The celebrity penchant for cryptocurriencies hasn’t died down just yet. Boxing champ Manny Pacquiao has introduced a cryptocurrency of his own, Pac, in a bid to capitalize on his fame. The virtual money will give fans an opportunity to buy merch and talk to the athlete/politician on social networks. It’ll be listed on Singapore’s Global Crypto Offering Exchange, whose backers include Pacquiao, English soccer (aka football) legend Michael Owen and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al-Nahyan.
It’s a rare move in the industry. Cryptocurrencies have received celebrity endorsements before, but it’s still a novelty for celebs to release digital coins that revolve around them. It’s not completely surprising that Pacquiao would go this route, mind you. Crypto’s decentralized, digital nature gives it a degree of independence from conventional currencies — and, of course, keeps people invested in their favorite personality.
This won’t be the last one, either. GCOX will also serve as the home for digital currencies from Owen, Jason Derulo and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. Some celebs are clearly betting that the technology will help build their business empires — though that’s far from guaranteed given crypto’s volatility and competition from potential heavyweights like Facebook’s Libra.