Overshadowing its glory in earlier years, the crypto ecosystem managed to keep a year-long spotlight through 2021. Key catalysts include standard adoption of Bitcoin (BTC), an image coin frenzy driven by Shiba Inu (SHIB) and Dogecoin (DOGE), and proactive support from well known famous people and authority figures. The year 2021 saw a more noteworthy inflow of influencers and celebrities to the space than at any other time. As far as possible from standard tech entrepreneurs and presidents to rappers and unscripted television stars, celebrities have engaged in crypto in their own one of a kind ways. While some decided to make their own versions of crypto ecosystems and tokens, others helped spread awareness with different projects.
Legendary rapper Snoop Dogg has always been an early adopter and promoter of technology and lifestyle merchandise. Although a little late, the musician entered the crypto space via an NFT collaboration named “Decentralized Dogg.”
As a tribute to all those who showed involvement in our world of crypto, let’s check out some of the most influential celebrities that left a mark on the crypto ecosystem, in no particular order.
Snoop’s mainstream popularity has also led many token creators to market Snoop Dogg-branded cryptocurrencies over the past few years, but the musician has warned investors of having no involvement in such projects.
Despite strong initial opposition against Bitcoin’s use, Bukele now procures Bitcoin every time its market value goes down. Complementing this move, the Salvadoran government has been reinvesting unrealized gains from Bitcoin to fast-track the development of the Central American country.
As the President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele has been the torchbearer for Bitcoin’s mainstream adoption as a legal tender. In addition to playing a major role in legalizing Bitcoin and building a relevant infrastructure to support the Bitcoin economy, Bukele remains active on Twitter to announce the various Bitcoin-driven initiatives of his government.
Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk made his mark on crypto when he started publicly endorsing Dogecoin (DOGE) back in 2020. However, Musk continues to show support for the meme coin by committing to accept payments in DOGE for various products and services offered by his companies.
As a result of Musk’s support, the market price of the DOGE token has surged multi-fold despite being created for the purpose of mocking the crypto ecosystem. DOGE’s popularity has also sprouted dog-based meme tokens, Shiba Inu (SHIB) being one of the most prominent.
Naomi Osaka, a top professional tennis player from Japan, announced her entry into the crypto space after diversifying her portfolio in cryptocurrency, noticing the hype around Dogecoin. Osaka’s introduction to crypto was fueled by the crypto community on Twitter. The athlete has also launched and promoted various NFT initiatives, and in the process, has made a record as the most expensive NFTs being sold by a professional tennis player.
The international soccer legend Lionel Messi was one of the most high-profile players to get linked with the crypto ecosystem in 2021. When Messi signed the deal to join Paris Saint-Germain football club, a part of the salary package included payment in the club’s fan tokens. Fan tokens are part of a growing sub-ecosystem that aims to increase fan engagement by allowing them to weigh in on certain club decisions. Other popular soccer clubs that have introduced fan tokens include Manchester City and AC Milan, just to name a couple.
Zuckerberg’s entry into crypto has been long-awaited ever since Facebook released the white paper for the Libra cryptocurrency back in 2019. Despite federal pressure to end experimentations with crypto, Zuckerberg rebranded his social media company Facebook to Meta on Oct. 28, positioning itself as an early bird of the budding metaverse ecosystem. Meta envisions developing a centralized metaverse world that can serve as a revenue source for online creators. Following Zuckerberg’s footsteps, major tech giants including Microsoft, Epic Games and Alibaba have started exploring business opportunities within the metaverse ecosystem.
The buzz around crypto this year also got caught up with Kim Kardashian. The reality TV superstar marked her entry into crypto by promoting Ethereum Max (EMAX), an untested cryptocurrency token, on her official Instagram account. While the move to market (or rather, shill) a cryptocurrency has become common practice for influencers across all demographics, Kardashian’s involvement in promoting EMAX backfired as United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority accused her of misleading followers by promoting speculative tokens. The FCA has also noted that scammers pay influencers to promote get-rich-quick schemes and usually end up running away with the investors’ money.
Kim Kardashian has also previously used her Instagram account to promote physical Bitcoin chips on a charity poker night out. Soulja Boy
American rapper Soulja Boy has been one of the most vocal celebrities on Crypto Twitter in 2021. From showing support for cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin via Twitter to selling “Crank That”-branded NFTs, Soulja Boy made sure his presence was felt across the crypto community.