As the cryptocurrency market seeks a new narrative to drive growth, celebrity-backed token projects have emerged, sparking a trend that has elicited mixed reactions from seasoned crypto enthusiasts regarding this new wave of memecoins.

While some argue that celebrity tokens can attract new users to crypto, others believe their speculative nature could mislead consumers about blockchain’s true value.

Celebrity memecoins can onboard new users

Those who argue for celebrity tokens see them as an effective on-ramp into cryptocurrency. Solo Ceesay, co-founder and CEO of social wallet Calaxy, believes these tokens can make crypto more accessible to more people. Ceesay said:

“I think celebrity tokens can be hugely valuable to the space much like generic memecoins because they serve as the simplest on-ramp into crypto for most consumers.”

Ceesay argued that leveraging the likeness of well-known figures makes attracting new users easier than the complex proposition of Web3’s potential.

Ceesay is optimistic about the future of celebrity tokens, suggesting they could evolve into a significant asset class. “Over time, I expect celebrity coins to solidify themselves as a meaningful asset class should genuine strategies and use cases be deployed against them,” he added.

Meanwhile, KuCoin representatives told Cointelegraph that while celebrity tokens can play a role in onboarding users, investors should still exercise prudence. They explained:

“Celebrity tokens can be a gateway to crypto for new users mainly due to their lower entry points. However, their balance of hype and utility can lead to potential risks.”

The representatives also emphasized that, as with all forms of investment, KuCoin encourages investors to “DYOR” or “Do Your Own Research,” a common phrase in the crypto community. Additionally, the KuCoin team said they maintained a neutral stance on meme tokens.

Related: Celebrity memecoins highlight crypto’s influencer problem

Risks and skepticism surrounding celebrity-driven crypto

In stark contrast, Matt Wright, CEO of decentralized artificial intelligence (AI) firm GaiaNet, criticizes the trend, viewing it as detrimental to the crypto space. Wright explained:

“They’re bad for the space because people think that’s crypto, but that’s just influencer marketing attached to economics.”

He argued that the hype surrounding celebrity tokens overshadows the true potential of blockchain technology. Wright warns that these tokens are unsustainable unless they offer substantial utility and innovation. He also compared the trend to the non-fungible (NFT) craze, where many projects lacked substance.

The speculative nature of celebrity tokens has also raised concerns about their long-term viability. Andreas Brekken, CEO and founder of trading platform has been particularly vocal in his criticism. He argued that:

“Washed-up celebrities are being recruited in numbers to create pump-and-dump schemes, to squeeze the last pennies from their already worthless reputations.”

He predicts a grim future for most celebrity tokens, asserting that “they are all going to zero in days, possibly months.”

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