The Descent of Africans on a Journey to the Moon. With crypto, Africans’ savings are hedged against insane levels of inflation, they can find work in Web3, and there is always the potential to earn life-changing money that will change the course of their lives forever.
People from different backgrounds embark on this journey into outer space. Crypto astronauts, until recently, were reluctant to announce their participation in the blockchain space. Public sentiment around cryptocurrencies has been extremely negative due to the massive number of disguised crypto venture scams that have swept the continent, dumping hard-earned capital and trust in anything branded.
Regulation did not help in this case either. In most African countries that are showing strong signs of cryptocurrency adoption, central banks have released statements casting a shadow over the already “questionable” sector. In Nigeria, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Uganda and Kenya, regulators have taken turns issuing warnings to the general public about the risks involved in cryptocurrencies. Getting involved in cryptocurrency regularly can lead to some chuckles and hostile responses any time you’re bold enough to admit it.
new winds blowing
The situation has changed dramatically recently. Real-world examples of early investors turned influencers who acquired real estate through cryptocurrency proved to be great advertisements. Moreover, the degraders who have earned a bad reputation for a long time have been relentless about their efforts to share the good news about cryptocurrencies. Those few who dared enter the space despite poor PR focused heavily on education, which led to crypto becoming a household name. Also, the economic conditions of the past few years have made the argument for an unlicensed decentralized digital economy more valid than ever.
Within the new category of cryptocurrency users is a group of really special people: celebrities. They are everywhere – on our screens, on billboards, and now in our crypto world. These famous athletes, musicians, and actors join the space in many ways, but for the sake of this article, I’m going to group them into three groups: promoters, experimenters, and curious.
Related: Here’s what’s happening in Web3 across Africa
As it has already been identified, the negative public relations that cryptocurrency has faced in Africa means that a lot of rebranding and promotion is required. The huge interest in cryptocurrencies on the continent has attracted some big spenders, such as Binance and FTX, which have large marketing budgets. Local companies like Quidax and Yellow Card, wanting to keep up with these international companies, have adopted similar spending habits. A key feature of the marketing plans of all the three companies mentioned is the inclusion of celebrities.
Binance spends a lot of money in Africa. In early 2022 alone, Binance sponsored the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments in Cameroon and Nigerian Idol. Including famous faces in her educational campaign is an essential part of her marketing efforts. In December 2021, the exchange signed deals with the participant of the reality TV show Big Brother Naija, Hazel Oyeze Onou, better known as Whitemoney; Ikechukwu Sunday Okonkwo, better known as Cross; and Pere Egbi, known simply as Pere. Since the announcement, the trio has appeared in several educational videos targeting potential new users of cryptocurrency.
FTX is also making huge marketing moves on the continent. In an effort to appeal to a previously hard-to-reach female demographic, FTX Africa partnered with six female celebrities to push Web3, including actress Cynthia Nwadeura, actor Beverly Naya, lifestyle influencer Aunty Ada, and star Naija from Big Brother. Sasuke, TV personality Serwaa Amiher and actor Osas Igudaro.
Related Topics: Women are increasingly interested in cryptocurrency, but the education gap remains
Nigeria-based Quidax is not slowing down as it intends to compete with various international exchanges entering the market. In March 2022, the exchange announced popular Nigerian music producer Don Jase as its brand ambassador along with five other celebrities: Diane Rossett and Pezula Ayola – actors and reality TV stars – actor Temini Igboson, celebrity chef Gbobmi Frigin and musician Mi Abaja.
Yellow Card is another Nigeria-based exchange that is looking to gain market share on the continent. The exchange has announced a partnership with Ghanaian dance artist Stonebwoy to spread cryptocurrency awareness in West Africa.
Another group of celebrities who have entered space are the experimenters. These big names have paved the way for using blockchain technology to amplify creativity and harness new ways to communicate with fandoms through non-perishable tokens (NFTs), Metaverse and fan tokens.
In Nigeria, Bnxn and Falz are two of the biggest NFT release artists. Bnxn (formerly Buju) launched HeadsByBnxn, a group of 1,001 NFTs designed around him and his journey in the music industry. The project was launched on t