Filipino boxing champion Manny Pacquiao made international news headlines when he announced that he would launch his own cryptocurrency, the PAC token. The token will be offered in the form of an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO), thanks to the Singaporean exchange GCOX. The sale started on November 12.
Pacquiao initially stated his intentions to release a digital token at a free concert in early September for fans in Manila. In between the love songs, the boxer informed the fans that they could soon buy his merchandise and communicate with him on social media using the PAC token.
The launch of an IEO is a proven method to arouse interest in a project. Although the cryptocurrency exchange Binance started the trend for the first time in 2017 with IEOs for Bread and Gifto, IEOs did not get traction until the first quarter of this year. The controversial launch of Bittorrent led to a new era of crowdfunding. According to reports, over 3 billion euros has now been raised via IEOs.
Although many exchanges now offer the possibility for projects to launch their tokens via an IEO, GCOX gives it a slightly different twist. The exchange is the first to offer an IEO platform especially for celebrities who want to launch their own token. Although Pacquiao is one of the first celebrities to take this road in this respect, it seems that more will follow. Tennis star Caroline Wozniacki and singer Jason Derulo are said to have plans with GCOX.
GCOX offers a full range of services for these fan tokens, including the creation of the tokens and the possibility to trade the tokens on the stock exchange itself. It also allows fans to exchange their tokens for products such as brand items or services, including exclusive live streaming of events or shout outs on social media. There will also be a service where fans can donate to charities endorsed by their favorite celebrities, with funds allocated on the blockchain for extra transparency and security.
Pacquiao is not the first celebrity to interfere in the crypto world or even the first boxer in that regard. The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) imposed a $ 100,000 fine on Floyd Mayweather last year for promoting Centratech ‘s Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
However, other celebrities have made more successful trips to the crypto world. Rapper Akon has launched its own cryptocurrency and blockchain-based ecosystem called Akoin. Hollywood actor Ashton Kutcher has his own blockchain startup investment company and Lionel Messi has committed himself as a brand ambassador to Sirin Labs, the Israeli blockchain smartphone producer.