In 2017, during the unmoored initial coin offering (ICO) boom, celebrities were paid shills. Remember when Dennis Rodman promoted Potcoin in North Korea and DJ Khaled endorsed Centra’s ICO? This year, celebrities also jumped the bandwagon, but in a somewhat more wholesome way, promoting the emergent world of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). This also drew jeers, but the impact of celebrities in moving mainstream audiences to crypto was undeniable. Musicians like 3LAU made the case for NFTs, while hotel heiress Paris Hilton was a surprisingly eloquent advocate for crypto.
The Complete List: CoinDesk’s Most Influential 2021
CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by Block.one; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk offers all employees above a certain salary threshold, including journalists, stock options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.