It’s hardly surprising that Hollywood has embraced cryptocurrencies. The rich and famous are always looking for safe and profitable places to invest their earnings, while the cryptocurrency market is always on the lookout for a little celebrity endorsement to help promote its wares.
Just like the film industry, cryptocurrencies thrive on the buzz of publicity and glamour, so you might say that the two were made for each other. On the other side of the coin (excuse the pun), celebrities might also appreciate the combination of anonymity and security that blockchain-based transactions offer.
Alongside the movie business, stars in the world of sports and music have also embraced bitcoin, ethereum and the launch of new ICOs, probably for very similar reasons. Over the past few years, involvement with cryptocurrency has been sufficient to garner a news story that will help sell the star’s latest film or record release.
As cryptocurrencies are becoming normalised, thanks to easy trading solutions like this bitcoin system, the novelty value will no doubt die down. Hollywood’s interest will remain, however, as the stars quietly invest in cryptocurrencies and trading platforms, not for publicity reasons but for the huge profits that can potentially be made.
The award-winning actress, singer and businesswoman has several extra-curricular investments, including her wellness and lifestyle brand called Goop. In 2017 she also became an advisor for the bitcoin wallet Abra and used Goop and Twitter to encourage her followers to learn more about cryptocurrency and consider investing. In November 2018, the Iron Man star shared an article on the basics of investing in bitcoin with her 2.8 million followers and gained further publicity when several news outlets around the world picked up on the story.
It should come as no surprise that this rom-com regular is a big supporter of cryptocurrency, given his double life as a successful venture capitalist. His major investments include bitcoin payment service BitPay, and his Sound Ventures firm has also put money into the esports gambling start-up Unikrn Inc. In November 2017, Unikrn issued the ERC-20 cryptocurrency UnikoinGold, which can be used for betting on esports tournaments like DOTA 2, League of Legends and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
As well as being one of the world’s biggest movie icons, Depp is a partner in blockchain start-up TaTaTu. This is a platform that rewards its users with cryptocurrency tokens in return for them interacting with online content like films or games. The TaTaTu Coin, or TTU coin, has a fixed rate of exchange of 0.25 USD and is accepted by affiliated businesses as well as on the TaTaTu website.
The star of House and this year’s Dickens’ adaptation The Personal History of David Copperfield invested $5000 in bitcoin in 2015, apparently on the advice of a friend. The currency fell to a low of $200 in March that year, meaning that Laurie had probably been told to buy while it was affordable and to hang on to it until value increased again. With one bitcoin worth over $5200 at the time of writing, it looks like it was a wise decision.
The singer and actress teamed up with the cryptocurrency ripple in an online fundraiser for her Raising Malawi charitable foundation. This took place throughout August 2018 to celebrate the star’s 60th birthday. Ripple agreed to match every dollar donated, eventually raising over $400,000.
Several stars jumped on the bitcoin bandwagon early. They included Roseanne Barr, Drew Carey and Donald Glover, all of whom could be found endorsing the cryptocurrency on Twitter as far back as 2013. Carey joked about being unable to pay for his breakfast using bitcoin and waiting for the world to catch up with him, while Roseanne suggested that the digital currency could be a liberating alternative to our current financial systems.
Bitcoin also has some big-name followers in the Indian film industry. Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan teamed up with his son Abhishek to invest $250,000 in the currency. Fellow stars like Ranganathan Madhavan, Nargis Fakhri and Shilpa Shetty also seem to have followed his example, if their tweets on the subject are anything to go by.
Other celebrity endorsers include Paris Hilton, who tweeted about discredited crypto Lydiancoin in 2017, and boxer Mike Tyson, who helped create a branded bitcoin wallet in collaboration with Bitcoin Direct. The rappers, Snoop Dogg, DJ Khaled, The Game and Nas have also spoken publicly about their cryptocurrency investments. Meanwhile, the first UK pop star to accept payment in bitcoin was former Spice Girl Mel B in 2014.
Of course, these are only the stars who have spoken publicly about their investments. Many more are doubtless trading in cryptocurrencies behind the scenes. As the likes of bitcoin continue to gain momentum, the number of actors and other celebrities using digital currency seems sure to grow as well.