Are Celebrity Cryptocurrency Influencers Worse than ‘Normal’ Brand Marketing Promoters?
Companies have usually relied on celebrities for decades to show their products to the masses. Virtual currencies work in a similar way. There are several projects that tend to contact important figures around the world to promote or mention a specific service or token.
Nowadays, there is a new generation of influencers that receive payments to talk about a product or good released by a company. However, there have been some partnerships that harmed celebrities and also individuals in the market that were influenced by these individuals.
As these projects gathered several millions of dollars, they do not really think twice before spending a few millions of dollars in a celebrity to promote their brand.
And influencers are attracted by these large sums of money without even carrying out the due diligence that they should. In a recent article released by The Next Web, they selected a few celebrities and famous individuals that have been involved in the crypto market by promoting some Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and products.
The first figure they mention is the legendary boxer Mike Tyson. Tayson commented that he was very excited to be part of the Bitcoin revolution even when he said that he was not a ‘guru’ yet. In 2015, Peter Klamka, the CEO of Bitcoin Direct mentioned that the deal would be split evenly between Tyson and their company.
Tyson said that he liked the idea of having new options beyond the traditional banking system. However, Bitcoin Direct came under fire and has been attacked in many different ways as soon as the partnership with Tyson surfaced.
Paris Hilton is the second celebrity that the article includes. Back in September 2017, when Bitcoin (BTC) was moving towards its all-time high she wrote a Tweet related to a new coin called Lydian.
The chief executive of LydianCoin had previously pleaded guilty to domestic abuse. This is why she decided to eliminate this tweet. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has also issued a statement regarding celebrity-backed cryptocurrencies and ICOs. The crypto community believed that this warning was specifically directed at Hilton.
Steven Seagal has also been involved in the crypto market. He became the brand ambassador of the Bitcoiin2gen (B2G). At that time, different regulators in the United States warned investors regarding investment options promoted by ‘faded’ film stars.
Apparently, the Bitcoiin project was a pyramid scheme. This is why the New Jersey’s Bureau for Securities issued a cease-and-desist order calling Bitcoiin an unregistered security.
Steven Seagal is a supporter of Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. He has received the Russian citizenship back in 2014. After the situation involving the Bitcoiin project, he decided to stop commenting about it.
Finally, the Hollywood royalty Gwyneth Paltrow founded the lifestyle brand Goop back in September 2008. The company received several critics for promoting products and other treatments that have been labelled as harmful and in many cases misleading.
Paltrow has also published an article regarding Bitcoin and other virtual currencies in 2018. The article that they uploaded was an interview with the CEO of Abra, Bill Barhydt. The article promoted the benefits of using Abra over other companies in the crypto space.
These are just some of the examples of individuals that have a large influence on consumers and investors that have been involved in the crypto market, not in an ideal way. Users should carry out their own due diligence before investing in virtual currencies or other investment tools.
Several celebrities do not understand how virtual currencies work or what each project is trying to sell. Thus, it might be sometimes difficult for these figures to distinguish between a scam or a legitimate project in the crypto space.
Now the SEC is trying to take a more active role in controlling the crypto market and regulating the industry.