cryptocurrency mining farm and effectively trade their real money for Bitcoins.


But someone had to direct them to the ‘best cloud mining service ever’, and that’s where the founding fathers of crypto affiliate marketing came in. As both the hype and the exchange rates kept climbing, it was a mutually profitable deal for all parties involved.

This was every affiliate marketer’s dream – you didn’t even have to talk people into throwing ridiculous amounts of money at cloud mining projects. So long as the price of Bitcoin was sky-high, they clicked your ads like their life depended on it and converted with no remorse. Naturally, lots of affiliate marketers made tons of money running cloud mining offers throughout the entire autumn of 2017 and spent the next winter grinding out unprecedented success stories and showing off their wealth to all the mainstream guys out there.

Come spring, the snowboarding season was officially over – everyone had to come back down from the steep slopes, even Bitcoin. So in March of 2018, the cryptocurrency rates went down and brought the mining industry with it.

2.2 Facebook and Google Pulling Out

Meanwhile, in the realm of online marketing, both Facebook and Google – the biggest advertising networks out there – just couldn’t keep up with the speeding hype train, effectively banning all crypto-related ads from their platforms until they could figure out what was going on, and if the stuff they expose their audience to was legit.

But that only helped boosting the roguish image of crypto, pulling even more thrill seekers and online outlaws into the fray, while creating even more opportunities for shady marketing deals and advertising exploits. After all, when life shuts one door, two vent shafts are open for those who don’t mind getting dirty. And it really worked well for everyone involved! Until it didn’t.

2.3 Crypto Hits Puberty

One day money just stopped growing on trees, as the crypto industry began to mature into a much more stable and all-round balanced market. This has been cooking for a long time, and yet, the change caught a lot of gold diggers off guard.

Once the dust had cleared, the lucky few grabbed all the goods lying on the surface and realized they would actually have to work to get more. The exchange rates dialed down, the hype bubble burst, there was just no easy way left, no shortcuts to abuse, no exploits to take advantage of.

Don’t get us wrong – there still were (and still are) lots of opportunities for making insane amounts of money in crypto, for those willing to work hard and smart for it. But that wouldn’t cut it for most affiliate marketers working with crypto back in its days of glory. For them, that was against the whole cash grab point.

So they were like, ‘if I can’t buy a Lamborghini overnight, it’s not worth the effort’. And that’s all they said, dashing out of crypto on their impressive sports cars.

But there were a lot more people who were too slow or too greedy to ditch the hype train on time. Those guys crashed into the ocean of hard reality and are usually the salty people explaining how dead crypto is on all the crypto forums they can reach, while they look for a good tax attorney online. That’s life, yeah.

3. Now – The Crypto Market of 2018

The post-apocalypse crypto world you see today is a much more mature industry with a stable and reasonable market behind its back. A market that’s gone through the turmoil of hype, wild speculation and fragile concepts, finally stabilized giving way to a balanced economy – with quality services provided by the supply side and adequate prices set by the demand side.

Seems like everybody learned from the painful experience of 2017.

What does this mean for an affiliate marketer?

* Upside: There’s still a lot of money to be made in this vertical. With supply lagging light years behind the demand and the competition at the lowest;
* Downside: There’s just no hype anymore, and neither the advertisers, nor the general public are as naive as they used to be. If you want this to work, you’re gonna have to deliver quality ads to the right audience. The latter is hard to come by these days, and winning their interest or trust is gonna be even harder.

Since this article has more of a retrospective spin to it, we’re not providing any detailed guidance on how to take advantage of the current state of the crypto affiliate market, but if that’s what you fancy, go ahead and check out this RunCPA in-depth tutorial – it will bring you up to speed on how to make the most of your crypto affiliate marketing game in 2018.

3.1 Crypto Currency is Even More Widespread than Before

Suppose you ask if crypto currencies (like Bitcoin) are still in demand, or let alone worth your investment. That-Guy-On-The-Internet is probably gonna unveil the mystery for you by saying something like:

Bitcoin is not worth anything anymore. In fact, it’s a tool used by the Illuminati to topple the US economy. P.s.: anyone know a good tax attorney? Please?

