Though the crypto space has seemingly moved beyond the endorsements many minor celebrities bestowed on token projects during the 2018 initial coin offering boom, its growing popularity and acceptance now has professional sports players, Hollywood elites and politicians backing major companies dealing with digital assets.In June 2021, Kim Kardashian promoted EthereumMax (EMAX) via an Instagram story shared with her more than 200 million followers. The token, which was used as payment for online ticket purchases for some pay-per-view events, gained 116,000% in just one week following the celebrity’s activity before falling more than 99% and leaving many investors in the red.Kim Kardashian promoting EthereumMax on Instagram Stories, June 2021. Source: InstagramThough EthereumMax is somewhat of a cautionary tale for crypto newbies looking to get involved in the space, it also represents one of the select times a major international figure outside of finance and politics not only spoke about digital assets but actively promoted a specific project for a fee — the story was labeled as an ad. Kardashian, recognized by many as an A-list celebrity, rose to fame largely outside of Hollywood circles, so her seeming stamp of approval on a token project was a surprise to many.Others in film and television entered the crypto space for the first time in 2021 following months of time spent mostly indoors during the worst waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mila Kunis, an actress famous for her roles in That ’70s Show and Family Guy, launched an animated nonfungible token (NFT) project based on cats who drink alcohol and smoke marijuana. However, the biggest endorsement of a crypto firm last year arguably came from film star Matt Damon, who appeared in a global ad spot for Crypto.com.Sports franchises also branched into crypto, either through official partnerships with exchanges or with individual players promoting certain campaigns or companies. Tom Brady, quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a seven-time Super Bowl champion, took an equity stake in crypto exchange FTX and is currently acting as an ambassador for the firm following an endorsement deal in June. His wife, Brazilian supermodel Gisele Bündchen, accepted a role as the exchange’s environmental and social initiatives adviser.“This particular opportunity showed us the importance of educating people about the power of crypto while simultaneously giving back to our communities and planet,” said Brady at the time.Cash App, a digital payments app developed by Block (formally known as Square), has also formed partnerships with NFL players, allowing them to receive their salaries in Bitcoin (BTC), amounting to millions of dollars. Odell Beckham Jr., wide receiver for the Los Angeles Rams, announced in November that he would be taking his $4.25-million salary in crypto. The professional athlete currently has a CryptoPunk-style image as his Twitter profile picture. Cash App offered a similar deal to Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who later found a place in the national spotlight after deceiving the public about his COVID-19 vaccination status.With the exception of Kardashian, celebrities jumping into the space in 2021, compared with those who followed the 2017 bull run, seem to be partnering with more established firms and projects with enough exposure to shake off any potential “scam” label. It’s unclear whether this can be attributed to the space seemingly gaining more acceptance across the world or to companies growing to the point where they have the financial means and influence to hire more prominent public figures.NFTs saw their share of celebrities last year, as well. In March, Canadian musician Grimes — sometimes associated with Tesla CEO and Dogecoin (DOGE) proponent Elon Musk — sold roughly $6 million worth of NFTs encompassing artwork and audio-visual animations. In December, NBA star Kevin Durant and sports manager Rich Kleiman announced that their venture capital firm, Thirty Five Ventures, would be partnering with crypto exchange Coinbase to create NFT drops. Musical artists such as Katy Perry, Kings of Leon, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Jay-Z, Shakira and others also launched similar initiatives in the NFT space last year.The trend of celebrities endorsing crypto is not without its detractors, however. Ben McKenzie, known for his roles on TV shows such as Gotham and The O.C., partnered with New Republic staff writer Jacob Silverman to call out actors and influencers for promoting the “illusory” rewards of cryptocurrencies. The pair have criticized Kardashian and others for seemingly labeling crypto projects as “a path to sustainable riches” without informing fans of the potential risks. Thank you @CNN for covering this story. There is an enormous amount of fraud in the crypto markets. Jacob and I will write about it at length. Please be smart folks, only gamble with what you can afford to lose. https://t.co/Q6muDzT4LS— Ben McKenzie (@ben_mckenzie) November 30, 2021“Whether it’s Lindsay Lohan peddling five-figure NFTs, laser-eyed Tom Brady endorsing the exchange FTX, or Akon promising to build a $6 billion, crypto-inspired city in Senegal, there’s a lot of capital swirling around this industry, and much cause for worry,” said McKenzie and Silverman in November. “Celebrities are encouraging their fans to gamble on speculative, unproven investments that may soon see a major regulatory crackdown, if not an outright implosion of the market.”Whether celebrity attention will help on the road to mass adoption remains to be seen. For the moment, associations between respected public figures and established crypto firms show many promising signs, from increasingly positive social media chatter to some correlations with price movements, often an indication of large buys and sells.Čítaj viac
