By Natasha Dailey Business Insider
Elon Musk and Grimes attend the Met Gala in 2018. Jason Kempin/Getty Images
- Celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to the NFL’s Rob Gronkowski are jumping in on the NFT craze.
- More celebrities and influencers are expected to join the space as it grows in popularity.
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk planned to sell an NFT but later decided against it.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
As the craze for crypto art continues, celebrities, billionaires, and influencers are getting in on the trend and selling some of their own.
NFL player Rob Gronkowski, rapper Ja Rule, Lindsay Lohan, and Mark Cuban, among others, have jumped on board. And Alex Atallah, the cofounder of NFT marketplace OpenSea, told Insider he expects to see even more celebrities joining the space.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have allowed artists to sell their digital work for thousands and even millions of dollars. They’re gaining popularity as NFTs — which are generally digital assets that operate as a type of collector’s item and can’t be duplicated — are now a more than $1 billion market.
As for CEOs, Twitter chief Jack Dorsey sold his very first tweet from 2006 for millions and donated the proceeds to charity. And just this week Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who has been a big promoter of cryptocurrencies, said he would sell a techno song as an NFT. But he later reneged, saying it didn’t feel right. His girlfriend, Grimes, has made millions selling crypto art.
Billionaire and “Shark Tank” star Mark Cuban sold an NFT of a motivational quote, that read, “Nobody ever changed the world by doing what everyone else was doing — Mark Cuban.”
As for the music industry, Shawn Mendes teamed up with Genies, which makes 2D avatars, to make virtual versions of his guitar and gold ring and sell them as NFTs, Rolling Stone reported.
Hoping to get rid of bad vibes from his Fyre Festival days, rapper Ja Rule auctioned an oil painting that once hung in Fyre Media’s office as an NFT on a new platform Flipkick, and he offered to sign it for the purchaser.
Flipkick is selling this Fyre Festival painting as an NFT Courtesy of Flipkick
Other musicians have joined the trend, as well. The Kings of Leon was the first band to sell an entirely new album, titled “When You See Yourself,” as an NFT, Rolling Stone Reported. And in a tweet, DJ Steve Aoki announced his first-ever NFT collection.
In the sports world, Tampa Bay Buccaneer Rob Gronkowski, aka the Gronk, announced on Twitter he’d be launching an NFT collection of his very own. Four pieces of art commemorate his championship wins and one is a career highlight of him, according to his website. Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes sold millions of dollars worth of NFTs in just minutes, actionnetwork reported.
As for influencers, Paris Hilton sold a cat painting for $17,000, Decrypt reported. And Lyndsay Lohan sold her “Lightning” NFT for $50,000 and promised to donate the funds to charities that accept cryptocurrency, according to Decrypt.
With a lot of money to be made in NFTs, internet influencers are likely to continue joining the space. So far, YouTube stars like Logan Paul and Zach “ZHC” Hsiehn have already begun experimenting with the trend.