Crypto Firm Raises $87 Million from Gal Gadot, Justin Bieber and More Celebrities To Bolster ‘Creative Crypto Renaissance’

Rob Latour /

Crypto payment infrastructure firm MoonPay has announced it has raised $87 million from a slew of celebrities, ushering in the “creative crypto renaissance”.

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The 60 figures and organizations from the worlds of music, sports, media and entertainment include Ashton Kutcher, Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Steve Aoki, Gwyneth Paltrow, Maria Sharapova, Gal Gadot, Diplo, The Weeknd, Matthew McConaughey , Justin Bieber, Snoop Dogg and Bruce Willis, according to a press release.

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“Web3 is radically changing how we think about creative value,” said MoonPay’s co-founder and CEO Ivan Soto-Wright in the release. “We are on the cusp of a creative crypto renaissance and our strategic investors are helping to lead that movement. We are honored to be working with them to help move the world towards Web3.”

Soto-Wright told Bloomberg that NFTs are more than just JPEGs, and provide a way for artists and creators to manage royalties. The company wants to help them think about strategies for the emerging blockchain-based web — or Web3 — he said.

Alex DiNunzio, CEO of jamba digital collectibles market focused on comedy, GOBankingRates told GOBankingRates that one of the key indicators Jambb has seen since incorporating MoonPay’s credit card payment flow into its platform is that nearly 80% of our NFT buyers are first-time buyers.

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“Moreover, they pay with credit cards. This is fantastic for the industry as we aim to bring in the next billion participants. If this trend continues, we expect products like MoonPay’s to find more demand than today’s crypto-first NFT buyers because it will become as easy to buy an NFT as your coffee at Starbucks,” said DiNunuzio.

DiNunzio said “the trick to the Web3 ecosystem” is the obfuscation of the complexity of the technology itself: The less a consumer needs to understand about a blockchain or wallet or the mechanics of how cryptocurrencies work, the more likely they are to become involved. engage with a product.

“This fundamentally shapes our product strategy at Jambb and our decision to partner with MoonPay, for example. Ideally, the inclusion of celebrities in MoonPay’s funding round is an indicator that global, non-crypto-native fan bases are interested in participating in product development in the Web3 world, and this is likely to accelerate the adoption of this technology. turn , broaden the scope of those who participate in it. Great to see!”

MoonPay — which calls itself the “PayPal of crypto,” according to Bloomberg — said the funding is part of its $555 million Series A funding round, which valued the company at $3.4 billion in November and was led by Tiger Global. Management and Coatue, with the participation of Blossom Capital, Thrive Capital, Paradigm and NEA, according to the release. The funding helped the company build partnerships with organizations such as OpenSea, Michael Jordan’s “Heir Jordan”, Tom Brady’s Autograph and FaZe Clan. It has also made it possible to increase its global presence by launching products such as NFT Checkout – an NFT solution that allows users to instantly purchase an NFT using a credit or debit card.

Colin Zarzour, Chief of Operations at Koiia company that builds decentralized infrastructure for creators in the Web3 economy, told GOBankingRates that in crypto there is an ever-present tension between (on the one hand) creating simple financial tools and (on the other hand) the goals of decentralization, transparency and security.

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“MoonPay certainly seems to fall into the former camp – Justin Bieber, Maria Sharapova, Snoop Dogg, Drake and other big name names are investing to drive adoption of an app focused on simplicity. That is probably good for the mass adoption of Surely, as the founder of a startup in the space, I can say there is a need for better crypto payment solutions, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see many more MoonPay-esque announcements in the coming months and years. Zarzour said. “However, what I want to draw attention to is how little, if any, of these services seem to hit the 7-10 split and achieve the goal of providing a user-friendly experience while also providing a decentralized platform. that is controlled and owned by its users. That’s how the slogan “PayPal for crypto” works – MoonPay looks a lot like an e-commerce-era financial tool that crypto hoped to grow out of.

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About the author

Yael Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including: Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major New York City financial firms, including New York Life and MSCI. Yael is now a freelancer and most recently co-authored the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare”, with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in journalism from New York University and one in Russian studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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