Topics NFT
Bybit Learn
Bybit Learn
Jun 24, 2022

Celebrity NFTs: The Impact Celebrities Have on NFTs

From famous supermodels like Kate Moss to thriving musicians like Steve Aoki, celebrities of all stripes are actively supporting NFTs. Some are avid fans of digital art. Others see celebrity NFTs as a way of giving back to society. Whatever their motives, their massive impact on the digital marketplace is undeniable.

In this article, we’ll discuss how celebrities are driving the NFT craze. We’ll also explain some of the most prominent celebrity-run tokens, giving you a brief overview of what the stars are offering. Finally, we’ll explain why celebrity NFTs can be worth the investment for people interested in supporting charitable causes.

What Are Celebrity NFTs?

Celebrity NFTs are non-fungible tokens that are created, promoted, or owned by celebrities. By lending their star power to NFT collections, actors, athletes, and musicians significantly raise the profile of these digital assets.

Why Are Celebrities Pushing NFTs?

Most celebrities with their own NFTs see the tokens as a way to deepen their connection with fans. Snoop Dogg, for example, created digital art that harkens back to the imagery and themes that defined the earlier stages of his career. By bringing his trademark style into the digital sphere, he’s maintaining his place on the cultural frontlines.

Celebrity NFTs can also raise massive amounts of money for meaningful charitable causes. Ellen Degeneres, for example, raised over $33,000 for a food-relief organization by selling NFTs of her bad cat drawing. Musician Shawn Mendes used the proceeds from his NFT collection to support young artists. Paris Hilton donated the earnings from her NFTs to Meals on Wheels, a charity organization that helps feed struggling seniors. These examples show how well-meaning people can use celebrity NFTs to fund important social projects.

For other celebrity NFT producers, the tokens serve as a way to fight for social and cultural change. The model Emily Ratajkowski released an NFT of herself standing in front of a once-appropriated image, thereby reinforcing the idea that models should have the right to profit from their own images. This important message is meant to be empowering to creators from around the world.

Some celebrities may also be investing in NFTs as an asset, hoping their support of a collection will increase the price and boost the value of the tokens they’ve already purchased. When considering celebrity NFTs, it’s worth remembering this potential motivation. 

While most celebrities profess noble reasons for their involvement in NFT markets, investors and traders should remember that actors and musicians are neither omniscient nor omnibenevolent. In some cases, celebrities have supported collections that ended up being scams. It’s your responsibility as a trader to bring a healthy skepticism to all potential investments, including those that have been promoted by your favorite celebrities.

How Have Celebrities Driven NFT Adoption?

Celebrity NFTs demonstrate what a substantial effect famous people can have on societal norms and customs. Thanks to the participation of famous actors, musicians, athletes, and internet celebrities, non-fungible tokens have gone entirely mainstream. Whether they’ve participated in the market or not, Americans are discussing digital art and NFTs around the dinner table. Celebrity NFTs are likely what brought the technology to their attention in the first place.

Not only does celebrity involvement normalize the NFT marketplace, but it also drives greater trading volume. Popular collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) exploded when celebrities like Jimmy Fallon revealed their participation.

Impressionable people have long modeled their behavior on celebrities’ conduct, and an entertainer’s purchase of a token is often enough to convince a trader that they should follow suit. Whether this dynamic is positive or negative for traders and their digital wallets, it has certainly played a major role in defining the development of the NFT space.

There are countless examples of celebrities raising a collection’s profile by purchasing tokens. By learning more about specific cases, you can further your understanding of celebrity NFTs.

Snoop Dogg – BAYC

Source: Twitter

For months, a trader using the pseudonym Cozomo de’ Medici bought some of the oldest and most prominent NFTs on the market. In September 2021, the world learned that this mysterious trader was none other than the rapper Snoop Dogg. Before launching his own token, Snoop had amassed a collection of NFTs worth more than $17 million. He also made headlines by announcing that he’d bought his very own Bored Ape.

The Bored Ape Yacht Club is perhaps the most famous NFT collection in the world with many celebrity members, including Eminem, Justin Bieber, and Neymar Jr., owning it. Snoop Dogg’s token is of an ape wearing a cheetah-print coat. By announcing the purchase on Twitter, the rapper helped attract even more attention to the collection.

Steve Aoki – Clone X

Source: OpenSea

Steve Aoki, a musician and producer known for his lively performances and streaming hits, raised the profile of the Clone X collection by purchasing a token in December 2021. He paid 13.95 ETH, or about $42,000, for the collection’s token #2004. Featuring a surreal octopus hat and a respirator mask, the figure is as beautiful as it is bizarre. Unsurprisingly, the participation of a famous musician gave the collection added cache.

