“ Bitcoin is going to change the world,” revered rapper and producer Akon told the Milken Institute Global Conference in 2014. Some were surprised by this overt endorsement, but he certainly wasn’t the first celeb to shout similar praises. In fact, numerous stars have invested in, used and promoted the cryptocurrency over the years. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most notable…
Sir Richard Branson
The billionaire behind the Virgin Group has supported the virtual currency for many years now, having invested in BitPay and stating that future Virgin Galactic flights to space will be accepting Bitcoin as payment. At this time, you cannot pay using Bitcoin on any of Branson’s online casinos, but there are numerous alternatives including Vegas Casino – an exclusively Bitcoin casino.
“I have invested in bitcoin because I believe in its potential; the capacity it has to transform global payments is very exciting,” Branson wrote on his website’s blog. “It has been obvious to us all for quite some time that people aren’t satisfied with the business as usual approach adopted by the major payment networks.”
If you want to be Mel B’s lover, you’ve got to get with Bitcoin, apparently (I’m sorry, I’ll get my coat). The former Spice Girl became the first musician in history to accept Bitcoin when she signed a deal with CloudHasting.com in December 2013.
Scary Spice went on to release the single ‘For Once In My Life’ with the help of the Bitcoin mining company and allowed fans to pay with the cryptocurrency. “I love how new technology makes our lives easier and, to me, that’s exciting,” Mel B said in a press release. “Bitcoin unites my fans around the world using one currency. They can just pay using bitcoins.”
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones (widly known by his stage name Nas) is an American hip-hop artist, actor, poet, social commentator and an entrepreneur. Over the years, he has managed to sell over 25 million albums and had eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum records.
In April 2013, Nas transitioned from hip-hop to the business world when he invested in Mass Appeal Magazine and opened a sneaker store in Las Vegas. More recently, the rapper hit the headlines when he and his manager Aymen Anthony Saleh invested in over forty start-ups. These included a bitcoin exchange websites Coinbase and 500 Startups.
Drew Carey A Bitcoin investor
At the beginning of 2013, Drew Carey Tweeted: “Just tried to buy breakfast [with] bitcoins. Refused. #whenwilltheworldcatchuptomyhipness?”
In an attempt to help Carey, many of his fans and followers began suggesting establishments where he could use the virtual currency, like Charlie Shrem. BitPay also got in contact with Carey, encouraging the comedian to tell businesses that don’t accept Bitcoin to contact the payment processor.
As the host of The Price Is Right, Carey also got bitcoin fans excited when he suggested contestants might be able to get paid in the currency in future seasons.
In 2013, Ashton Kutcher told TechCrunch Disrupt NY: “The bigger thing with bitcoin is: what can that decentralized technology really do? We don’t have to worry about Big Brother and that same infrastructure that built out Bitcoin could be used in the security industry for mass good.”
With such an interest in the virtual currency, it’s no surprise that Kutcher was one of the first celebrities to invest in BitPay, Bitgo and Soundcloud, which all use for payments.