Celebrities have long been used to promote brands, products, and services with varying degrees of success, and the cryptocurrency space has been no exception to this practice. Over the past several years, the biggest names in the entertainment world have made waves in the crypto space to endorse or invest in projects, tokens, and businesses. Some stayed, others left, and some ended up in hot water for their forays into the crypto kettle.
In 2020, a number of celebrities from different walks of life have also entered the war and, as usual, the cryptocurrency community has been dismayed by the newcomers and their involvement. So let’s take a look at the most notable celebrities who joined, those who left, and those who showed increased interest in the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2020.
Akon: Visions of an African City with Crypto
Senegalese-American music star Akon is known around the world not only for his hit charts but also for his philanthropic and entrepreneurial work over the years. His Lighting Africa initiative has helped bring solar energy solutions to 28 countries on the continent, and he has also become an advocate for the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
In 2018, Akon announced plans to launch a cryptocurrency called Akoin, which will become the home currency of a futuristic city he plans to build in his native Senegal. A few years later these plans were made concrete and made available to the public.
Akon City is said to be a $ 6 billion cryptocurrency city built on 2,000 acres and reportedly gifted to it by Senegal’s President Macky Sall. The city will be located near the Senegalese capital Dakar.
The first construction phase of Akon City is expected to begin in the next few months and is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. A construction contract has already been awarded to an American engineering company.
In the first phase, in addition to a hospital campus, a shopping center, residential buildings, hotels and a police station, a primary infrastructure with roads, waste disposal and a solar power plant will be built. In addition, parks, a sports stadium, an industrial complex and a university are also planned for construction in phase 1. The city will also be largely dependent on renewable solar energy.
As indicated in the project’s whitepaper, the second phase of development is expected to take place over a five-year period from 2024 to 2029, culminating in the completion of Akon City, powered entirely by an economy powered by the Akoin cryptocurrency and ecosystem becomes.
While Akon City may not become a living, breathing, crypto-powered city until 2030, Akon’s vision and ability to turn the plan into action in 2020 has certainly earned it a spot on this list.
Game of Thrones’ Maisie Williams is promoting the Bitcoin community
The final season of Game of Thrones may have been underutilizing many fans, but its characters and their real-life actors have become popular with many around the world. Maisie Williams, who plays the tiny but deadly Arya Stark on the TV series, is another celebrity to join the crypto community in 2020.
In November, Williams went to Twitter to ask her 2.7 million followers if she should “long be on Bitcoin” in a poll that generated over 900,000 votes, 3,400 retweets, 3,700 comments and 16,000 likes.
should I bet on Bitcoin for a long time?
– Maisie Williams (@Maisie_Williams) November 16, 2020
While the late December vote count resulted in 53% of voters saying “no,” a number of influential figures in the world of cryptocurrency, blockchain and beyond added their two cents.
Well-known crypto podcast host Peter McCormack gave Williams a very maximalist answer in his comment: “Bitcoin and nothing else,” while Barry Silbert in Game of Thrones referred to the deadly suffering known as “shades of gray” when he was Williams suggested investing through Grayscales Digital -asset trusts.
At the end of the day, Williams made his own decision and “bought some anyway”. Arya Stark has always done her own thing.
Paris Hilton, exceptional artist
Paris Hilton is an American celebrity, actress, model, reality TV star, DJ, and singer who has grown into a prestigious entrepreneur through various retail businesses.
In 2017, Hilton took a little foray into the cryptocurrency space at the height of the initial coin frenzy. In a now-deleted series of Twitter posts, Hilton expressed interest in the LydianCoin ICO, which later became embroiled in serious litigation.
Hilton later distanced herself from the project after its founder was convicted of domestic violence and battery, and she appeared to be moving away from the world of crypto – that is, by 2020.
In August, Hilton hit the headlines after it was announced that she had sold a digital artwork of her cat Munchkin for a total of 40 ethers (ETH), which was worth around $ 17,000 at the time. Hilton’s digital painting was sold on an Ethereum-based auction platform called Cryptograph.
Today I’m auctioning my @Cryptograph from #Munchkin to help 3 great charities: @LAFoodBank @MealsOnWheels @ BB4Homeless. The auction is now live for the next 72 hours at https://t.co/rCroea8vCg pic.twitter.com/XP18LGtHsi
– Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton) August 13, 2020
Hilton pledged the proceeds of the auction to three US-based charities: the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Meals On Wheels, and Backpack Bed for Homeless.
