I was planning on writing an entirely different article for today about a topic that is much in the news lately: cryptocurrency and the wealthy people who own (and donate) it.
In my research, I came across an article based on a fantastically helpful-looking white paper from a vendor in our sector. The white paper discussed in detail breakdowns of crypto-owners by gender, specific hobbies and interests, and their interest in philanthropy, amongst other things. I read it avidly. I had my whole article pre-worked out in my mind.
As I thought about it though, solid, specific info about crypto ownership demographics is some fairly detailed data for a vendor in our sector to obtain because, just like Swiss bank accounts, anonymous donor advised funds, and artwork in a free port, this sort of in-depth information isn’t generally available except to banks, hedge funds, the IRS, or cyber-crime Sherlocks who can afford access to nifty-but-pricy databases.
Unless, of course, the crypto owner just flat-out lets it fly publicly that they own it. That’s also an option.
Normally, you’ll see this kind of reporting from a financial services company or a cryptocurrency trading platform, based on customer data.
Before I got too deep into writing my article, I did my usual skip-to-the end to look at the fine print. The methodology section always tells you where the author(s) of a white paper sourced their information, and if I’m going to share it with you, I need to make sure it’s solid, right?
The source was the company’s unique database of their own research based on publicly-available information and a proprietary wealth-estimating algorithm.
“It’s a Secret” is not the kind of methodology I’m looking for. Here’s what a good methodology sounds like:
“These conclusions are based on our data set of crypto ownership of 15,722 high net worth clients trading on <Name of Company> platform from May of 2019 to February of 2022. The data are anonymized and represent a subset of our total 950,000+ clients.”
Or some-such language.
Maybe the white paper writers really did have hard data and were just being coy about transparency. But from our perspective as prospect researchers – well, people expect our reports to be based on solid facts, so we’ve always got to remember to check that methodology fine print on reports and white papers that we use to base conclusions about a prospect’s background, or their capacity to give.
Our research is as solid as the source data it’s founded on. I nearly got tripped up and wrote a completely different article. I’m glad I checked so you got this instead.