Messi and Ronaldinho Promote Water Coin: Cash Grab or Cause-Driven?

The world of cryptocurrency continues to see its share of celebrity endorsements, with a recent twist involving a water-themed memecoin on the Solana blockchain called Water Coin (WATER). The token gained significant attention after two footballing giants, Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho Gaúcho, posted about it on their respective Instagram accounts.

Soaring Prices and Skepticism

Following Messi’s post on July 8th, WATER’s price reportedly surged by a staggering 158%. This upward trend continued when Ronaldinho mimicked Messi’s post a day later, with the price briefly jumping by nearly 40%. However, these gains proved short-lived, with WATER’s price settling well below its pre-promotion levels by the time this article was written.

While Water Coin claims a charitable purpose – supporting sustainable water projects in Africa and raising awareness for water-related issues – questions linger around its legitimacy. The project’s website outlines plans to transition into a charity-focused environmental token through celebrity partnerships. However, concerns have been raised by industry figures regarding the token’s potential to be a “pump-and-dump” scheme.

Pump-and-Dump Allegations and Past Controversies

YouTuber Ajay Kashyap and crypto commentator Ponga are among those who have expressed skepticism about Water Coin’s true intentions. Both voiced concerns on social media, with Kashyap questioning the project’s legitimacy and Ponga urging caution for potential investors.

This isn’t the first time Ronaldinho has been associated with controversy in the crypto space. In August 2023, he appeared before a Brazilian parliamentary committee regarding an alleged $61 million crypto pyramid scheme named “18kRonaldinho.” The scheme used Ronaldinho’s image in its marketing materials and promised unrealistic daily returns to investors. The footballer denied any involvement, claiming he was a victim of the scheme and that his likeness was used without permission.

A Trend of Celebrity Crypto Endorsements

The use of celebrities to promote cryptocurrency projects is a growing trend. However, this practice has drawn scrutiny from regulators and consumer protection advocates. Earlier this year, lawyers predicted that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would likely target celebrity-backed crypto tokens due to potential investor protection concerns.

Other high-profile figures, such as former Olympian Caitlyn Jenner and UFC fighter Khazmat Chimaev, have also found themselves embroiled in controversies surrounding their promotion of cryptocurrencies. Chimaev, for example, initially promoted a memecoin named Khazmat Chimaev (SMASH) but later claimed no involvement with the project. Crypto investigator ZachXBT raised red flags about the SMASH token’s distribution, suggesting it could be another pump-and-dump scheme.

The Takeaway

The recent episode with Water Coin highlights the risks associated with celebrity-endorsed cryptocurrencies. While these endorsements can generate significant buzz and short-term price spikes, investors should exercise caution and conduct thorough research before investing in any cryptocurrency project, regardless of who is promoting it. It’s crucial to understand the project’s goals, roadmap, and tokenomics before making any financial decisions.