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Celebs and crypto in 2020: Blockchain cities, Bitcoin newbies and Twitter trolling

01/02/2021

2020 noticed a variety of celebrities make waves within the crypto area, from crypto-powered cities and SEC lawsuits to Bitcoin newcomers.

Celebrities have lengthy been used to advertise manufacturers, services and products to various levels of success, and the cryptocurrency area has been no exception to this observe. In years passed by, the largest names on the earth of leisure have made waves within the crypto area for endorsing or investing in tasks, tokens and corporations. Some have stayed, others have gone and some have ended up in scorching water for his or her forays into the crypto cauldron.

2020 has additionally seen a variety of celebrities from completely different walks of life enter the fray, and as per typical, the cryptocurrency group has been abuzz concerning the newcomers and their involvement. So, let’s check out probably the most notable celebrities who’ve joined, those that have left, and those that confirmed elevated curiosity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem in 2020.

Akon: Visions of an African crypto-powered metropolis

Senegalese-American music star Akon is adored world wide not just for his chart-topping hits but additionally for his philanthropic and entrepreneurial work over time. His Lighting Africa initiative has helped present solar energy power options to twenty-eight international locations on the continent, and he’s additionally turn out to be a proponent for using cryptocurrencies and blockchain know-how.

In 2018, Akon revealed plans to launch a cryptocurrency known as Akoin that can turn out to be the native forex of a futuristic metropolis that he envisions constructing in his house nation of Senegal. Quick ahead a few years, and these plans have been lastly fleshed out and launched to the general public.

Akon Metropolis is about to be a $6 billion cryptocurrency-powered metropolis constructed on 2,000 acres of land that was reportedly given to him as a present by Senegal’s president, Macky Sall. Town shall be situated close to the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

The primary section of building of Akon Metropolis is predicted to start within the subsequent few months and is touted to be accomplished by the top of 2023, with a building contract having already been awarded to an American engineering agency.

Main infrastructure together with roads, waste providers and a solar energy plant shall be constructed within the first section alongside a hospital campus, a mall, residential lodging, accommodations and a police station. As well as, parks, a sports activities stadium, an industrial advanced and a college have been earmarked for building in section one as properly. Town can even be largely depending on renewable photo voltaic power.

Because the undertaking’s white paper particulars, the second section of growth is predicted to happen over 5 years, from 2024 to 2029, and can culminate within the completion of Akon Metropolis and its working solely on an financial system powered by the Akoin cryptocurrency and ecosystem.

Whereas Akon Metropolis might solely turn out to be a residing, respiration, crypto-powered metropolis in 2030, Akon’s imaginative and prescient and skill to launch the plan into motion in 2020 has actually earned him a spot on this record.

Sport of Thrones’ Maisie Williams woos Bitcoin group

The ultimate season of Sport of Thrones might have left many followers feeling underwhelmed, however its characters and their real-life actors have turn out to be beloved by many world wide. Maisie Williams, who performs the diminutive however lethal Arya Stark within the TV collection, is one other celeb who joined the crypto group in 2020.

In November, Williams took to Twitter to ask her 2.7 million followers if she ought to “go lengthy on bitcoin” in a ballot that garnered over 900,000 votes, 3,400 retweets, 3,700 feedback and 16,000 likes.

Whereas the tally of the votes as of the top of December resulted in 53% of voters saying “no,” a swathe of influential figures from the world of cryptocurrency, blockchain and past added their two cents to the submit.

Famend crypto podcast host Peter McCormack gave Williams a really maximalist response in his remark saying “Bitcoin and nothing else,” whereas Barry Silbert made reference to the lethal affliction generally known as “greyscale” in Sport of Thrones when he instructed Williams discover investing by way of Grayscale’s digital-asset trusts.

On the finish of the day, Williams made up her personal thoughts and “purchased some anyway.” Arya Stark all the time did her personal factor.

Paris Hilton, artiste extraordinaire

Paris Hilton is an American celeb, actress, mannequin, actuality TV star, DJ and singer who has additionally turn out to be a famend entrepreneur by way of numerous retail ventures.

In 2017, Hilton made a small foray into the cryptocurrency area in the course of the top of the preliminary coin providing frenzy. In a now-deleted collection of Twitter posts, Hilton expressed her curiosity within the ICO of LydianCoin, which later grew to become embroiled in critical authorized battles.

Hilton later distanced herself from the undertaking after its founder was convicted of home violence and battery, and he or she seemingly walked away from the world of crypto — till 2020, that’s.

In August, Hilton made headlines after asserting that she had offered a digital artwork piece of her cat, Munchkin, for a complete of 40 Ether (ETH), which was value round $17,000 on the time. Hilton’s digital portray was offered on an Ethereum-based public sale platform known as Cryptograph.

