Snoop Dogg to Perform at Ripple Event: Are Celebrity Endorsements Good for Crypto?

Ripple, issuers of the third largest coin (by market capitalization in March 2018) has announced a private community event as part of next month’s Blockchain Week in New York City where Snoop Dogg is billed to perform. The VIP event is ticket only, but the company announced on Twitter that it would be giving away ten tickets to the winners of two contests:

“Twitter Trivia” (beginning 4 pm Thursday, April 26)
“Make the Meme” (beginning 3:30 pm PST on Wednesday, May 2)

Winners of the trivia round will need to answer three questions correctly (the first eight respondents to do so will win one ticket each), and “Make the Meme” will reward two members of the community for providing the best captions for two images shared by Ripple.

You can find in-depth entry rules for both competitions here.

Celebrities jumping on the crypto bandwagon

Snoop’s presence at Ripple’s event is interesting as he has 18 million followers on Twitter and, as CoinDesk pointed out, the rapper is no stranger to crypto — evidenced by a tweet in January when he shared trading app RobinHood’s announcement saying, “Putting tha Crip in Crypto.” Celebrity endorsements undoubtedly bring attention to the crypto space, but Snoop backing a project is miles away from a McAfee tweet – whatever your opinion, of the two only one is an authority on technology.

It hasn’t always worked out well when celebrities have jumped on the crypto bandwagon, and some have damaged the reputation of the space. Heavyweight boxer Floyd Mayweather made a lot of noise having backed an ICO that was charged for fraudulent activity by the SEC, and 50 Cent quoted an article by website TMZ on his Instagram saying he’d “forgotten” that he owned bitcoin. Reports indicated that he was a bitcoin millionaire, but the rapper has since denied these claims during a lengthy bankruptcy case. The latter is probably not too damaging, but it continues the trend of celebs talking about a technology they seem to know little about.

While it is great to see big names singing the praises of crypto and bringing it increasingly into the public eye, more emphasis needs to put on asking whether they are using their profile to capitalize on the hype in the space, or whether they have a genuine interest and belief in the technology. After all, it is ultimately the code that gives crypto its value.

It’s probably safe to say that Snoop’s relationship with Ripple won’t reflect Mayweather’s foray into the crypto sphere. Though famed for name changes, he probably isn’t about to re-invent himself as Crypto-Snoop, Snoop-Doge, or some equivalent, just like 50 Cent isn’t going to change his stage name to 0.000054 BTC, but the community should still be wary of celebrity involvement in the space. The only thing that should sway your opinion is faith in a project, and that should come via hours of diligent research.

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Michael is an English and Creative writing graduate of Liverpool John Moore’s University, a former editor of several magazines, and a crypto-currency enthusiast. He is mostly interested in crypto-legislation and the potential of decentralized technology to change the world.