This year's hottest accessory? The ICO.
Previously known for her love of small dogs and even smaller dresses, the Paris Hilton of 2017 might surprise you yet.
Sandwiched between tweets about her party exploits at Burning Man festival and her egocentric Youtube channel, the celebrity hotel heiress just made an announcement about… blockchain.
“Looking forward to participating in the new @LydianCoinLtd Token!” she writes – and before you ask how much she was paid, note her hashtag: #ThisIsNotAnAd.
Now sceptics will be quick to point out that Hilton has never been shy of exploiting a trend in the name of publicity.
But this time she’s potentially armed to send the haters back to their corner. As Instagram proves (see below), she’s been seen rubbing shoulders with such cryptocurrency celebrities as DAO founder Stephen Tual and Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong for months.
She’s likely to be well aware of what the blockchain is, and may genuinely be excited about the new Lydian coin.
But we’re not sure you should be.
To start, you should probably know that Lydian is a marketing platform created by Gravity4 – a company founded by Gurbaksh Chahal, the ‘serial entrepreneur’ who pleaded guilty in 2014 to misdemeanour battery charges of domestic violence.
But Lydian’s marketing cryptocurrency also appears to be a marketing stunt in itself.
Even if you ignore Hilton’s backing (we’ve contacted both Lydian and Hilton for comment), the company’s bid to raise $100m in investment through an ICO or ‘initial coin offering’ (where you invest in a blockchain company in exchange for digital tokens) smacks of jumping on the bandwagon.
That’s because, while investors will supposedly be able to use their tokens to buy advertising campaigns through “the world’s first A.I. big data marketing cloud” (yes, it’s buzzword bingo), these same services will also be available for you to buy in boring regular money.
So what’s the point?
Apparently the cryptocurrency bit gives you “exclusive access for a limited time” to whatever Gravity4 is developing for the future (no, you won’t know what that is until you buy coins), and “crypto-specific audience targeting” (the ability to make a hoo-ha with fans of cryptocurrencies – we imagine, through stunts like this).
Investors are simply buying services in advance, without the promise they’ll ever even arrive.
In 2017, Paris Hilton isn’t just cyptocurrency smart, but by combining her interest in both promotion and blockchain, she might just be trying to outsmart you.
This is a case of a celebrity using cryptocurrency to back a marketing agency, in a bid to market that marketing agency to cryptocurrency fans.
Who feels like an air-head now?