Celebrities, including Trevor Lawrence and YouTubers Tom Nash and Kevin Paffrath, settle lawsuits linked to the collapsed crypto-exchange FTX.
A recent wave of settlements has seen celebrities embroiled in the FTX crypto-exchange controversy come to agreements. Key figures such as Jacksonville Jaguars’ quarterback Trevor Lawrence, and renowned YouTube personalities Tom Nash and Kevin Paffrath, have chosen to put the disputes behind them by settling their respective lawsuits.
FTX’s Celebrity Ties and its Demise
Before its unfortunate collapse, FTX had engaged in high-profile sponsorships. Among its notable deals was one with Trevor Lawrence through its subsidiary, Blockfolio, in 2021. This partnership netted Lawrence a tidy sum of $205,555.35, as per U.S. Bankruptcy Court records. This move by FTX, through its then-COO Sina Nader, aimed to shatter perceived taboos around cryptocurrency by bringing popular celebrities on board.
However, following the exchange’s downfall, Lawrence has refrained from making public comments regarding his association with FTX or the subsequent legal proceedings.
YouTube Influencers and their FTX Involvement
Tom Nash, a YouTube influencer boasting a following of 289,000 subscribers, had also endorsed FTX. A class-action complaint initiated by the Moskowitz Law Firm in March shed light on this. After the exchange’s debacle, the complaint highlights how Nash, along with other influencers, purged their content of any traces of FTX promotions or its founder, Sam Bankman-Fried.
Interestingly, due to Nash’s Australian citizenship and lack of immediate response to the lawsuit, the Moskowitz Law Firm sought a judge’s permission to serve the lawsuit innovatively – through a tweet.
Kevin Paffrath, who commands a vast YouTube audience of 1.88 million on his ‘Meet Kevin’ channel, has been more vocal about his association with FTX. Acknowledging his past sponsorship in a November 2022 video, he labeled it a “scar” and expressed regret. Subsequent to being named in the class-action lawsuit by Moskowitz in March, Paffrath firmly placed blame on Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF) for the fiasco. He vehemently refuted suggestions of influencers being part of the FTX fraud, terming such allegations as baseless.
Trevor Lawrence, Tom Nash, and Kevin Paffrath are just the tip of the iceberg when considering FTX’s strategic celebrity partnerships. Several other renowned figures such as former NFL quarterback Tom Brady, his ex-spouse Gisele Bundchen, NBA legend Shaquille O’Neill, and tennis sensation Naomi Osaka have all faced legal scrutiny due to their collaborations with FTX.
FTX’s Current Standing
News of these settlements has emerged in the wake of a cyber-attack targeting FTX. This assault disrupted an online platform for ex-clients, hindering them from submitting reimbursement claims. On a parallel note, legal proceedings have granted FTX permission to liquidate its extensive $3.4 billion crypto assets, including Solana, Ethereum, and Bitcoin, as part of its bankruptcy resolution.
In this digital age, with the interplay of celebrities and cryptocurrency exchanges becoming more intertwined, the lessons from FTX serve as a stark reminder for both influencers and investors. It underscores the importance of due diligence and the potential pitfalls of celebrity endorsements in the ever-evolving crypto landscape.