Aoki has become a significant supporter of celebrity NFTs. He owns over 200 tokens, including some belonging to famous collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club. He has also been outspoken about his optimistic take on NFTs. The musician sees the technology as a revolutionary breakthrough that will help artists support themselves in a thriving digital marketplace.

Logan Paul – VeeFriends

Source: OpenSea

Nobody better represents the current era than internet celebrities like Logan Paul. While plenty of actors, musicians, and athletes have used online channels to augment their fame, creators like Paul developed their wealth and public personas entirely within digital spaces. This makes them likely candidates to support celebrity NFTs.

Paul is a YouTube creator with over 23 million subscribers. He’s used his tremendous wealth to spend over $3 million on NFTs. In January 2022, he purchased a VeeFriends token for 90 ETH, or $290,000. He explained his motivation on Twitter, telling his followers that he valued the collection’s creator, Gary Vaynerchuk, as an innovator and visionary. Paul has since announced plans for his own collection of celebrity NFTs, which will include tokenized versions of polaroid pictures.

Justin Bieber – Alien Frens

Source: OpenSea

The singer Justin Bieber is a massive fan of celebrity NFTs, and he’s made several high-profile purchases. His holdings, which amount to over 2,000 tokens, include NFTs from popular collections like BAYC, Clone-X, and World of Women. While many of his purchases received significant attention at the time, it was buying an Alien Frens NFT that most clearly demonstrated his ability to influence the market.

Bieber was able to buy his Alien Frens token for 2 ETH. In the immediate aftermath of the purchase, the floor price for an Alien Frens token jumped to 3 ETH. This obvious shift allows observers to see how celebrity endorsement can boost the price of an NFT.

Meaningful Celebrity NFTs

For many celebrities, launching or promoting an NFT is about more than simply making money or maintaining a prominent place in popular culture. Actors, athletes, and musicians have raised serious money for charitable causes by creating or purchasing meaningful celebrity NFTs. Some of these projects also include digital art that promotes positive messages.

When discussing the best celebrity NFTs, it’s best to start by analyzing the meaningful projects that truly make a difference. Many celebrities profess to seeing ethical tokens as a way of giving back to society. By learning a bit more about these collections, you can decide whether investing in meaningful NFTs is a good idea.

Reese Witherspoon – World of Women

Source: OpenSea

The world of blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs remains a largely male-dominated space. Creator Yam Karaki has worked to change this dynamic by launching World of Women, an NFT collection explicitly marketed toward female traders. Reese Witherspoon, the famous American actress, contributed to the collection’s popularity by purchasing a token.

Witherspoon’s involvement with World of Women extends beyond simply buying NFTs. Her company Hello Sunshine has formed an extensive partnership with the project. The company hopes to help the collection create additional content. By expanding on the characters in the World of Women collection, Witherspoon’s company could help create an even more meaningful movement.

Shaquille O’Neal – Shaq Gives Back

Source: OpenSea

Former NBA superstar Shaquille O’Neal, commonly known as Shaq, has long been a prominent champion for youth groups and underserved populations. His Shaq Foundation has teamed up with the Boys and Girls Club of America to help underprivileged youth across the United States. Now, he’s capitalized on the mania for celebrity NFTs to raise even more money for the cause.

O’Neal first dropped the Shaq Gives Back NFTs in December 2021. Within a week of the initial launch, the project had raised $2 million. Coinciding with the holiday season, the token’s immediate success helped raise spirits and boosted important charitable work in countless communities. Bolstered by the project’s success, Shaq is planning further involvement with NFTs and the metaverse.

Shawn Mendes – Wonder

Source: OpenSea

Musician Shawn Mendes has shown how artists can launch celebrity NFTs alongside more traditional artistic endeavors. When he released his album “Wonder,” he also paired up with the NFT-producing company Genies to release a set of digital products. The digitally “wearable” tokens included images of necklaces and earrings, and the collection had produced more than $1 million in sales after just 10 minutes.

Mendes could have used his impressive digital earnings to bolster his bank account, but he had a more meaningful plan. The musician announced on Instagram that the money from his digital sales would go toward grants for young artists around the country. By empowering his fellow creators, Mendes is helping to make the world a more beautiful place.

Emily Ratajkowski – Buying Myself Back

Source: CNN

While many people have capitalized on celebrity NFTs to raise money for charity, model and actress Emily Ratajkowski has found another way to make digital tokens meaningful. When the artist Richard Prince put Ratajkowski’s image on canvas, she had to buy the image back for $81,000. Now, she’s selling a picture of herself standing in front of the image as an NFT.