We get that a lot. It mostly comes from people who tried gambling with bitcoin rate spikes in 2017 and failed miserably. IMHO their overall frustration with the idea of fast money is what’s generating huge negativity.

And while their hate might sound convincing, the only sure way to tell whether crypto currency is still a thing, is to check the Crypto Exchanges and see some legit data.

  • Just go over the stats provided by Coin Market Cap
  • Check out the daily trading volumes. As of the 23rd of October, the figure is $10,973,099,120
  • Calculate the average fee applied to every exchange deal. Tip: it’s 0.1%

So $10,973,099,120 worth of trades daily, with a 0.1% interest rate would generate an income of $10,973,099 for the exchanges alone. If that number looks dead to you, then you’re probably too high on life and we salute you!

If you’re looking for some extra reassurance, here’s an article that further proves the point we’ve just made.

What does this mean for an affiliate marketer?

The whole point behind this little observation is proving an important fact that people tend to overlook. Cryptocurrencies are much more widespread among the general public compared to a year ago: each day thousands of not-so-tech-savvy customers are learning to use Bitcoin as a tool for purchasing products and services online.

Do you see where we’re going with this?

3.2 There are Hundreds of New Crypto Projects

The crypto industry doesn’t live on ICOs alone. By teaching a lot of regular people how to use cryptocurrency, the 2017 rush paved the way for the emergence of hundreds of diverse products and services built around the unprecedented crypto opportunities: online games, casinos, trading, dating apps – you name it! Saynig that Crypto’s expansion to mainstream industries is mind-blowing is a blatant understatement!

What does this mean for an affiliate marketer?

There are dozens of big-time crypto-based products and services out there looking for marketing brains. Hence, there are hundreds of awesomely paying offers for you to choose from… and not too much competition yet.

3.3 Bitcoin is Actually Looking Good

Once again, no speculations. Just Google up ‘BTC to USD’ and look at the graphs showing how the Bitcoin currency rate has been changing for the past few years. If you compare the current price of Bitcoin to the anomalous spikes of late 2017, then yeah – it’s pretty damn low right now. Guess they don’t call it a ‘surge’ for nothing, huh? But compare it to what it was worth back in 2015 or even the summer of 2017, and you’re in for a surprise.

In a way, Bitcoin is a lot like your average roommate from college – he’s always high, but you only notice it when he’s completely stoned.

3.4 Google and Facebook Reverse Their Ban on Crypto

While still far from being in the ‘all clear’ zone, the biggest advertising networks are softening their grip on advertisers promoting crypto projects in their ads. The Prime Minister of Malta and even the US Government are becoming crypto-friendly, and that sure’s some good news, but you see real acknowledgment when Facebook and Google don’t think crypto is a bad guy anymore.

What does this mean for an affiliate marketer?

Wow, where do we even begin? With Google and Facebook, you gain legal access to the best advertising tools and purest quality traffic in The Milky Way galaxy, and that’s nuff said!

4. What Will be Hot in Crypto 2019

Finally, let’s suppose you’re convinced to give Crypto Marketing a go – where would you start? Well, one option is to pick the right market field that’s both profitable and suitable for you as an affiliate marketer. We won’t go into great depths on what’s hot and what’s not in the crypto affiliate marketing of today (there’s a useful guide about this already), but instead offer a shortlist of the most promising crypto markets in 2019!

4.1 Gaming

Not a joke. We’re dead serious about this one. Believe it or not, there are games utilizing the blockchain technology and using cryptocurrencies for micro-transactions. Those games are getting outrageously popular. The Crypto Kitties project is a vivid example.

It might strike you as a rather weird phenomenon, but crypto games are having a blast these days, conquering the crypto market with relentless enthusiasm and receiving a very good response from the audience.

There are literally hundreds of copy-cats (pun intended!) out there who capitalize on the Crypto Kitties hype, which makes the immense potential of the Crypto Gaming market all the more evident.

Appearances can be deceiving, so don’t fall for the cliche that blockchain is a serious business for old financial nerds only.

Things changed!

Crypto Gaming shows great potential and with the right expertise you’re gonna score big in 2019. You want a piece of the pie, don’t you?

