The value of Bitcoin has been rising dramatically over the past couple of weeks now, sparking a lot of interest and speculation in the cryptocurrency. For those that are out of the loop, Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency that was designed to work as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system not governed by any government agency. Instead, it is powered by its users. It is also only available in limited quantities, which has caused its value to skyrocket.
Bitcoin has only 21 million units, and most of that is already owned by someone. Bitcoins are generated through a process known as “mining.” Every few years, the number of bitcoins that can be mined drops by half. As of now, 80% of all the bitcoins have already been mined and it is predicted that by 2040, no new bitcoins will appear.
Many see Bitcoin as “cash for the internet.” With Bitcoin’s rising popularity, everyone from Joe Blow to celebrities have gained an interest in investing in cryptocurrency. Surprisingly, some of the celebrities who have gotten most involved in cryptocurrency happen to be hip-hop artists. Artists like Nas, Nipsey Hussle, and Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah see crypto as an opportunity to invest outside of the standard sectors.
Hip-hop legend Nas was one of the first to spot the vast opportunities associated with cryptocurrency. Nas took a leap from rap to investing in the tech industry in 2014 when he founded his venture capital firm, Queensbridge Venture Partners. Since then, Nas has invested in some interesting projects, including companies like Lyft, Washio, and Fancy.
This new interest in investing in the tech industry led to him forging business relationships with venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz and developing an interest in digital currency. Nas’s newfound interest led to him investing in cryptocurrency financial provider Coinbase. Since then, he’s become a vocal supporter of Bitcoin and believes it could be one of the greatest investment opportunities in history.
In an interview with CoinDesk, Nas stated that he’s been buying bitcoin since around 2013, and his involvement doesn’t stop at just investing. Nas has suggested that he’s interested in bringing bitcoins to people with limited access to traditional banking services.
But Nas isn’t the only rapper that’s noticed the rising potential of cryptocurrency. Wu-Tang Clan’s Ghostface Killah co-founded a cryptocurrency firm called Cream Capital. The name is an acronym for “Crypto Rules Everything Around Me,” inspired by Wu-Tang’s hit single “C.R.E.A.M.” The cryptocurrency firm is looking to raise $30 million in coin sales through an initial coin offering (ICO). ICOs have been met with scrutiny for being an unregulated and controversial means of crowdfunding through cryptocurrency.
With ICOs, a percentage of a newly-issued digital currency is sold to investors in exchange for other legal tender or other popular cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. This has led to people worrying about celebrity endorsement of ICOs because it can lead to people endorsing ICOs meant to scam through “pump and dump” methods and other schemes. Cream Capital started selling “Cream Dividend” tokens, which can be exchanged for ether, another popular cryptocurrency.
Cream Capital plans on integrating their virtual coins into debit cards that would allow the currency to be used anywhere that accepts card payments. They have also stated that they intend to take over half of the cryptocurrency ATM market by 2020. They currently already operate in North Carolina. Ghostface Killah’s firm has also mentioned that all ICO participants will be protected through digital coin standards to prevent people from losing their investments.
Another big investor in cryptocurrency is rapper Nipsey Hussle. Hussle recently invested his earnings in emerging Amsterdam-based cryptocurrency firm Follow Coin. At the end of August, Nipsey announced his partnership with the firm via his Instagram. Nipsey has been a big believer in cryptocurrency and he and Follow Coin plan to make cryptocurrency more easily accessible to the masses.
With Bitcoin’s rising popularity and dramatically increasing value (currently $15,416.49 per coin), it has generated a lot of public interest as well as speculation regarding its future. While some people feel like Bitcoin will continue to grow and evolve, many are speculating that the bubble is going to burst soon. But we have to keep in mind that the internet was also considered a bubble, and look where it’s at now. Nas, Ghostface Killah, and Nipsey Hussle have shown that with the times changing and veering towards the internet and digital age, the way we invest is changing as well.
-Written by Cael Sonata
Cael is a creative writer that specializes in entertaining blog posts, script-writing, and well researched articles. Self-published fiction author. Student at San Francisco State University working on completing a B.A. in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication Arts specializing in Writing for Electronic Media.