The ICO market just received an endorsement from the reality television star who tried to copyright the phrase "that's hot."
Hotel-empire heiress Paris Hilton revealed on twitter that she’s joined the ICO party just as the Chinese government has announced harsh new restrictions that will make it virtually impossible for its citizens, some of the most voracious buyers of these coins, to participate in new offerings.
Hilton said this weekend that she’s “looking forward” to participating in an offering called Lydiancoin.
According to Business Insider, LydianCoin is a platform that wants to combine the blockchain with "targeted, AI driven digital marketing and advertising services." In its white paper (of course, the company launching the offering hasn’t actually built the product yet), advertising-tech company Gravity4 aims to raise $100 million by selling 20 million Lydian coins at $5 a pop. As BI reports, Gravity4's CEO Gubaksh Chahal pleaded guilty to assault in 2014 after being accused of beating his girlfriend, and was accused of violating his probation by assaulting another woman.
Hilton joins a pack of celebrities who’ve used their presence on social media to hype ICOs. Floyd “Crypto” Mayweather, has publicized his investments in a handful of ICOs. Dennis Rodman notoriously wore a t-shirt advertising an ICO called “potcoin” when he returned from visiting Kim Jong Un in North Korea earlier this year.
Rapper the Game has been talking up Paragon Coin, a coin that aims to “revolutionize” the legal marijuana market.
As BI notes, the involvement of celebrities is a sign that ICOs are going mainstream. However, with governments from China to Russia – and even the SEC in the US – preparing to crack down on the nascent market, which is expected to raise nearly $2 billion this year according to analysts at Pitchbook, the combined power of regulators in some of the biggest markets for digital currencies could swiftly put an end to the party.
According to Bloomberg, fans and skeptics of ICOs will interpret Hilton’s involvement differently.
To critics of the booming world of ICOs, Hilton’s involvement is the latest example of a fad finance trend that has already seen the offerings raise $1.25 billion this year. To its supporters, it’s evidence of the networking effect that will quicken the development of ICOs.
Not that the market needs any help. Some of the most successful ICOs have raised more than $200 million – with little more than a white paper sketching out their product idea. Inevitably, the vast majority of these coins will quickly become worthless, while their creators will have extracted hundreds of millions of dollars in wealth from unwitting buyers.
Get out while you still can.