The inclusive crypto ecosystem has become home to numerous A-list celebrities over the years – largely fueled by the non-fungible token (NFT) hype of 2021. However, despite the ongoing bear market and an apparent drop in cryptocurrency prices, celebrities continue to flock Support for the crypto market.
Over the past year, celebrities have begun exploring sub-ecosystems beyond NFTs and attempting to diversify their presence across trading, gambling and other investment avenues. With that in mind, here’s a rundown of some of the most influential celebrities to get into crypto over the past year and how well prepared they are for the next bull run.
Connor McGregor works with Tiger.Trade
UFC superstar Connor McGregor, one of the highest paid athletes, recently partnered with Tiger.Trade, a crypto trading app. Part of the deal includes McGregor appearing in an in-house game that users can play to win exclusive prizes.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) 09/12/2022
Prior to signing as an ambassador for Tiger.Trade, McGregor’s involvement in crypto was indirect via UFC partnerships with Crypto.com, where bonuses were paid to fighters in cryptocurrencies.
The game’s recent launch, while well-received by fans for its graphics and pricing, has also been criticized for its lack of story. Unlike the majority of top UFC fighters, McGregor has not linked his name to now-defunct NFT projects and continues to keep his cryptocurrency investment decisions private.
Eminem buys Bored Ape NFT for $460,000
Marshall Mathers, aka Eminem, is one of the rare celebrities to make headlines for investing in NFT rather than trying to sell their collections. The fifteen-time Grammy winner bought Bored Ape “EminApe” NFT for $460,000, which features a gold necklace and khaki army cap worn by Eminem in real life.
Eminem’s connection to crypto dates back to 2018 when the rapper mentioned Bitcoin (BTC) in his newly released album Kamikaze. However, the subsequent NFT purchase established his interest in crypto investing. In June 2022, Eminem released an NFT music video for Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) starring rap legend and crypto enthusiast Snoop Dogg.
While Eminem does not have a publicly shared affinity for any particular crypto asset for investment, the rapper continues to partner with BAYC for live performances.
Maria Sharapova became a strategic investor in Moonpay
Tennis legend Maria Sharapova invested in crypto payment solution Moonpay along with other A-list celebrities such as Gal Gadot, Bruce Willis and Justin Beiber. The company announced that more than 60 public figures and celebrities from the music, sports, media and entertainment industries have joined forces to invest $87 million in Series A funding beginning in November 2021.
Excited to change the way creatives, artists and athletes approach it
⚖️Management of Intellectual Property
With the help of our new strategic investors. pic.twitter.com/sfeH1Hhibh
— MoonPay (@moonpay) April 13, 2022
The investment marked Sharapova’s entry into the crypto world. However, the superstar has yet to reveal his plans for investing in crypto assets.
Snoop Dogg: The Face of Web3 and NFTs
Snoop Dogg’s position as an OG is veritable in the world of crypto, considering he has been proactive in space for many years. Snoop’s first interaction with the crypto community began with a warning about impersonators marketing counterfeit Snoop Dogg-branded tokens and NFTs.
After gaining knowledge of the industry, the rapper collaborated with numerous crypto projects including crypto exchanges, Web3, games and NFTs, effectively catalyzing mainstream crypto adoption.
— Food Fighters Universe | COINS NOW (@FoodFightersU) June 3, 2022
Most recently, Snoop Dogg announced the opening of a new restaurant in Los Angeles inspired by BAYC NFTs called Bored and Hungry. Despite the waning hype around NFTs, the Smoke King continues to show his love for the ecosystem.
Floyd Mayweather is making a crypto comeback
Legendary boxing champ Floyd Mayweather marked his entry into the cryptoverse in 2018 by promoting a high-profile crypto scam called Centra Tech. Due to the legal ramifications of promoting unverified crypto projects, Mayweather and co-promoter DJ Khaled were fined $600,000 and $150,000, respectively.
After many months of hard work
I am starting my new NFT project @mayweverse⁰
The collection includes 5,000 NFTs (5 different NFTs cards of 1,000 each).
Each card has a different rarity, utilities, and prizes.
More information on the roadmap will be announced shortly.
stay tuned pic.twitter.com/SxZ916p0HP
— Floyd Mayweather (@FloydMayweather) March 21, 2022
Mayweather learned from his past mistakes and started a new NFT project Mayweverse – consisting of a collection of 5,000 NFTs. The boxer’s track record of getting involved in projects that got investors excited has left his fans and the general public with mixed feelings about the new crypto venture.
Matt Damon chooses philanthropy over crypto donations
Hollywood superstar Matt Damon received $1 million in donations from crypto exchange Crypto.com for Water.org, a clean water initiative co-founded by Damon and Gary White in 2009. As part of the deal, Crypto.com recommended its user base chip to the cause.
Although Damon has not disclosed his crypto investments, his participation in a Cypto.com commercial has been criticized by the majority of the crypto community. Investors retaliated against Damon’s “fortune favors the brave” suggestion as the bear market resulted in massive losses across the industry.
Related: Prominent NFT Brands: How celebrities can advance the NFT space
Bucking the growing trend of celebrity-backed NFT projects, consumer advocacy group Truth in Advertising (TINA.org) has called out 19 celebrities who are promoting NFTs without disclosing their connection to the projects.
The nonprofit consumer protection firm announced its intention to investigate celebrities promoting “deceptive” crypto investing. On the website it says:
“The promoter often fails to disclose a material connection to the sponsored NFT company.”
In response to TINA.org’s letters regarding the promotion of NFTs on their social media accounts without disclosing their connection to the projects, Justin Bieber’s legal team responded by denying any wrongdoing. However, the team confirmed to update the posts on social media.