Endorsements from noted public figures can often be drivers of growth in certain markets. In the case of luxury perfumes, for example, celebrity endorsements have gone hand-in-hand with innovations in perfume ingredients themselves, and have also altered packaging to boost sales.
In the case of cryptocurrency, the backing from public figures can help to raise the profile for a given asset, and potentially help it gain favor from the public. And this isn’t just a hypothetical idea. Several prominent celebrities have actually made investments in cryptocurrency, ranging from celebrated athletes to A-list actors.
In early April, Serena Williams revealed via Instagram that her investment company had poured money into the digital platform Coinbase. Launched in 2014, the company Serena Ventures is described by Williams herself on Instagram as targeting ΓÇ£companies that embrace diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity and opportunity” – a description Coinbase is no doubt thrilled to be associated with. The timing, in this case, couldn’t be much better either. Not only has Williams likely profited throughout bitcoin’s 2019 surge thus far, but she’ll be one of the most visible athletes in the world this summer even as cryptos soar. Williams will be among the betting favorites at Wimbledon in July, and should generate plenty of attention, as she always does. Whether or not she makes good on the odds and wins yet another Grand Slam, her increased visibility during a strong summer for cryptos will give cryptocurrency advocates every chance to emphasize her interest.
Just last autumn, Academy Award-nominated actor Johnny Depp inked a deal with the platform TaTaTu. Described as a ΓÇ£cryptocurrency-centric social entertainment platform,” TaTaTu uses digital tokens to pay creators and users. As a result of the deal, Depp is set to produce content together with the company – a collaboration that the actor has described as ΓÇ£liberatingΓÇ¥ and ΓÇ£progressive.”
With the company having reported a $575 million token pre-sale just last year, it seems Depp could have a lot of creative freedom on his hands thanks to cryptocurrency. And more broadly, despite the fact that he has a somewhat off-beat reputation, Depp still has a massive name in pop culture, and thus lends further legitimacy to cryptos by association.
Although not a public figure per se, Facebook is certainly well known to the general public (to put it mildly). And just this June, the social media giant announced it would be releasing its own cryptocurrency, to be called Libra. Users of Libra will not only be able to buy and send money with nearly no fees, but also pseudonymously buy or withdraw the currency either online or at local exchange points. Though the company wonΓÇÖt fully control Libra and will instead just be one of a few founding members of the Libra Association (alongside companies like Visa and Uber), the currency itself will also be compatible with Facebook’s apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger.
Facebook is also set to launch a subsidiary company called Calibra, built with the purpose of handling crypto dealings and protecting user information. Given this initiative, FacebookΓÇÖs move toward building a global digital currency actually appears to have more privacy and decentralization than some might expect. Combined with the fact that FacebookΓÇÖs user base numbers in billions around the globe, the release of Libra could bring cryptocurrency one step closer to wider mainstream acceptance.
Whether or not that happens though, Facebook is one more big name – alongside those of prominent celebrities like Depp and Williams – investing in cryptocurrency, and thereby helping to normalize it in the eyes of the public.