Hilton pledged the proceeds of the public sale to 3 United States-based charities: the Los Angeles Regional Meals Financial institution, Meals On Wheels and Backpack Mattress for Homeless.

Rapper Logic’s “YOLO” Bitcoin purchase

Following within the footsteps of Williams, American rapper Logic was additionally bitten by the Bitcoin bug lately. In a brief video posted to his Instagram story on Nov. 20, Logic mentioned that he’d purchased $6 million value of Bitcoin (BTC) in October, earlier than saying YOLO — you solely dwell as soon as.

Whereas it’s onerous to inform if the 30-year-old rapper, who lately signed an unique cope with streaming platform Twitch, was being critical, his big-money transfer would have appreciated dramatically within the month since he purchased Bitcoin.

Logic’s Bitcoin acquisition would have snapped up 433 BTC at a value of round $13,850. Quick ahead one month to Dec. 20, and his Bitcoin holdings could be value in extra of $9 million if he stored on hodling.

SEC makes an instance of Steven Seagal

Whereas a couple of notable celebrities have both entered the cryptocurrency area or made some significant contributions, a pair have exited the setting in unceremonious circumstances.

American actor Steven Seagal aligned himself with a questionable cryptocurrency undertaking in 2018 known as Bitcoiin2Gen, which on the time claimed to be a “superior” model of Bitcoin. Seagal got here on board as a model ambassador for the undertaking’s ICO, a transfer that will finally land him in deep trouble with the U.S. Securities and Change Fee.

Seagal’s deal noticed him promote the Bitcoiin2Gen ICO on his social media channels for a variety of months, in trade for $250,000 in money and $750,000 in B2G tokens. The undertaking caught the eye of state-level regulators and acquired cease-and-desist orders, whereas Seagal ended up being a serious goal of authorized proceedings by the SEC.

In February, Seagal was ordered to pay again the compensation he’d acquired from Bitcoiin2Gen. In accordance with paperwork filed with the SEC, Seagal maintained that he solely acquired $157,000 from his promotional deal. The actor finally agreed to settle the costs with the SEC, paying $330,000 to the fee.

The SEC as soon as once more warned celebrities that they have been sure by regulation to reveal any compensation acquired for utilizing their social media platforms to advertise securities.

Real curiosity or straight-up trolling?

2020 additionally noticed a few extra big-name celebrities exploring the world of cryptocurrencies by way of using their social media platforms, though they could properly have been trolling the ever-zealous crypto-faithful.

J. Ok. Rowling, world-renowned writer of the Harry Potter collection, took to Twitter in Could to ask what she in all probability assumed was a easy query about Bitcoin in a thread with cryptocurrency journalist Leigh Cuen.

Very like Williams’ scenario, Rowling’s query caught the eye of the complete cryptosphere, with the likes of Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, crypto writer Saifedean Ammous, podcaster Laura Shin and even Elon Musk getting in on the dialogue.

The talk went on for days, whereas Rowling frequently mentioned that she nonetheless had not grasped how the cryptocurrency labored. The writer was so inundated with responses that she finally tweeted a day later that she may not ever be capable of log again onto the social media platform with out being derided for not proudly owning Bitcoin. The hilarious incident and subsequent response from the cryptocurrency group is a reminder of the affect that celebrities can have on the area.

Rowling was not the one main celeb to get Crypto Twitter riled up in 2020. Enter Musk, CEO of Tesla and founding father of SpaceX. He’s been recognized to leap onto Twitter infrequently and stir the pot with cryptic Tweets concerning the crypto area.

Twice this 12 months, Musk precipitated the value of Dogecoin (DOGE) to surge in worth by merely mentioning its identify in tweets. The most recent incident occurred in December as Musk “trolled” Bitcoin, describing it as “nearly as bs [bullshit] as fiat cash” earlier than posting a brief tweet studying: “One phrase: Doge.”

The tweet noticed the value of Dogecoin recognize by 25% because the cryptocurrency started to pattern on the platform. The thread of tweets additionally drew the eye of influential figures on the earth of crypto.

Enterprise intelligence agency MicroStrategy’s CEO, Michael Saylor, joined the dialog and provided to share his personal Bitcoin acquisition technique with Musk. MicroStrategy has purchased greater than $1 billion value of BTC in 2020, having adopted the cryptocurrency as its major treasury reserve asset. He acknowledged:

“If you wish to do your shareholders a $100 billion favor, convert the $TSLA stability sheet from USD to #BTC. Different companies on the S&P 500 would observe your lead & in time it could develop to turn out to be a $1 trillion favor.”

Musk replied asking if “such massive transactions” have been even attainable, earlier than Saylor provided to share his “playbook” offline with Musk “from one rocket scientist to a different.” The MicroStrategy CEO holds twin levels from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics, and in science, know-how and society. So, let’s simply hope that these two brilliant minds did really slide into one another’s DMs to check notes on all issues crypto.