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News coverage of Matt Damon’s role as the spokesman of Crypto.com has been rampant. He’s the latest in a line of celebrities who have cashed in during their promotion of cryptocurrencies.
First, there were the nefarious early days of John McAfee boosting coins through his Twitter account. Then there were the tech scions like Elon Musk and Mark Cuban giving the industry backing. Then there were sports stars like Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady and Trevor Lawrence.
While each of those names carried some panache among their followers, Damon is arguably a different face for mainstreaming cryptocurrencies.
John McAfee was followed by the libertarian wing of the tech community. He appealed to a niche segment of a very technical community. Mark Cuban and Elon Musk, meanwhile, appealed to the broader tech community. They attracted the early adoptersthe kinds of people who were first in line to buy a Tesla or try out the newest Apple gear.
Then came sports stars, who began making peoplethose who weren’t among the techie class pay attention to the blockchain revolution.
Notably, those stars began emerging around the same time that more traditional mainstream investment houses began paying attention to crypto. There’s a reason. They saw the dollar signs.
They saw an emerging market in which they could enter and find themselves a slice of the pie. There’s nothing wrong with that, and obviously, Matt Damon is collecting his fair share for serving as a spokesperson.
The overriding difference between those two segments is that Gronk, along with the financial institutions, felt that they could build their overall brand through digital assets. They bought into the concept at the business level. Damon is being onboarded as the everyman, representing ‘Joe Six-Pack.’
With Matt Damon in the mix, it is a signal that no matter who you are, you too can invest in this new class of assets. You don’t have to follow technology. You don’t need to understand how the blockchain works. You don’t even need to figure out how to store celebrity NFT memorabilia for posterity.
Make no mistakeMatt Damon isn’t the equivalent of Mastercard or BNY Mellon joining the crypto movement. That’s not what Crypto.com is paying him for. They’re paying him to be the equivalent of your local credit union.
That’s a major juxtaposition compared to his superstar status. But he’s not being paid to be a superstar. He’s being paid to show that digital assets are now so mainstream that one of the most recognizable faces in Hollywood can safely get on board. And not just any faceJason Bourne.
The message is that crypto is safe and accessible. So accessible that it should be offered by any financial institution, even that local credit union with one branchthe one that finally enabled customers to use an online banking platform during the latter years of the Obama administration.
Matt Damon is ‘grandmothers’ and ‘apple pie’ to arguably one of the broadest, most mainstream segments of the American populace. He’s a comforting face that reassures you that digital assets are something that we can all participate in. He’s a signal that it is no longer solely an opportunity for the ultra-tech-savvy or the ultra-wealthynstead, cryptocurrency is mainstream.
Blockchain, the technology upon which crypto is built, is transformative. Blockchain technologies will most definitely change the way the world interacts with its money. Cryptocurrencies are here. Central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) are coming. And Jason Bourne says it is all going to work out just fine.
Richard Gardner serves as the CEO of Modulus, an international financial technology firm, and has been a globally recognized subject matter expert for more than two decades, offering complex insight and analysis on cryptocurrency, cybersecurity, financial technology, surveillance technology, blockchain technologies and general management best practices.
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Featured Image: Shutterstock/Maria Markevich