10 Celebrity Advocates Who Believe in the Blockchain
Actors, pop stars, blockbuster athletes, and politicians alike are getting involved with decentralization and digital currencies…
It used to be that open discussion of digital currency and decentralization was the remit of nerds and techno-libertarians, but nowadays it’s not uncommon to see teen pop stars and trophy-winning athletes alike asking questions about blockchain technology on social media, and more than a few public figures have found themselves getting involved as angel or early investors in blockchain startups and digital currencies.
As you’d expect, the way these celebrities interact with this multi-faceted phenomenon runs the gamut. Some are dyed-in-the-wool adherents to a decentralized philosophy and what blockchain may bring to the world, others see it as a solid, long-term tech investment. Others, truth be told, could be accused of treating the blockchain movement as a get-rich-quick scheme, but hey, we won’t fault them (too much) for trying!
Here are some of the most notable celebrity advocates from around the world who believe in the blockchain…
The star of That 70s Show and Punk’d— who has also invested in Skype, Spotify, Airbnb, and Uber — has been a digital currency evangelist for almost a half decade now. Perhaps tipped off by his noted pal Marc Andreessen, Kutcher bought into Bitpay in 2013 via his A-Grade Investments venture capital enterprise, and even spoke about Bitcoin at TechCrunch Disrupt that same year. “The bigger thing with bitcoin is not bitcoin itself, but what does that decentralized technology really do?” Kutcher mused all the way back then.
Nowadays, Ashton Kutcher can be found tweeting with Joseph Lubin about Ethereum, or plotting with Mark Cuban on the launch of his own eSports digital currency — Unikoin. It’s fair to say that Ashton Kutcher has gone full crypto. Not bad for a guy who usually played dense characters!
Another serial entrepreneur celebrity, Nas was an early investor in Coinbase and blockchain incubator 500Startups, which represent just two of over forty tech startup investments that the NYC rapper peppered over Silicon Valley and beyond. Nas spoke about Bitcoin at SXSW in 2014, and even gave away BTC to his “Top 100” fans that same year. “All money is money,” he is famously quoted as saying, before adding: “Bitcoin will evolve into an industry as big, if not bigger, than the Internet. My man Ben Horowitz really opened my eyes to that point. This isn’t of the Internet age. Bitcoin is its own age.”
Boxing living legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather has earned his nickname, both as a blockbuster athlete and a cunningly profitable entrepreneur. After dubbing himself “Floyd ‘Crypto’ Mayweather earlier this year, the undefeated athlete announced his involvement in Stox, a blockchain-based prediction market. Mayweather stated: “Gonna make a $hit t$n of money on August 2nd on the Stox.com ICO,” before proceeding to make actually good on his charmingly-stated promise as the Stox launch went on to generate over $30 million.
Mayweather then moved on to shamelessly promoting Hubii over his social media accounts for a warchest of coins, gaining the rare and perhaps dubious honor of kicking off a new media industry segment — paid celebrity digital currency endorsements.
Star of Shark Tank, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and iconic celebrity entrepreneur Mark Cuban was openly skeptical about digital currencies when queried about them earlier in the year and claimed that Bitcoin was in a bubble, but since then he’s had what appears to be a complete change of heart. Cuban recently invested in a cryptocurrency hedge fund named 1Confirmation, partnered up with longtime blockchain evangelist Ashton Kutcher on an eSports ICO named Unikoin, and even went so far as to admit on Twitter that he’s cashing out on traditional stocks to invest more in digital currencies.
Dance music icon Gramatik is known for his outspoken, progressive opinions as well as being one of the most in-demand DJs on the worldwide music festival circuit. The Slovenian partystarter is a true blockchain fanatic, and even went so far as to title one of his tracks in an ode to the blockchain deity — ”Satoshi Nakamoto.” Gramatik (better known to some as Denis Jašarević) is also a noted fan of SingularDTV, and can occasionally be found engaging in discussions about S-DTV on social media.
A celebrity in his own right, Vladimir Putin has embraced the blockchain ever since meeting with Ethereum progenitor Vitalik Buterin this Summer to discuss building a “Russian National Currency” on the Ethereum network. Putin then went two steps further by establishing the Russian Blockchain Research Center and announcing that the Russian government intends to invest heavily in digital currency mining. Blockchain mania in Moscow is now heating up, as evidenced by Burger King’s launch of the WhopperCoin in Russia, and media attention increasing every day.
Earlier this month on the Apple TV reality show Planet of the Apps, celebrity judge-investor Gwyneth Paltrow (sat alongside will.i.am and Jessica Alba) took on an advisory role with Abra, a bitcoin-based digital wallet app used for remittances. Impressed by Abra CEO Bill Barhydt’s “Elevator Pitch” and the staggering statistics on blockchain efficiency he referenced, Paltrow has allegedly committed to a long-term partnership. It seems the A-list actress’ endorsement was no small gesture, as Abra reached the top page of the Apple Store the very next day — the first bitcoin-based app to achieve such a feat.
Something of a renaissance man: Actor, host, author, these days Joe Rogan is the highly influential voice of The Joe Rogan Podcast, a show has earned a religious following numbering in the millions. Rogan has long since showed a passing interest in Bitcoin and blockchain technology, but in 2017, he’s gone full crypto, hosting a suite of digital currency experts on his show, and even going so far as to claim that he buys marijuana with Bitcoin!
This ex-Spice Girl knows what she wants, what she really really wants. So when she advocates for something, her fans listen. Mel B was an early adopter of digital currencies, and was accepting Bitcoin as payment for her music as far back as 2013. “I love how new technology makes our lives easier, and to me that’s exciting. Bitcoin unites my fans around the world using one currency,” she claimed all the way back then. The UK songstress kicked off a trend, as artists like Snoop Dogg, Childish Gambino, and 50 Cent all followed suit and began accepting digital currency in exchange for their music.
The once Vice President of the United States is often cheekily referred to as “The Inventor of the Internet,” and it seems he’s been savvy to the blockchain revolution in similarly prescient fashion. “I think the fact that within the Bitcoin universe, an algorithm replaces the functions of [the government] is actually pretty cool,” Gore said. A bold statement from a politician, indeed, and an inconvenient truth for many on Capitol Hill!