Hip-hop artist 50 Cent says he forgot about the 700 Bitcoins he accumulated in 2014 after he agreed to accept the cryptocurrency for album sales.
Now they’re worth a fortune.
Back in 2014 when a bitcoin was worth $662, 50 Cent accepted the digital currency as payment for his album, “Animal Ambition.” He was the first-known hip-hop artist to do so. Customers could get a copy of the album for a fraction of a bitcoin.
“Animal Ambition” earned about 700 bitcoin in sales — more than $400,000. The cryptocurrency sat dormant in his account for years, according to TMZ, which first reported on the windfall.
Now the volatile cryptocurrency is fluctuating between $10,000 and $12,000 per bitcoin after surging close to $20,000 in December.
Today, 50 Cent’s bitcoin is worth $7,770,000.
In 2015, 50 Cent filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under his birth name, Curtis Jackson. He restructured his finances, agreeing to pay off $23 million in debt with a five-year plan, Tech Crunch reported:
In 2017, he reportedly paid off the $23 million early after receiving some money in a settlement. Back in 2011, the rapper debuted a set of headphones marketed with his personal brand and became the CEO of his own audio company, SMS Audio.”
NPR reported in 2016, “He says he’s broke, but he posted Instagram photos showing piles of cash in a refrigerator.”
50 Cent appeared to confirm the news on an Instgram post citing TMZ’s story about his unexpected bitcoin windfall: “Not Bad for a kid from South Side, I’m so proud of me,” he said, and “I’m a keep it real I forgot I did that shit. Lol.”
When 50 Cent’s “Animal Ambition” album went on sale on June 3, 2014, Bitcoin payment service provider Bitpay handled the transactions. It was Bitpay’s first arrangement with a musician.
BitPay executive chairman Tony Gallippi said it was an innovative move on 50 Cent’s part.
“We are excited to see high profile independent artists use bitcoin and 50 Cent’s trail as an innovator is outstanding,” Gallippi said in a statement, according to a June 3, 2014 LA Times report.
50 Cent said in a Reddit Q&A that he was accepting bitcoin to keep current with the times.
“Technology is what’s changing the business gotta get with it,” he said. “I take money no matter if its coins or dollars.”
Accepting bitcoin fits with 50 Cent’s narrative and history of being open to make money in as many ways as possible, said Corentin Villemeur, who was media director for the hip-hop artist’s label, G-Unit Records, in 2014.
“We’re trying to be ahead of the curve and do new things,” he said.
Even in 2014, bitcoin’s price was fluctuating wildly, vulnerable to news of government clampdowns and hackers’ attacks on exchanges, NPR reported. The currency’s value topped $1,000 in 2013. When 50 Cent’s album came out in the summer of 2014, one bitcoin was worth more than $600.
Future releases through G-Unit Records should also be purchasable with bitcoin, Villemeur said at the time.
50 Cent has sold more than 30 million albums including his Grammy Award-nominated first album, “Get Rich or Die Tryin,” and “The Massacre.
His fifth album, “Animal Ambition” fell far short of the huge sales of “Get Rich or Die Tryin.”
One partial explanation for that slump — the digitizing of a medium that was once exclusively material — also helps explain why its proceeds are now worth millions, as bitcoin’s value has risen to stratospheric heights,” NPR reported.
Twitter users were quick to give 50 Cent advice — and disagree with each other — on what to do with his newfound cryptocurrency fortune:
If you want to turn that into a lot more money, you should take the Bitcoin and buy into @DeepOnionx #DeepOnion. It is a privacy coin, so the government can't track your money. #cryptocurrency #anonymous #tor #bigmoney #blockchain #bitcoin
— MolecularMan (@LosMolecularMan) January 24, 2018
— MisterLG (@MisterLG1) January 24, 2018
Yes, 50, HODL like a champ! $100,000 BTC by 2019.
— Crypto Gear Solid (@CryptoGearSolid) January 25, 2018
— Crypto Jefe’ (@BadHombreCrypto) January 25, 2018
Just FYI, don't forget the number one rule of bitcoin, which is, *never* sell all of your bitcoin.
— jratcliff63367 (@jratcliff) January 24, 2018
I want the rap song about this NOW!
— Jason Smith (@smittyo0) January 25, 2018
dude buy #electroneum .. be a man, do a right thing 🙂
— btcPrice.Net (@btcpricenet) January 24, 2018
— Dennis (@DCDOWORK) January 23, 2018
Easy money baby.
— Jay-ZCash (@Jay_ZCash) January 24, 2018
— Viktor Artless (@ViktorArtless) January 24, 2018
Mr. Cent, cash out 10% of your total earnings, use another 40% to diversify into good altcoins (ADA, LTC, BQX, ETH, CRPT, BAR, @COLXCommunity, then #Hodl your remaining 50% of BTC for a few years and see what happens. The first million dollar bitcoin will appear. Patience is key.
— Cosby Fogle (@CosbyFogle) January 25, 2018
i'll buy your album when you change your name into 50satoshi!
— Meta Medium (@MediumMeta) January 25, 2018
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