What Happened to the Cryptocurrencies Supported by Celebrities?
Celebrities and their producers entered into partnership with initial coin offerings and digital coins. Some of them even made it’s own digital coins and promote them in social media, tours, panel discussions and mass media. What happened with all these cryptocurrency and ICO projects?
This trend was so huge that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) created a fake ICO complete with its own set of celebrity endorsements. If you click buy on the page, it brings you to a lecture from the SEC, warning you, “a celebrity endorsement does not mean that an investment is legitimate or that it is appropriate for all investors.”
Paris Hilton & Lydian Coin
In September 2017, Paris Hilton tweeted about emerging coin called Lydian, saying: “Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token! #ThisIsNotAnAd #CryptoCurrency #BitCoin #ETH #BlockChain.”
Mass media reported that Lydian Coin CEO had previously pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. Then the SEC issued a statement, urging caution around celebrity-backed ICOs, that many believe was directed at Hilton:
Celebrities and others are using social media networks to encourage the public to purchase stocks and other investments. These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement. The SEC’s Enforcement Division and Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations encourage investors to be wary of investment opportunities that sound too good to be true. We encourage investors to research potential investments rather than rely on paid endorsements from artists, sports figures, or other icons.
Later Paris Hilton distanced Herself from Lydian Coin ICO. The tweet is deleted now.
Since then, Hilton has stayed quiet about cryptocurrency, but in June 2018, her father Richard Hilton auctioned a $38 million mansion and allowed people to bid by bitcoin.
Steven Seagal & BitcoIIn
Last year, Steven Seagal became the brand ambassador for the cryptocurrency called “Bitcoiin”. It is initially looks like a scam, because it was just one letter away from the original Bitcoin — BitcoIIn. In March 2018, New Jersey regulators sent the Bitcoiin founders a cease-and-desist order, saying the coin was never registered as a security in the state.
Soon after, Seagal and the anonymous founders parted ways with the coin. Since then, his Twitter account has been largely silent and so has his Instagram, except for a mysteriously incongruous post on Thursday asking for donations for a homeless shelter in Russia.
Floyd Mayweather & Centra, Hubii
Boxer Floyd Mayweather supported several ICOs. Centra Coin was charged with fraud by the SEC. Another coin, Hubii, tanked its initial coin offering, raising less than a fifth of the $50 million it sought.
Centra was supposed to offer a debit card with Visa and Mastercard integrations but the SEC alleges that it had no connection with either company. Centra’s founders also made up names of people who worked there and paid celebrities for promotion. Curiously, the SEC did not name Mayweather in the statement. DJ Khaled was another Centra supporter. Both posted images of themselves holding the Centra debit card onto social media.)
Lately, Mayweather has stayed away from promoting more cryptocurrencies and has stuck to other, safer expressions of wealth by posting photos of himself next to piles of cash, riding a Ferrari, or otherwise sporting bling.
Akon & Akoin
Grammy-winning singer Akon explained his cryptocurrency-fueled vision during, what else, a blockchain panel titled, “Branding Africa: Blockchain, Entrepreneurship and Empowering the Future.” Akon would have a town he describes as “a real-life Wakanda,” like in the futuristic movie Black Panther, where all transactions would be made on the basis of Akoin. Beyond being a good pun, Akoin would rely on mobile cryptocurrency apps that function as digital wallets in a city that’s still currently under development.
According to Akon’s tweets, the singer has been attending more blockchain summits to discuss the new city he’s helping to build.
What other celebrities deal with cryptocurrencies?
Some other celebrities and famous people own small amounts in cryptocurrencies. For example, Gwyneth Paltrow, who were paid a sum to advertise cryptocurrency but nothing came of it. Elon Musk have misplaced the keys to their digital wallets and can no longer access the funds.
Mike Tyson and Ashton Kutcher have hopped on the bitcoin bandwagon years before most and focused their investments on the more established virtual currencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
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Originally published at crypto-tracker.com on July 22, 2018.