Who are the biggest stars that love talking about crypto?
Over the last few years, cryptocurrencies have quickly become a worldwide phenomenon, disrupting global financial markets and revolutionising the way we think about money. However, crypto is still very much the new kid on the block, and there are still huge swathes of people who are either not familiar with cryptocurrencies or are sceptical of their value.
In response to this, crypto companies have employed numerous marketing techniques to reach new audiences and increase general awareness of cryptocurrencies. From half-time adverts at the Super Bowl, to posters plastering the London underground, we’ve recently seen a huge marketing drive from the crypto community.
One of the most effective methods of promoting crypto has been through the use of celebrity influencers who will discuss and endorse different coins and projects. These crypto celebs can reach millions of their loyal followers in an instant via their social media accounts, giving them a captive audience that is keen to hear what they have to say. With this in mind, we wanted to find out which pro-crypto celebrities are the most effective at promoting digital currencies to their audiences.
The crypto celebs with the biggest audience
These are the crypto-touting celebs with the largest Instagram followings, allowing them to influence huge numbers of people and spread awareness of crypto most effectively.
1. Lionel Messi - Instagram Followers: 320 million
The crypto celeb with the largest following on Instagram is Lionel Messi, who has a whopping 320 million followers. The Argentine footballer has recently signed a $20 million deal to promote the crypto fan token firm Socios, which allows football fans from all over the world to engage with the sport on a deeper level.
2. Kim Kardashian - Instagram Followers: 302 million
Kim Kardashian is the crypto celeb with the second-highest number of followers on Instagram at 302 million. Kim’s involvement in crypto has been controversial, as she is now the subject of a lawsuit due to her promotion of Ethereum Max, a token that was alleged to be a pump and dump scheme with investors losing millions when the coin’s value crashed by 98%.
3. Snoop Dogg - Instagram Followers: 72.6 million
Snoop Dogg ranks third when it comes to crypto celebs with the most followers on Instagram, at 72.6 million, and is an active promoter of both cryptocurrencies and NFTs, which rely on the same blockchain technology to operate. In his most recent music video “House I Built”, Snoop Dogg is seen performing in the metaverse via a virtual avatar while singing about his love for the world of crypto and NFTs.
The crypto celebs who are the most engaging
While having a large following on social media is important for promoting products such as cryptocurrencies, the engagement rate of your posts can hold just as much weight, if not more. The more people like, comment and share a post, the more they are actively interacting with the topic and taking their first steps into the cryptosphere.
1. Magnus Carlsen - Engagement Rate: 11.78%
The crypto celeb with the most engaging posts is Magnus Carlsen, with an engagement rate of 11.78%. The Norwegian chess superstar and five-time world champion won the first ever FTX Crypto Cup in 2021 in which the top 10 players in the world competed for the prize of 1 Bitcoin, showing he is enthusiastic about the value of cryptocurrencies.
2. Donald Glover - Engagement Rate: 7.95%
Donald Glover, A.K.A. Childish Gambino, is the crypto celeb with the second-highest engagement rate of 7.95%. Glover has been a staunch advocate of cryptocurrencies since as early as 2013, when he said that cryptos such as Bitcoin felt “more real” to him than financial products backed by gold, which he sees as archaic and old-fashioned.
3. Tom Brady - Engagement Rate: 7.91%
NFL star Tom Brady is the crypto celeb with the third-highest engagement rate of 7.91%. Brady has taken his enthusiasm for decentralised currency to the next level by acquiring a stake in crypto firm FTX alongside his partner Gisele Bündchen, with the celebrity pair now becoming official ambassadors for the firm.
Celebrity crypto controversy
Celebrity involvement in cryptocurrency is not without its controversy, with many celebs falling foul of their established fanbase by veering away from their usual sphere of expertise to talk about crypto. While some of these celebs draw ire from their fans for simply advertising these products, such as Larry David and Matt Damon, who recently appeared in ads for FTX and crypto.com respectively, other celebs have made some more serious blunders.
For instance, Kim Kardashian’s recent promotion of Ethereum Max has resulted in a lawsuit being brought against her by people who fell foul of what appeared to be a classic pump and dump scheme. Floyd Mayweather Jr. and NBA star Paul Pierce were also named in this lawsuit for helping to promote what turned out to be a dud token, though this doesn’t necessarily mean any of them were aware of Etherum Max’s shortcomings.
This case highlights that while many celebrities have a genuine interest and passion for the burgeoning world of crypto and blockchain technology, they do not necessarily have the expertise to back up their enthusiasm and are just as fallible as the rest of us. With that in mind, you should always double-check any information about cryptocurrencies that is disseminated by a celeb who isn’t an established authority on the subject.
5 reasons to be wary of celebrity crypto advice
We often follow celebrities not just for the work that made them famous, but also because they create interesting and engaging content while providing a window into their lives of luxury. Additionally, celebrities can provide useful information for how to become successful in their specific fields of expertise, such as a famous author explaining their method for starting a new book.
However, when it comes to financial decision-making such as investments and cryptocurrency, there are several reasons you should think twice before taking the advice of celebrities as verbatim.
