At the top of bubbles, greed becomes the prevailing emotion and leads to behavior that looks extremely irrational in hindsight. The cryptocurrency bubble which popped in 2021 is no exception.
There are countless examples such as NFTs sold in the millions that basically have no bid at the moment or the blowups in various coins that caused investors to lose all their money. Another example is celebrities promoting various coins to their audience which would cause spikes in prices which often insiders would use as opportunities to unload their holdings.
This is technically legal, but the promoting celebrity needs to disclose that they received payment in exchange for the promotion. Many celebrities have been prosecuted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose this relationship with the latest being Kim Kardashian.
She recently settled with the SEC for $1.3 million for failing to disclose payment for the promotion of EthereumMAX on her Instagram page. As part of the agreement, she also agreed to not promote crypto securities for 3 years. She also didn't have to plead guilty or acknowledge responsibility.
She was reportedly paid $250,000 for the promotion. So, her fine encompassed this payment and the interest made on it, and a $1 million fine from the SEC.
This coin was an obvious ploy to convince naive investors of a connection with Ethereum and has lost the bulk of its value during the crash like the majority of altcoins. Prior to these promotions, EMAX had a daily volume of around $10 million but this spiked to over $100 million following these sponsored posts. As expected, these gains proved to be transitory and the coin is trading at its lows with minimal volume.
EthereumMax was also promoted by other celebrities like retired NBA player Paul Pierce and boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. The ads were scripted as if Kardashian was sharing a tip from her friend with her more than 250 million followers.
Overall, it's an important lesson for investors not to take financial advice from celebrities especially influencers, who make money from getting attention and then monetizing it.