Celebrities and Crypto. Trust or Avoid?
The people behind an ICO plugged by Mayweather have been arrested, Hilton tweeted about a startup whose CEO is accused of harassment and a project involving Seagal will soon end in an exit scam. Let’s work out the correct response to popular figures who join blockchain projects.
How to choose the right startup out of thousands? Where should you invest to make sure you won’t get left holding the baby? Where are the shitcoins and where is the digital gold? These questions, among others, torment millions of people worldwide on a daily basis. Fortunately, the knowledge level of crypto enthusiasts is slowly growing. Whoever isn’t too lazy to do some reading and look for the right info can have +100k scam defence stats. But even then, it’s hard to take everything into account. Fraudsters come up with new schemes all the time and you need to be extremely careful if you want to keep hold of your money.
Scam hunters are divided into two groups – those who think that celebrity involvement in a startup is a red flag and those who, on the contrary, see it as a sign of credibility. We decided to find out who has the truth on their side.
Steven Seagal is at a loose end. Other people are saving ships and planes these days, his Russian passport has only brought him advertising work in that country and not even his craziest fans watch the latest films he’s starred in. Still, his 7 kids need to be fed somehow, so the actor agreed to join the Bitcoiin project. The name alone tells us it’s a fucking scam aimed at idiots (just imagine you’re launching a sportswear brand. You wouldn’t call it Nice, would you?). Take a look at the website and road map, then tell us: what raises 100 million dollars in investment and still produces absolutely nothing? Hint: it’s a 4-letter word that starts with “s” and ends in “m”. Seagal himself has already washed his hands of it, just like the rest of the team.
Floyd Mayweather Jr. must be the greediest black guy in history. He earns almost $300 million a year, but is still willing to advertise anything that will pay up. That’s why he hyped Centra Tech without even bothering to look into what it’s all about. Meanwhile, they’ve raised $30m and were about to shaft their investors, but the SEC sprung into action in the nick of time and arrested the startup’s bosses.
Paris Hilton always loved partying and drinking, but that lifestyle needs big money. So the glamour girl did some promo work for Lydian. Then a few weeks later, she deleted the tweet and claimed she had no links to the startup. Why, oh why? Maybe because the community managers are evil or because the website with revolutionary solutions from genius Gurbaksh Chahal was made 6 months ago for 200 bucks or because of his court cases for harassment and domestic violence. By the way, it’s a great story: you get sued, so you hold an ICO to raise money for lawyers or your new life on a tropical island. Profit.
Nikita Kucherov had a great season for the Tampa Bay Lightning, scoring them a record 117 points. Right now he’s one of the best hockey players on the planet. It’s hard to say why he put his name to the awful startup TokenStars. You can understand Lothar Matthäus, who no one wants to employ as a manager or TV presenter anymore, but this guy has the world at his feet! In a nutshell, TokenStars is a project that holds a endless sale (first ACE tokens, now TEAM, next will be STAR, BALL and other crap). They propose creating a multifunctional platform that will have everything from scouting and supporting young athletes and showbiz stars to betting (which, incidentally, could lead to these young athletes being disqualified). They raised 10 million dollars over two sales, but haven’t rustled anything up yet – it’s doubtful they ever will, but there are enough suckers in the world to keep them going well into the future.
Director David Fincher decided to chop the head off Gwyneth Paltrow’s character in the thriller Seven. He used Kevin Spacey’s character to do the dirty work. But you can’t say that the actress herself hasn’t got a good head on her shoulders. Last year, she became an adviser to cryptobank Abra, which so far has been developing nicely. The mobile app already has 6,500 reviews on the AppStore and Google Play. Mostly positive. Jessica Alba also endorsed the project. Of course, both ladies play no role in managing Abra, but they at least took an interest in what they were signing up for.
Jamie Foxx Unchained didn’t only hype, but also invested his own money in the zero trading fee Cobinhood exchange. Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman did the same. After taking off at the start of January (0.00008 BTC), the COB token has found itself stuck in the mud ever since (0.00007 BTC). But the exchange itself is ticking over quite nicely – it has an average daily trading volume of 1 million bucks. How does it make any money without commission? It holds ICOs for selected startups and charges 5% of the funds attracted during the sale. Not bad at all.
Womaniser/stud Ashton Kutcher and the senior blond man who has his finger in every pie, but isn’t called Trump – Richard Branson – have invested in BitPay, a service for making payments in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. Mobile apps, wallets, bank cards and hundreds of thousands of users – that’s what they’re all about. Last year, BitPay processed 1 billion dollars in payments. Nevertheless, even they fuck up from time to time.
One of the two best footballers in the world, Lionel Messi, has advertised Israeli startup Sirin Labs. These aren’t your average boys from the street – they have connections and experience creating products – and they’ve decided to make a phone and TV integrated with blockchain. They raised $150,000 and are already accepting pre-orders for these devices. No one has seen them yet, but they’ve already been criticised for their high prices and not achieving the objectives set. Well, Messi is good at proving that “impossible is nothing”. Now Sirin Labs just has to do that too.
As we can see from the cases described above, there’s some truth on both sides of the fence. Celebs are only people and they make mistakes too, but not all projects they’re somehow involved in should be branded scams. Another thing is that startup founders shouldn’t behave like travelling salesmen in Texas trying to flog kerosene lamps using Buffalo Bill. The money doled out to celebs (the likes of Mayweather and Messi are unlikely to get out of bed for less than a million bucks) would be better spent on a staff of top-class developers. This isn’t a dick-measuring contest, we’re trying to change the world here!
If you really want to help reveal scams and have blockchain move in the right direction, send us info and share your leaks and findings. We’ll post everything and smash the scammers into moon dust.
In blockchain we trust!
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