4.2 ICO’s

Yeah, ICO is still a thing. Working with them is the toughest choice for marketers, but it might also be the most rewarding one:

  • If ICO advertisers were willing to pay a mere 5% of revshare back in 2017, it’s 40% now. 40% percent revenue share. No typo here.
  • ICOs are more mature and don’t pin all the risks on affiliate marketers anymore. They learned that converting a potential investor is their job, not yours.

Related Content: What is an ICO and How Does It Work?

And if you’re not feeling adventurous enough to put your trust in ICO, things might be looking brighter in 2019! The crypto industry is constantly working on improving the fundraising model for crowd-funded projects, and perhaps one of them is gonna turn the tide and save ICO from extinction. Speaking of which, the DAICO model sure looks promising and might be the new go-to model in 2019, so let’s wait and see. Ultimately every model has got a flaw, so there’s always a risk with ICO, but the reward might convince you to take it.

4.3 Post-ICO’s

Ah, the guys that ‘made it’. This may come as a surprise, but there are hundreds of successful post-ICO projects driving the crypto economy further. They’re overselling their tokens online, but still have piles of money and are more than willing to spend it on good marketing services. And those services they crave and value even more than a year ago.

4.4 Gambling

Remember when we told you that more and more casual people are adopting cryptocurrencies as a regular payment method these days? Well, let’s talk about that now. A curious side-effect of that process is the growing popularity of blockchain-based gambling services and/or casinos accepting crypto payments.

Last year hundreds of thousands of gamblers worldwide learned how to use bitcoin to enter the previously denied world of anonymous games of chance. Modern laws and regulations are having a hard time catching-up with this phenomenon, so online crypto gambling is still technically legal in most places on Earth. Also playing from your couch sure beats going to Vegas, right? At least, in terms of expenses (nothing beats Vegas, we get that).

The perks for affiliate marketers?

It might be a walk on thin ice, but in many cases you can advertise crypto casino services in regions that ban or restrict conventional gambling.

4.5 Exchanges

The amount of money crypto exchanges have made from listing tokens back in the glory days will make even the most successful ICO today look like a total amateur. These guys have all the ambition and all the means to take their game to the next level. That’s a massive opportunity for marketers and media buyers to reinforce their cause.

If we had to bet, we’d say the sweetest deals for affiliate marketers will keep coming from big-time exchange projects run by the industry’s most ingenious and seasoned professionals.

4.6 Mobile

Fun fact! The crypto market never got ‘mobilized’ due to the specifics of the technology that have turned advertising attribution into a marketer’s nightmare. However, there are a whole lotta people interested in solving this.

The best hint that the crypto mobile market is gonna grow awfully fast is the mobile app trend we see today. Back in 2017 there was like a mere dozen of crypto wallet apps available in App Store and Google Play and publishing them was a pain. Today crypto-related mobile apps are being shipped in the hundreds.

We can’t imagine someone buying an ICO token with their smartphone whilst completing their morning jog on a treadmill yet, but these times are definitely coming. We’re not quite sure if it’s coming in 2019 just yet, so we’re gonna label the mobile field as the underdog of this list.

4.7 Return of the Miner

Cloud mining is dead and buried deep underground but should another cryptocurrency price surge hit the market, it’s gonna be the same Bitcoin rush story all over again. As soon as people start juicing Google for ‘crypto mining’ queries, cloud mining offers are gonna flood all crypto networks in the thousands – and you better get ready for that.

FYI, the next train to the Moon is not a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’.

5. Conclusion

And that does it for today!

As we said, the crypto vertical is one shrouded in mystery, bad omens and a rather unjust stigma of failure. But it’s also an absolute goldmine for ingenious affiliate marketers willing to take their chances and grind through epic pains to get an even more epic reward.

One thing you can’t deny tho – this goldmine’s got more to give The crypto industry is not the wild west killbox, nor the post-nuclear wasteland a lot of people want you to believe it is.

The Crypto vertical is the uncharted frontier of affiliate marketing than can either make you extremely rich or extremely sad. Whether or not it’s worth exploring, well… we’ll let you be the judge of that.


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