Ex-footballer Michael Owen has announced that he is the latest celebrity to become involved in the ICO world, investing in the Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX).
According to its white-paper, GCOX “allows celebrities… to develop, monetise and revitalise their popularity through the various mediums that are housed on the ACCLAIM blockchain.” Essentially, celebrities will be able to tokenise their “personal brands” while GCOX acts as the venue “for fans to connect and engage with their idols.”
Filipino boxing legend and senator Manny Pacquiao has also invested in the GCOX project whose Executive President, Steve Askew, once executive produced the quiz show “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”
Owen appeared on CNBC’s Squawkbox program to promote the project. Noting that “the career of a sportsman is quite short” he said he had been looking for other challenges.
On the potential risks of the venture, Owen said, “sometimes you’ve got to be brave” and likened the GCOX to some of the great teams he had played in. “When you associate yourself with the best”, he said, “you can eliminate most of that risk.”
Owen is well known to European football fans for his stints with some of the world’s largest football clubs, including Liverpool FC, Real Madrid and Manchester United. Since retiring from football at 32, Owen has made a name for himself in the horse-racing world as owner, breeder, and occasional jockey.
Trading Celebrities for Fun and Profit
GCOX is one of several competing platforms in what is fast-becoming a major niche in the ICO space: the celebrity self-ICO.
Russian entrepreneur Boris Akimov recently announced plans to tokenise his time on the Waves platform, while fellow Russian startup TokenStars has its own offering, aimed primarily at sports stars, which has attracted interest from Giancarlo Zambrotta and Lothar Matthäus, amongst others.
Some celebrities are even finding themselves tokenised against their wishes. Chinese boyband The Fighting Boys found themselves embroiled in a legal tussle last month over an unauthorised plan to build a “blockchain ecosystem” around the band on the StarCoinEx exchange.
Personal tokens seem to be on the way, whether we like it or not, and as with most trends, where celebrities go, the world is likely to follow.