Tom Brady has always been considered an innovator. As the most successful quarterback in NFL history, he finds ways to reinvent himself. The 44-year-old continues to improve throughout his career, exploring lifestyle and dietary choices to give himself an edge. Brady is also looking for ways to innovate off the field. Now he’s wading into the NFT sector.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Brady is in hot demand as a voice talent. He gets many opportunities to join developing companies and startups. One of these concerns non-fungible tokens, also known as NFTs. Not only is Brady meddling with space, but he actually set a bizarre record with it.
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Meet Autograph, Tom Brady’s NFT company
First, let’s look at Brady’s legitimate NFT-related company, a company he co-founded called Autograph. According to Fortune, the startup has received $170 million in funding from Silicon Valley. The company’s goal is to help other celebrities launch their own NFTs.
NFTs stand for non-fungible tokens. They are digital assets that are mostly works of digital art. The “non-fungible” part of the term means that each one is unique. While you can trade one bitcoin for another and the two are interchangeable, each NFT is unique.
Having previously worked at both Apple Music and Cameo, CEO Dillion Rosenblatt leads the company in LA. Brady has made a significant impact in the sports and entertainment worlds and has amassed an impressive list of superstars willing to work with the company. Client list includes golf great Tiger Woods, former baseball icon Derek Jeter and tennis star Naomi Osaka.
With the increasing popularity of NFTs, fans are looking for celebrities. But Brady’s experience with NFTs isn’t limited to just that engagement. He was also represented in this market in a rather nefarious way.
Tom Brady is one of the most impersonated celebrities on the NFT black market
NFTs represent a unique new frontier at the intersection of technology and art. They are misunderstood by many, overvalued by some and undervalued by others. Because of this unpredictability, there are many opportunities for scammers to run amok. Some celebrities, like Brady, get caught in the crossfire.
According to The Hustle, there are reportedly 31,400 “fake” fraudulent NFTs linked to Brady. That’s by far the most of any celebrity. This is due in large part to Brady’s popularity as the NFL’s most visible superstar.
Here’s how it works: A person designs a fake social media account that looks and acts like a certain celebrity (in this case, Brady). The account then proceeds to persuade fans to visit a website. This website may contain a phishing link to malware or ask to purchase a fake NFT.
It’s social engineering at its worst. And it makes the space dangerous for any athlete or celebrity to get in.
The controversy behind athletes selling NFTs
Many celebrities are currently trying to cash in on the NFT craze. And why shouldn’t they? It is a highly misunderstood area, with many newcomers seeing it as an unavoidable get-rich-quick scheme.
The main problem is scams like Brady. Scammers posing as celebrities will attempt to fraudulently take advantage of fans, steal their information, or otherwise trick them into buying worthless NFT.
According to the CEO of cybersecurity company BrandShield, Yoav Keren, these scams give fans hope while giving them something that isn’t exclusive. “When you purchase an NFT of a Tom Brady image, that NFT represents that you are the sole valid owner of that image,” Keren said. “If someone sells you a fake, you are not the real owner.”
Fake Brady-backed NFTs are unlikely to go anywhere, but caution is advised for crypto-loving sports fans. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.
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