Former NBA Player Baron Davis Says Celebs Will Focus More on 'Utility' Tokens

Celebrities and athletes will be more picky about the kinds of tokens they endorse after an SEC crackdown on promotions, he said.

AccessTimeIconMar 2, 2023 at 7:50 p.m. UTC
Updated Mar 2, 2023 at 7:57 p.m. UTC

Former National Basketball Association player Baron Davis still sees a silver lining for celebrities who endorse crypto even though the U.S. Securities and Commission is cracking down on celebrity and athlete-endorsed projects.

He told CoinDesk TV’s “First Mover” on Thursday that celebrities are now likely to focus on projects that can give users real utility and rewards.

“Going forward, you're gonna see more creative projects out of celebrities and athletes bringing you directly to their fanbase, to their ecosystem,” he said.

Davis, a serial entrepreneur who spent 13 years playing for seven teams in the NBA, is turning to blockchain technology as he creates his own NFT-based platform called SLiC Images, which will manage digital copyrights and databases for sports photographers.

The project, which is still under development, will live on non-fungible-token platform Mintbase. By using blockchain technology, the platform is “building out a core database and a publishing back end that allows these photographers to be able to license their photos” on social-media websites and in magazines, Davis said.

A lack of education and attention to detail may in part be why some celebrities fell short of finding their place in crypto in the past, Davis said. Last October, reality television star Kim Kardashian agreed to pay the SEC $1.26 million to settle changes that she failed to disclose payments she received for touting EthereumMax’s EMAX token. NBA Hall of Famer Paul Pierce settled a similar SEC case last month.

Celebrities and athletes need to do more due diligence, Davis said.

“That’s where the mistake happened,” he said. “There wasn’t enough education. There wasn't enough attention to detail.”


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Fran Velasquez

Fran is CoinDesk's TV writer and reporter.