Actor Jamie Foxx Latest Addition to Growing List of Celebrity ICO Endorsements

If you thought we were in an ICO bubble, Jamie Foxx's latest celebrity ICO endorsement might just pop it. The Oscar-winning actor is the latest addition to a long list of similar ICO celebrity endorsements by Paris Hilton and Floyd ‘Money' Mayweather. Who do you think will be the next celebrity endorsement?

On Tuesday 14, September, Jamie Foxx tweeted his excitement on taking part in Cobinhood, a zero-fee cryptocurrency exchange ICO.

Jamie's tweet, which garnered 7,800 retweets and extensive coverage is the latest addition to a long list of ICO celebrity endorsements. ICOs have taken cryptocurrency crowdfunding marketing to the next level. Jamie's endorsements add to similar ICO boosts by Paris Hilton and Floyd ‘Money' Mayweather.

What are ‘ICOs' initial coin offerings?

Initial coin offerings are a crowdfunding model powered by blockchain technology. A project makes an offer to the public in exchange for investment funds. There catch is, the crowdfund only accepts cryptocurrencies and investors receive crypto tokens instead of shares.

Jamie Foxx and Paris Hilton are part of ICOs marketing strategy

A successful ICO needs to put in a lot of sweat into marketing. A well-executed marketing plan may well be the difference between raising $1million in a month or a couple of seconds. Blockchain savvy startups all over the world have turned to ICOs as a quick and innovative method to raise seed funding. So far, it has worked out great. Billions of dollars have gone into ICOs in just the past 12 months!

Celebrity lineup featuring actors, artists, comedians and sports stars, is all part of the latest marketing tactics employed by ICO promoters.

Earlier in September, hotel heiress Paris Hilton threw her weight behind LydianCoin Ltd, a blockchain startup targeting $100 million in funding. She tweeted

Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token! #ThisIsNotAnAd #CryptoCurrency #BitCoin #ETH #BlockChain

— Paris Hilton (@ParisHilton)

LydianCoin is giving away 20 million tokens at $5 a piece to finance development of an AI Big data digital marketing cloud. Presumably, the aftermath of the buzz generated by Paris' public endorsement will draw in more investors from the limited pool of capital.

An impending crypto bubble is driving ICOs to get creative

The proliferation of ICOs is crowding out space. So ICOs have to think outside the box to have a piece of limited investor capital. While a celebrity endorsement may not be the be all and end all, it certainly puts you ahead of the pack. The subsequent content generated helps a great deal in higher SEO rankings and a wider reach of audience.

These tactics work, and it is why more ICOs are using it. 

Floyd ‘Money' Mayweather promoted Centra Token sale via a tweet on Tuesday 19 September. Centra card is a debit for spending cryptocurrencies at real-world stores.  It is the third ICO endorsed by the flamboyant boxing champion in just two months.

Floyd is not the only one. Stox, a prediction market ICO, used footballing superstar Luis Suarez to invite his 24.2 million fans to take part in their crowdfunding. Paragon coin paired up with The Game, a rapper from LA to endorse their ICO via video on twitter. Most recently, stand-up comedian Kevin Hart tweeted support for TheFlik ICO. TheFlik is a startup building a video streaming service integrated with cryptocurrency. Interestingly, one of the co-founders is Grammy award-winning hip-hop artist TIP.

Regulators Swoop in on ICOs

This wave of ICOs however, has come under heavy criticism from the cryptocurrency community. Accusations boil down to the incredulous amounts of money raised from unknowing investors. Total funding in the last 12 months is up to $1.8 billion, a sum that has drawn the attention of regulators in Canada, the UK, the US, China and South Korea.

The Securities and Exchange commission was the first to draw blood. An official statement from the securities regulators warned ICOs were in fact securities under the Howey test. Chinese authorities, however, were less forgiving. A joint statement by seven government agencies, led by the People's Bank of China from China banned all ICO fundraising activity and forced startups to refund money to investors.

Perhaps this external pressure is the impetus for a change in ICO marketing strategy. Initial coin offerings have to be smarter and more creative. From athletes to music artists to billionaire idols and now an oscar winning actor. This wave of celebrity endorsements will likely persist, until the next significant shift in strategy.

Who do you think will be the next celebrity endorsement?