Boxing Legend Manny Pacquiao has become the latest celebrity to license his personal brand to an initial coin offering (ICO).
The Filipino fighter, an eight-division world champion, has become the latest celebrity ambassador for the Singapore-based Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX), a startup that allows celebrities to create their own cryptocurrencies which fans can then use to pay for access to exclusive celebrity-related content sold through the GCOX platform.
Pacquiao, who is also a sitting Philippine senator, also invested an undisclosed amount of money in GCOX, according to a report in regional business publication Entrepreneur Philippines, while the company’s website claims that retired football star Michael Owen is also an investor.
Once the platform launches, Pacquiao will reportedly issue a token called PAC Coin.
Boxing Superstars Pump ICOs Despite SEC Warnings
The boxer is the latest in a long line of celebrities to license endorse ICOs, a phenomenon that correlated with last year’s token sale boom.
Indeed, several of boxing’s biggest names have linked themselves to ICOs.
Floyd Mayweather, who defeated Pacquiao in a welterweight title fight billed the “Fight of the Century,” has promoted several ICOs, while Hall of Fame boxer Evander Holyfield endorsed an ICO that was later slapped with a cease-and-desist order by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC has not been pleased with these celebrity ICO endorsements, and it has warned that such agreements may be unlawful if they are not accompanied by appropriate disclosures, such as “the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement.”
The agency has further said that individuals who make these unlawful endorsements could be liable for violating the anti-fraud provisions of US securities laws.
GCOX, incidentally, claims in its whitepaper that it will prohibit US investors from contributing to its ICO.