Rapper T.I. is being sued for $5 million after his token FLiK has failed. The lawsuit was filed by twenty-five plaintiffs who claim they spent $1.3 million investing in “now worthless securities called FLiK tokens,” with T.I. and his business partner Ryan Felton. The rapper and Felton promoted the token heavily on their social media platforms and made it sound like a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately, T.I and Felton took their money, potentially used it to artificially raise the price of FliK tokens, then when the prices inevitably dropped, disconnected themselves from FLiK. Adding insult to injury, Felton started a new company that “acquired” FLiK and stated that he had nothing to do with the failure of the token. This was the last straw for the plaintiffs and they decided to sue for a minimum of $5 million in damages from Felton and T.I.
The token was also supposedly supported by actor Kevin Hart and famed shark Mark Cuban as well on Twitter back in 2017. The price reached its max in mid-October 2017 at $0.21. The issue is when celebrities endorse something based on what they are told and not what they know. No one is expecting T.I. to be a cryptocurrency expert or even a savvy businessman apparently. However, this community depends on the collective knowledge and trust that everyone has worked so hard over the last decade to build. As with anything, it can become cheapened with fake notoriety. The everyday person is already distrusting of what they do not know or fully understand. How should they feel about a celebrity they admire promoting something he knew very little to nothing about? They aren’t going to blame the celebrity for the loss of money as much as the thing they cannot explain. Cryptocurrency had a bad reputation from the very beginning due to its “rebellious” nature. People like rebellion in their punk music, but not with their money. The rich and famous need to be more careful what they put their name behind. To them, $1 million could seem like so little, but what if that was someone’s life savings that they invested because they had faith in the musician? It’s nearly despicable and my only hope is that celebrities use this as a warning.
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