For Ratajkowski, the NFT marketplace represents a place where women can control their own artwork and images. By creating this new token, she has linked the general idea of empowerment and artistic control with the concept of an NFT. Her action demonstrates how digital tokens can give artists and models greater autonomy and control.

Kate Moss – Drive/Sleep/Walk With Kate

Source: Instagram

Perhaps supermodels, many of whom spend their entire careers watching others profit from their hard work and beauty, are particularly inclined to recognize the potential benefits of NFTs. Kate Moss, a model with a decades-long track record of global success, has joined Ratajkowski in releasing her own tokens. The celebrity NFTs feature intimate videos of Moss engaged in everyday activities. The most provocative is called “Sleep With Kate,” and it shows the model dozing while wrapped in white sheets.

Moss is doing more than simply raising awareness about NFTs. She has also donated all $17,000 she made from the tokens to Gurls Talk, a non-profit organization that helps girls and young women discuss difficult issues. By raising awareness and funds simultaneously, Moss has successfully turned her image into a powerful force.

Cara Delevingne – Poetry Video

Source: Instagram

Cara Delevingne is another supermodel who has turned her attention toward the world of celebrity NFTs. She has taken advantage of the technology to raise awareness about an essential cause while simultaneously donating funds to charitable organizations doing important work around the world.

Delevingne’s token consists of a video of herself reciting an inspiring poem. Centered on themes of ownership and female empowerment, the imagery is both raw and provocative. She collaborated with artist Chemical X on the project, and the results are breathtaking. The earnings from the sale went to groups involved with environmental justice, female empowerment, pandemic-related healthcare, and LGBTQ causes.

Jack Dorsey – First Ever Tweet

Source: OpenSea

Today, Twitter is a massive public square at the center of most political and social controversies. In 2006, it was a new concept that existed primarily in the imagination of founder Jack Dorsey. When Dorsey created the world’s first tweet in 2006, he couldn’t have imagined what his platform would become. Now, over 15 years later, he’s turned that original tweet into an NFT.

Dorsey’s tweet simply read, “just setting up my twttr.” Despite the brevity and simplicity of the message, the associated NFT sold for $2.9 million. Evidently, internet enthusiasts were eager to own a little piece of online history. Dorsey, an avid crypto evangelist and big-time philanthropist, announced that the earnings would be converted into bitcoin and then donated to help fight COVID-19 in Africa.

Is It Worth Supporting Celebrity NFTs?

Now that you’ve learned about celebrity NFTs and seen some prominent examples, it’s time to decide whether investing in these tokens is good for the world and your crypto wallet. First, let’s analyze whether celebrity NFTs are successful mechanisms for improving society. Then, we’ll examine the soundness of celebrity NFTs as investments and discuss the potential drawbacks.

The Benefits

As described above, many celebrity NFTs do an excellent job of raising money for charity. Shaq’s tokens, for example, quickly earned over $2 million in revenue, all of which went to help children. There’s not much to criticize in a project like that. Shaq’s NFT collection acts like many celebrity auctions and giveaways. Athletes often sell autographed apparel and donate the money to charity. Shaq did the same thing but with digital art.

More nuanced projects like Emily Ratajkowski’s token are more difficult to assess, but they still seem to have a positive impact on society. However you feel about sexualized images and the best way for young women to represent themselves, you can probably agree that creators deserve a say over the public use of their images. By reclaiming her rights in such a public way, Ratajkowski has likely inspired other creators, and especially young women, to be more forceful in their demands for fair treatment.

It’s worth noting that celebrities might not have purely selfless motives for releasing NFTs. Many stars maintain their celebrity status through ceaseless self-promotion, and producing digital art might represent one more avenue for demanding attention. All the same, much of this self-aggrandizing work brings genuine benefits for society, so there’s nothing wrong with supporting it by purchasing tokens.

The Drawbacks

While celebrity NFTs can certainly make the world a better place, they might not always represent the best investments. There’s no way to know how a token will do in the market, and some digital artwork will see its value plummet. Also, traders should always remain wary of potential scams. Even celebrity-endorsed projects have ended as rug pulls. Celebrities are just as human as anyone else, so it’s your job to make sure their poor judgment doesn’t lead you astray.

The Bottom Line

If you’re a fan of digital art and you want to support charitable causes, then celebrity NFTs are worth considering. Countless stars have endorsed or launched projects, and they’ve succeeded in raising millions of dollars. With a bit of research and constant awareness of the inherent volatility of NFTs, you can make a worthwhile habit of investing in celebrity tokens.