Celebrities and Cryptocurrency
As cryptocurrencies rose to astounding prices in 2017, they began to attract the attention of many people that the public wouldn't typically expect to be interested in this sort of technology, including dozens of celebrities from a wide variety of backgrounds. It's difficult to say whether celebrities' endorsements of cryptocurrencies have any serious effect on the assets' price or public relations – cryptocurrencies endorsed by celebrities have been both huge successes and embarrassing failures – but what's certain is that when celebrities with very large audiences on social media share their enthusiasm for these technologies, they spread the word about blockchain technologies to new groups who might not otherwise have paid any attention to them.
Notable Celebrity Endorsements of Cryptocurrencies
One of the earliest celebrities to discuss cryptocurrencies on social media was Snoop Dogg, who tweeted in late 2013 that his fans would be able to buy his next album with Bitcoins and that it would be delivered by a drone; though the tweet was a joke, prominent companies like Coinbase and BitPay responded and worked to make the rapper's idea a reality.
It's unclear how many fans actually purchased the album with Bitcoins, but given the currency's subsequent rise in value, Snoop Dogg could have earned an impressive return if he'd held onto them. Snoop Dogg has continued to affiliate with cryptocurrency developers into 2018, performing at an event for Ripple and tweeting about the Robinhood exchange. However, it appears that the performer's latest work, a gospel album titled “Bible of Love,” is not readily available for purchase with cryptocurrencies.
While Snoop Dogg's album promotion may have started as a joke, 50 Cent was very serious when he announced he'd sell his 2014 album for Bitcoins; he earned about 700 Bitcoins at the time, which have since multiplied in value many times over. However, it appears that the rapper has since deleted the posts from his social media accounts and he hasn't discussed them since, suggesting he may have lost interest in the technology.
Though Katy Perry hasn't directly endorsed any cryptocurrencies or affiliated with their development teams, she's made numerous posts about them on her Twitter and Instagram profiles that express a passion about the technology. Perry has among the largest social media audiences of anyone in the world, so if even a small fraction of her millions of fans notice her interest, it will still make an impressive impact.
Ashton Kutcher, in addition to his acting career, has also proven himself a serious venture capitalist, and he's been interested in cryptocurrencies since long before their 2017 spike in value. He tweeted about Ethereum over a year before the project was released, and he's invested in several cryptocurrency-related companies.
Though his social media audience is considerably smaller than Katy Perry or Snoop Dogg, Kutcher is among the only entertainers to express sincere enthusiasm for decentralization, rather than merely embracing cryptocurrencies as lucrative investment, and his support for startups in this industry have cemented his commitment to blockchain technology.
However, not all cryptocurrencies embraced by celebrities are successful; Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled, and Steven Seagal have made some embarrassing blunders by endorsing ICOs for companies that went on to face legal challenges that they couldn't overcome. Mayweather and Khaled both used their social media profiles to endorse Centra, which did go on to raise millions in its ICO and launch a cryptocurrency debit card service before folding a few months later following an SEC investigation.
Seagal served as a “brand ambassador” for Bitcoiin2Gen, which was denounced as a pyramid scheme nearly from its inception, and he left the company immediately after its ICO when the state of Tennessee determined that the company was selling illegal securities. Like many investors, these entertainers had failed to research these companies in enough detail, but by broadcasting their endorsements to a large audience, they risked inspiring fans to make these risky purchases.
Investing in an asset just because a celebrity has endorsed it is incredibly foolish, but unfortunately, this is how many people choose to manage their money. When celebrities align themselves with cryptocurrencies, it usually reveals more about the individuals than the assets they're embracing, and it can be interesting to learn that entertainers whose work we admire have broader interests than previously thought. However, investors should pay little attention to celebrities' endorsements, and celebrities should be mindful of the fact that their advice may influence their fans' financial choices.