What do Paris Hilton, Floyd Mayweather, DJ Khaled, Donald Glover, Snoop Dogg, Drew Carey, Mel B, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ashton Kutcher, Jamie Foxx, and Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah have in common?
Cryptocurrencies, of course.
Celebrities are lining up to add their name and support to initial coin offerings (ICOs) — similar to IPOs except the risk is decidedly greater as it’s based on unregulated bitcoin-like technology but the potential payout is sizable.
What is bitcoin? It’s complicated but essentially, it’s virtual money that’s not backed by any government meaning it’s anonymous, untraceable, and almost un-hackable thanks to blockchain technology.
The Guardian’s Alex Hern and The Merkle’s JP Buntinx provide insight into celebrity cryptocurrency endorsement deals and the legal/proverbial slippery slope.
And by slippery slope, I mean the warning issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC):
“Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion. We encourage investors to research potential investments rather than rely on paid endorsements from artists, sports figures, or other icons.”
Rather than put his name on someone else’s product, Dennis Coles, a/k/a Ghostface Killah became the co-founder and CBO of Cream Capital with the intent of building the world’s largest cryptocurrency ATM network and the first Ethereum-based dual token system.
Meaning? Cream Capital wants to be the middle-man between the various digital currencies and collect a fee accordingly. That’s a lot of coin.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Wu-Tang Clan, in 1993, they released the hip hop single, C.R.E.A.M. — Cash Rules Everything Around Me. Switch out “cash” with “crypto” and voilà.
millionbillion dollar question: is digital currency shady AF or the future?
Interactive map by BitLegal shows where cryptocurrency is currently legal, contentious, or denied – a moveable feast.
As per CNBC, the price of the cryptocurrency hit a high of $6,600.84 on November 1, 2017, meaning its market capitalization, or the total value of bitcoin in circulation, hit $110 billion USD.
This isn’t to say that digital currencies don’t have distractors — JP Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon has threatened to fire anyone in his company that trades bitcoin and Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, has all but called cryptocurrency illegal by referring to it as an “index of money laundering.”
While the global markets decide how/if to regulate, the genie is out of the bottle.
Written while listening to Wu-Tang Clan’s “Gravel Pit”