Rapper 50 Cent Joins The Bitcoin Revolution

Rap superstar Curtis Jackson, better known to the masses as 50 Cent, has a reputation of being well ahead of the curve both within the pop culture milieu and beyond. He’s not just a well known rapper and his ability to spot a developing trend is well known. He was an early investor in Glaceau, the company that makes VitaminWater and pocketed somewhere in the range of $75 to $100 million when they were acquired by Coca Cola. For that reason alone his decision to jump on the Bitcoin bandwagon is worthy of notice.

50 Cent will accept Bitcoin for purchase of his new album, Animal Ambition. He’s set up a Shopify store to sell his latest release and enlisted BitPay as the payment processor. A number of artists have given lip service to the potential of Bitcoin including Childish Gambino, Snoop Dogg (aka Snoop Lion) and former Spice Girl Mel B. None of these performers have actually integrated Bitcoin into their business model which makes ‘Fitty’ something of a pioneer.

There’s speculation that the decision represents more than just embracing a payment method that is growing in popularity. BitPay’s policies allow merchants who are paid via BCN to immediately convert them to dollars, keep them as BCN or a combination of the two. Several observers who are familiar with 50 Cent’s thinking are of the opinion that he’s looking to acquire Bitcoins for investment purposes. 50 Cent’s representatives gave a ‘no comment’ when approached for a statement but BitPay CEO Tony Gallippi was pleased to see ‘Fitty’ join the Bitcoin revolution saying “We are excited to see high profile independent artists use bitcoin and 50 Cent’s trail as an innovator is outstanding.”

50 Cent left Interscope Records in February and is now working with independent distributor Caroline, part of the independent services division of Capitol Records. The rapper’s decision to accept Bitcoin may not be a game changer in itself but it’s another incremental move toward mainstream acceptance. The more ‘established brands’–be they recording artists like 50 Cent or major corporations like Dish Network–that accept Bitcoin create momentum toward mainstream adoption and acceptance of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.