1. Pump and dump schemes
Pump and dump schemes are present across the investment landscape, but are particularly prevalent in the digital asset space as it is new, largely unregulated and attracts novice investors.
A pump and dump scheme in crypto is when the creators of a token over-exaggerate its value and usefulness and create a hype on social media, forums or other recesses of the internet to spur interested parties into investing. This, and the triggered algorithms and bots which will then also go on to invest, causes the price of the token to soar.
However, once the price reaches a certain value, the creators begin to offload their remaining stock before disappearing into the ether, leaving their investors with the useless tokens.
These schemes are often promoted on social media, with some influencers and celebrities getting in on the scams or being hired to promote them.
2. Paid promotions
While much of what we see our favourite celebs and influencers posting on social media is their own content, a large portion of it is paid for by companies who are after a little extra publicity. However, while sponsored content is usually related to the topics a celebrity generally posts about, a sudden post about cryptocurrency can seem strange and out of character.
When a celeb who has never before spoken about anything finance-related begins to discuss blockchain technology or recommending one cryptocurrency or another, you can be sure that they’re either being paid to do so, or that they stand to gain in some other way.
So, if an influencer or celeb is promoting or discussing crypto and it doesn’t seem like something they would normally be interested in, then it would be wise to treat their words with a little more skepticism than usual.
3. Unrealistic claims
Something else to watch out for when taking advice on things such as crypto investments is the unrealistic claim. The idea than any investment, especially within the notoriously volatile crypto market, could be “risk-free” or return a “guaranteed profit” is patently false.
Comments like these should also serve as a reminder that the advice you’re receiving is circumventing the rules on advertising financial products like investment opportunities, which are required to state that values can go down as well as up, placing your capital at risk.
At the end of the day, if something sounds too good to be true, then it very often is just that. If the source of the information is your favourite celebrity then it doesn’t make it any more likely to be true.
4. They are not experts
Similar to our point about paid promotions, the vast majority of celebrities and influencers who discuss and post about cryptocurrency are not experts on the subject, even if their posts are not sponsored and stem from a genuine interest in the subject.
Many of us can let our adoration or respect for our favourite celebs cloud our judgement from time to time. It’s only natural to give the people you like the benefit of the doubt. However, when it comes to financial advice, you reserve your trust for qualified professionals and trusted authoritative sources.
This is not to say that celebrities would be intentionally misleading, simply that they do not necessarily have all the answers on a topic as complex and volatile as cryptocurrency investments.
5. Can you fact-check their claims?
If a celebrity or influencer makes a post about cryptocurrency and it catches your attention, you should always consider whether you can fact-check what they’ve said. For example, if a celebrity comes out and says this obscure cryptocurrency is the next big thing, consider asking why that is.
Is anyone else discussing this cryptocurrency? Is it mentioned on authoritative websites or by known experts? Is there a white paper for the currency’s strategy, aims and purpose, as well as how it will achieve them? If you’re struggling to find a lot of this information, then alarm bells should probably be ringing.
The most vocal crypto celebs on Twitter
Here we can see which crypto celebs tweet the most about crypto, blockchain and NFTs, making them some of the most influential people in the crypto-sphere.
Mark Cuban is the celebrity who posts the most about all things crypto and blockchain-related on Twitter. With 124 individual tweets about all aspects of the blockchain and DeFi industry, his 8.4 million followers will be familiar with and well-versed in the crypto terminology, with many potentially going on to get involved themselves.
Mark Cuban is also the top tweeter when looking specifically at crypto-related tweets, having posted 63 in total. Cuban is closely followed by the President of El Salvador Nayib Bukele on 57, with 52 of those tweets being specifically about Bitcoin.
Bukele has strong ties with the flagship cryptocurrency as he was at the forefront of El Salvador’s adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender in El Salvador, making it the first country in the world to do so. Bukele has also voiced plans for a “Bitcoin city” at the base of the Conchagua volcano, which would use geothermal energy to power a Bitcoin mining operation.
Paris Hilton is the crypto celeb that is most vocal about NFTs on Twitter, posting a total of 69 tweets about the digital form of artwork. Paris has a vested interest in promoting NFTs as a popular and valuable digital asset having recently released an NFT collection of her own called "Paris: Past Lives, New Beginnings". She closely followed by Mark Cuban on 49 NFT tweets, and by Snoop Dogg on 39, both of whom also have their own collections of NFTs to promote.
We wanted to find out which celebs who talk about crypto are the most influential on social media. To do this, we first compiled a list of celebs involved with crypto from sources including Coin Telegraph, Yahoo! News, and Coin Market Cap.
Next, we found out how many followers each of these celebs had on Instagram, and used Social Blade to reveal each account’s engagement rate. This allowed us to rank them according to both the number of followers and engagement rate.
We also wanted to assess how much our crypto celebs post about crypto, NFTs and blockchain on social media. To do this, we scoured each celeb’s Twitter feed to tally-up the total number of times they mentioned various related keywords. We then presented the top tweeters overall, as well as breaking the results down into NFT tweets and crypto tweets.