Four celebs who lost big money on crypto or NFTs
ike Tyson famously warned that everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face but he almost certainly never meant this to be financial advice. Perhaps Logan Paul, the YouTuber-cum-boxer, should take this tip to heart, after the value of an NFT that he reportedly purchased for over half a million dollars fell to just $10 (£9).
Like crypto, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are highly speculative investments and their value is often subjective – not unlike fine art. This makes it hard to pick those that will rise in value, as many people have learned the hard way over the past year.
Enthusiasts insist that NFTs and the blockchain technology they are based upon will revolutionise the world of finance, thanks to the ability to record transactions permanently without relying on a central authority’s permission, as is the case with banks. However, even die-hard NFT fans would admit the frothy NFT market of 2021 needed a correction, when collections of these images were sometime sold for millions of pounds.
To be sure, Paul is not the only celeb who’s invested big – and lost big – in NFTs or crypto over the past year. Here are four celebs whose finances took a huge hit after the market tanked. They probably wish that they’d got into the ring with Iron Mike instead.
The infamous YouTuber hopped on the NFT bandwagon last year, at the peak of multi million pound NFT sales. It now appears this eagerness has cost him a small fortune.
Paul himself revealed that an NFT he purchased for $623,000 (£558,000) is now worth a mere $10 (£9) – just about enough to afford a pint of beer in a central London pub.
But that NFT is merely part of a vast collection he amassed during the last year, spending over $2.5 million (£2.24 million). Recent estimates from DappRadar, a site that evaluates the worth of NFTs, say this collection is now worth just under $1 million – certainly not a paltry sum, but one that is 60% down from its heyday. That’s got to hurt.
British rapper and YouTuber, JJ Olatunji, also known as KSI, has been bullish on cryptocurrencies for a while. He once argued that crypto will play a key role in future monetary system and even dipped into politics when he told GQ last year that he’d give every UK resident £100 worth of bitcoin if he were elected Prime Minister.
The rapper put down $2.8 million (£2.51 million) in May on the LUNA crypto token, just as it started crashing, betting that it would soon rebound. It now appears his investment instincts are, shall we say, unreliable because the token eventually collapsed to virtually zero, leaving KSI with a multimillion pound-sized hole in his pocket.
In fairness, KSI doesn’t appear to be fazed by these stiff losses, saying: “I feel like a lot of people are not really seeing that: they’re trying to look for quick money like, ‘Oh, I want to get in and out.’ This is a long-haul thing, and I’m here for the journey.” Full marks for emotional resilience at least.
The Brazilian football phenom, like many other sports stars, also fell down the NFT rabbit hole earlier this year, after reportedly splashing more than $1 million (£900,000) on two NFTs from the Bored Apes Yacht Club, which is widely regarded as one of the most desirable NFT collections.
These “Ape” NFTs, which are essentially digital pictures of primates with varying traits like hair, facial features, and expressions, are often used by celebrities and crypto aficionados as a marker that they get the crypto space and are part of the cool crowd.
Unfortunately for Neymar, being part of this exclusive club has cost him dearly: his two apes, bought for around $480,000 and $570,000 in January, are now worth $153,000 and $171,000 respectively, according to DappRadar, a site that tracks NFT values.
The footballer is thus looking at paper losses of more than $700,00. Don’t feel too sorry, though, as this chunky sum is said to be about one week’s salary for him.
Electronic music DJ and producer Steve Aoki is famous for his raucous EDM bangers – and yet he’s also made a name for himself in the crypto world as a respected collector and even creator of NFTs.
These investments, however, have not delivered the same kind of success as his music: as the owner of eight Bored Ape NFTs, and more than one hundred NFTs in total, Aoki has seen the value of the assets decline significantly.
While his diversification helped him contain the losses, one of the “Doodles” NFTs he bought back in January for around $346,000 is now worth just $42,000, according to estimates from DappRadar. This is one tune that Steve will not want to hear too often.
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