Celebrities and Cryptocurrencies: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Nov 14, 2018 at 23:59

With the prevailing capitalist mentality that we have, a pairing of a celebrity and any product or service is highly expected to yield skyrocketing sales. Tagging famous people along as ambassadors or endorsers of even the most obscure brands have been proven effective in boosting brand awareness since time immemorial.

Such case is no different in terms of cryptocurrencies. In recent years, crypto companies imitated the said tactics in hopes that fans of celebrities will be persuaded to at least try their offerings as their idols never run out of good words for the products.

However, just like in any case, employing celebrities to improve the image of a brand is a double-edged sword. The phrase is apt especially for cryptocurrencies – a product and service that is somewhat complicated to explain to be fully appreciated by a normal consumer.

THE GOOD

  • NBA/WNBA/NFL athletes with FanChain

SportsCastr, a sports streaming service which is also developing a cryptocurrency called FanChain, has gained so much support from athletes from the NBA, the WNBA and even from the NFL. 

While this may not be a direct endorsement deal with athletes, a lot of prominent names from the said leagues have shared good words and optimistic views on the coin. 

FanChain is being developed to allow users who are watching sporting events not only select which sports commentary they choose to listen to but also participate by providing their own live streaming video sports commentary.

The announcers are then rewarded with digital tokens, which fuel the FanChain ecosystem comprised of a FanWallet, digital goods, subscriptions and other features. So far, reactions from fans and athletes for this service is positive.

  • Akon with Akoin

Coming up really inspired with the fictional country of Wakanda made popular by Marvel’s Black Panther, Grammy award winner Akon expressed his intentions to imitate such society in a town in Africa with the help of cryptocurrencies.

The artist detailed that he wants to help in creating a place where all transactions would be made on the basis of Akoin, the coin that he is helping to be developed. He noted that it is expected to rely on mobile cryptocurrency apps that function as digital wallets.

In order to support his plans, Akon is bent on attending more crypto summits to learn the ropes of his noble yet utopian dream.

 

THE BAD

  • Paris Hilton with Lydian

Following her stints in reality television, the record industry and one leaked video, the infamous hotel heiress once again made headlines when she tweeted in 2017 about a certain coin called Lydian.

In the tweet that is now deleted, she claimed then that she was very much looking forward in participating with the development of Lydian Coin even tagging it with a hashtag stating that #ThisIsNotAnAd. After her statement went viral, regulators found out that Lydian’s chief executive officer was involved before in domestic violence.

So far, no further bad news came in the way of the coin but Paris Hilton’s tweet was the tweet that launched the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) warning and urgent caution to investors on ICOs that used celebrity endorsers.

After the tweet, she distanced herself from cryptocurrencies but notably, her father Richard Hilton auctioned a $38-million mansion last June and allowed people to bid using Bitcoin.

  • Steven Seagal with Bitcoin

    The Hollywood action star best remembered for his roles as someone who really hates bad people and bad activities became an ambassador of a cryptocurrency that is questionable, to say the least (notice the double-i’s on Bitcoiin).

    Last March, the coin with a very unoriginal name has been shut down by regulators from New Jersey with a cease-and-desist order citing that it was never registered as a security in the state.

    After the said incident, Seagal’s image as a straight-edge character and someone who hates those who disobey law and order has been forever tarnished. He never even commented about it and just continued his career that is now only thriving on B-quality movies.

THE UGLY

  • T.I. with FLiK Token

    Some of the songs T.I. has made in the past tackled the hustle and bustle of becoming rich. That being said, he is now facing charges together with entrepreneur Ryan Felton for securities fraud for perpetrating a pump and dump scheme.

    The duo promised investors of FLiK Token with as much as 25,000 percent interest for their initial investments. A group of 25 investors who reportedly poured in at least $1.3 million in the project is charging the pair for at least $5 million worth of damages.

    A final court decision is yet to be given in this issue but at this point, the future does not look that bright for the rapper as he is in a very ugly situation.

 

  • Floyd Mayweather with Centra Tech and Hubii

    The undefeated boxer was known for his monikers Money and Pretty Boy but he sure is in an ugly situation right now since he faces several lawsuits for endorsing Centra Tech, an initial coin offering that was charged with various fraud complaints.

    The project promised to allow transactions through debit cards with Visa and Mastercard integrations but the SEC found out that it has no any agreement with the two remittance giants. The authorities also found out that Centra Tech’s founders made up names of people who worked there and only paid celebrities to promote them.

    Apart from Centra Tech, the slugger known to brag his wealth on social media also branded his seal of approval to numerous but questionable crypto-related products including Hubii which failed to raise enough money for its ICO as it collected nowhere near its $50-million target.

    Recently, the athlete distanced himself from crypto projects but continuously post about his rich and wealth in social media.

 

THE YET TO BE JUDGED

  • Manny Pacquiao with PAC Token

    Singaporean firm Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX) is keen on releasing PAC Token, a cryptocurrency in partnership with boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, not later than the first quarter of 2019.

    A representative from the company recently shared that their decision to work with Pacquiao is driven by their desire to give them a chance to allow the success of blockchain technology be enjoyed by both fans and celebrities

    The PAC Token is intended to be used on the GCOX blockchain platform in availing exclusive merchandise including but not limited to used boxing gloves or jacket, and even scoring a chance to meet and greet the PacMan.

    It can be noted however that in the Philippines, Pacquiao’s home country, there is still no regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings in place. As an elected senator in the country, he has not expressed any intention to author a law that will further promote the use of cryptocurrencies.

    Notably, apart from the 8-division world champion, GCOX is also developing cryptocurrencies with footballer Michael Owen and popstar Jason Derulo.

 

  • Wu-Tang Clan with ODB

    Last month, the son of Wu-Tang Clan legend, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, started the pre-sale of a token that is made in honor of his late father to serve as a functioning fan-centric cryptocurrency rather than an investment.

    The group expects the coin to be spent by fans on shows and other merchandise like video games, t-shirts and books and even fund Wu-Tang Clan’s albums, concerts and other products that will bear the group’s name.