By Neale Orinick
April 28, 2021
When Bitcoin (BTC) came on the scene in 2009 it was mostly of interest to engineers, entrepreneurs, and developers. The general public had barely heard of it, did not understand how it worked and wasn’t terribly interested. That rapidly changed, however, when ultra-wealthy, ultra-famous celebrities from the movie and music industry and business moguls began investing in it, sharing #bitcoin on their social profiles and talking it about it with their fans.
A Who’s Who of Celebrities Investing In Cryptocurrencies
When Elon Musk, maker of Tesla cars, among other things, added the hashtag Bitcoin to his Twitter profile its value jumped 20%. Not long after that the billionaire tech mogul announced that Tesla had heavily invested in Bitcoin and would be accepting it as payment, saying it is, “on the verge of broad acceptance.”
Other celebrities like Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams and Bill Gates have made it publicly known that they own and invest in cryptocurrencies sparking the general public’s interest in it. Kutcher went so far as to launch his own investment firm, A-Grade, with the owner of the Dallas Maverick’s basketball team, Mark Cuban, in 2010. Since then, the Mavericks started accepting Bitcoin as payment for tickets and merchandise in the past two years.
Rapper and actor Snoop Dogg teased fans with the idea that one of his albums might be available for purchase using cryptocurrencies. Sure enough, it appears he sold some albums in 2013 for 0.3 BTC.
The GOAT, entrepreneur and savvy business woman, Serena Williams, dipped her elegant toe in the world of cryptocurrency back in 2019 with an investment in Coinbase. She would ultimately share her stake in it to invest in the Bitcoin rewards app Lolli with her husband and Reddit founder, Alexis Ohanian.
The funding round, which included several other investors, will go towards the development of Lolli’s mobile app, which lets users earn bitcoin when they shop online at partnered retailers. Kroger, Best Buy, and Nike are among the 1,000 retailers to offer bitcoin rewards for purchases on Lolli.
“I’m excited to announce my investment in Lolli, a company on a mission to make bitcoin more accessible. Earning and owning bitcoin is a step towards financial inclusivity for all people,” Williams said in a statement.
Social Media Influence
There is no arguing the fact that social media has made it easy to bring Bitcoin to the masses. In the information age where you can find out about anything in an instant, celebrities can heavily influence BTC’s daily market price while giving it an audience for more mainstream acceptance.
“Feng Mai, an assistant professor at Stevens Institute of Technology’s School of Business, asserts from her research that Twitter posts from influencers have an immediate effect on BTC pricing.
Most market analysts and crypto enthusiasts agree that celebrity attention and social media influence are good for cryptocurrencies giving it credence as a legitimate currency for goods and services just like money.
Passing Trend Or The Future Of Money?
While skepticism remains high on Wall Street about how widespread the use of cryptocurrencies will actually be, most market analysts and experts agree it’s not going away despite its volatile ride on the world’s financial markets.
Managing director UK & Eire at Dacxi, Katharine Wooller says the cryptocurrency boom is here to stay in an article published by informationage.com.
“Crypto as an industry, and an asset class, has now come of age. Let us not forget, that it is in the relatively recent past (such as the previous 18 months) that it was the soul preserve of a niche within a niche. Now, however, crypto is firmly in the mainstream — the recent boom was reported by the BBC and Financial Times no less.”
With celebrities endorsing cryptocurrencies and large corporations investing in it like Tesla, Twitter, the NBA, and now major league baseball, it looks like the future of cryptocurrencies is now. More and more retailers are beginning to accept it as payment for merchandise and PayPal has added it to its platform, firmly establishing Bitcoin as a legitimate form of currency. And the general public is taking notice and buying in.