Silk Roads lead to nonfungile tokens Bidding for a 1/1 NFT auction created by imprisoned Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht has surpassed 261 Ether (ETH), $1.17 million at the time of writing. The NFT depicts a hand-drawn illustration from Ulbricht of a psychedelic eye, and is part of a collection of writings and nine other artworks he created, some while in prison, that are included as part of the NFT sale. The auction kicked off on day one of the Art Basil Miami art fair on Dec. 2 and is being hosted by SuperRare. The auction is set to conclude on Nov. 8 and proceeds from the sale will go towards a trust supporting Ulbricht’s fight to be freed from his double-life prison sentence, and will also help launch the donor-advised charitable fund Art4Giving that aims to help prisoners and their families. In a blog post announcing the NFT drop, Ulbricht said that while his future looks bleak during his ninth year in prison without parole, he can do something positive to heal all the “damage” he sees around him.$225K NFT on sale for $20?Speaking of the Art Basil Miami art fair, Dmitri Cherniak the founder of the Ethereum-based and algorithmically generated NFT collection “Ringers” made an appearance out the front, offering to sell one of his NFTs worth $225,000 for a mere $20. It is unclear if the move was in jest, or a genuine offer however Cherniak shared a picture of himself at the event with a note on his Ipad that read “Ringers #0 for sale for $20.” Despite the floor price for Ringers NFTs currently sitting at 50 ETH or $225,000 on OpenSea, the artist noted that nobody took him up on the offer. Stood outside of the Art Basel convention center with a sign that said “Ringers #0 for sale for $20” and no one took me up on the offer. pic.twitter.com/2DWr7aml4A— Dmitri Cherniak (@dmitricherniak) December 2, 2021One user on Twitter noted that the stunt was similar to that of world-famous street artist Banksy, who has reportedly taken to the streets on multiple occasions to sell his art.“This is just like Banksy selling on the streets and no one taking him up on it until he started slashing prices. Dmitri might have gotten a nibble from the normies at $5-10, they def ngmi,” user 5511 wrote. Polygon to launch NFT gamesPolygon (MATIC), the Ethereum-based layer-two scaling solution and its gaming unit Polygon Studios have entered into a strategic partnership with GameOn Entertainment Technologies Inc. to build NFT games. GameOn is a U.S.-based sports prediction and gaming firm that caters to sports and media entertainment.According to a Dec. 2 announcement, the deal will see GameOn launch a series of NFT games on the Polygon network, while Polygon Studios will provide non-dilutive funding for 50% of GameOn’s going product development costs. The investment from Polygon Studios is part of a $100 million fund announced earlier this year that is focused on backing Web3 projects, with investments so far including DraftKings, DeFine and GameOn. Related: Deadmau5 and Portugal The Man release single as 1M NFTs in bid to go platinumGameOn stated in the announcement the partnership with Polygon Studios will significantly help the firm ramp up plans for the NFT sector. “The Polygon Studios investment allows GameOn to offer the full stack of capabilities from the creation, minting and selling of NFTs, to the game layers it already deploys for white label customers such as prediction and fantasy games,” the announcement read.Irishman producer looks to fund movies with NFTsNeils Juul, the executive producer behind Martin Scorsese’s hit film The Irishman, has created a new NFT company that aims to fund Hollywood films via NFT sales. According to a Dec. 1 report from The Hollywood Reporter, Juul’s new firm is dubbed “NFT Studios” and already has plans to fund a new comedy-drama film from NFT sales called “A Wing and a Prayer.”The movie will depict the real-life story of Brian Melton, who became the first man to circumnavigate the globe in an ultralight aircraft back in 1998. The film aims to feature A-list actors and is set to be shot in Malta and London by next April.“We are in the middle of a great transition in the entertainment business where traditional ways of film funding and ownership are being uprooted due to the rapid rise of streamers and other digital platforms,” Juul told the publication. Other Nifty NewsOn Thursday, Adidas announced it was entering the Metaverse in partnership with the Bored Ape Yacht Club creators Yuga Labs, gmoney NFT, and PUNKS Comic.On the same day, registered investment adviser and fintech firm Defiance launched the first NFT-focused exchange-traded fund (ETF) on the New York Stock Exchange Arca. The fund is listed under the ticker symbol NFTZ and has a management fee of 0.65% per year.Čítaj viac
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