Buy rapper Logic’s “YOLO” Bitcoin
Following in Williams’ footsteps, American rapper Logic was recently bitten by the Bitcoin bug. In a short video posted on his Instagram story on November 20, Logic said he bought $ 6 million worth of Bitcoin (BTC) in October before telling YOLO – you only live once.
While it’s hard to say whether the 30-year-old rapper, who recently signed an exclusive deal with streaming platform Twitch, was serious, his big money move would have improved dramatically in the month since he bought Bitcoin.
Logic’s Bitcoin acquisition would have raised 433 BTC at a price of around $ 13,850. Fast forward a month to December 20th, and his Bitcoin holdings would be worth more than $ 9 million if he kept hodelling.
SEC makes an example for Steven Seagal
While some notable celebrities have either entered the cryptocurrency space or have made some significant contributions, some have left the area under difficult circumstances.
American actor Steven Seagal joined a questionable cryptocurrency project called Bitcoiin2Gen in 2018, which at the time claimed to be a “superior” version of Bitcoin. Seagal came on board as a brand ambassador for the project’s ICO, which would eventually get him into serious trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Seagal’s deal called for him to promote the Bitcoiin2Gen ICO on his social media channels for several months in exchange for $ 250,000 in cash and $ 750,000 in B2G tokens. The project caught the attention of state regulators and received injunctions, while Seagal was ultimately a primary target of legal proceedings by the SEC.
In February, Seagal was ordered to repay the compensation it received from Bitcoiin2Gen. According to the SEC, Seagal claimed he received only $ 157,000 from his advertising contract. The actor eventually agreed to settle fees with the SEC and pay the commission $ 330,000.
The SEC again warned celebrities that they are legally required to disclose any compensation they may receive for using their social media platforms to promote securities.
Real curiosity or straight trolling?
In 2020, a few more well-known personalities were exploring the cryptocurrency world using their social media platforms, although they may have trolled the ever-eager crypto-believers.
World-renowned Harry Potter series writer JK Rowling took to Twitter in May to ask a simple question about Bitcoin in a thread with cryptocurrency journalist Leigh Cuen.
I don’t understand bitcoin. Please explain to me.
– JK Rowling (@jk_rowling) May 15, 2020
Similar to Williams’ situation, Rowling’s question caught the attention of the entire cryptosphere, with Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, crypto-author Saifedean Ammous, podcaster Laura Shin and even Elon Musk joining the discussion.
The debate went on for days as Rowling kept saying that she still didn’t understand how the cryptocurrency worked. The author was so inundated with responses that she eventually tweeted a day later that she may never have been able to log into the social media platform again without being ridiculed for not owning Bitcoin. The hilarious incident and subsequent reaction from the cryptocurrency community are a reminder of the impact celebrities can have on the space.
Rowling wasn’t the only big celeb to riot on Crypto Twitter in 2020. Enter Musk, CEO of Tesla and founder of SpaceX. He has been known to jump on Twitter from time to time and stir the pot of cryptic tweets about the crypto room.
Twice that year, Musk made the price of Dogecoin (DOGE) appreciate by simply mentioning his name in tweets. The most recent incident occurred in December when Musk “trolled” Bitcoin and described it as “almost like bs” [bullshit] than fiat money ”before a short tweet that reads“ Ein Wort: Doge ”is published.
On the tweet, the price of Dogecoin rose 25% as the cryptocurrency began to develop on the platform. The thread of tweets also drew the attention of influential figures in the crypto world.
Michael Saylor, CEO of business intelligence company MicroStrategy, took part in the conversation and offered Musk to share his own Bitcoin acquisition strategy with Musk. MicroStrategy bought more than $ 1 billion worth of BTC in 2020 and adopted the cryptocurrency as its primary reserve asset for government bonds. He explained:
“If you want to do your shareholders a $ 100 billion favor, convert the TSLA balance sheet from USD to #BTC. Other firms in the S&P 500 would follow suit, and in time it would become a $ 1 trillion favor. “
Musk replied and asked if “such large transactions” were even possible before Saylor offered to share his “game book” offline with Musk “from one rocket scientist to another”. The MicroStrategy CEO has two degrees from MIT in aerospace and science, technology and society. So let’s just hope these two bright minds actually slipped into each other’s DMs comparing notes on all things crypto.