Stox garnered a lot of attention for their successful ICO in early August, followed by the launch of their alpha testing only four weeks later. Stox is a project that plans to offer a decentralized prediction market, using blockchain technology to allow users to make predictions on anything from sports to politics. This particular ICO drummed up interest in a way we haven’t seen much in the crypto world: celebrities promoted it.

Floyd Mayweather, the retired boxer turned boxing-promoter, posted on Instagram that he was going to “make a $hit t$n of money on August 2nd on the Stox.com ICO.” Mayweather’s prediction seems to have been correct: Stox closed their ICO in record time after making $33 million in only 34 hours.  

Then, on August 25th, Luis Suarez posted about Stox on his Instagram account. That was one day before the platform launched its alpha testing. Both of these Instagram posts received more than half a million likes, and directly after each, Google searches for Stox saw a significant spike. 

Of course, one question is whether the celebrities were directly paid to publicize the new prediction platform and whether they are investing their own money in Stox or not. If they were paid to post about Stox, then they would be required to disclose this in the post. Many influencers on social media have also been failing to disclose their endorsements as paid, but as Business of Fashion has reported, the FTC has been cracking down on this practice. 

It will be interesting to see if future ICOs use celebrity endorsements after Stox’s significant success, and whether, if they do, they’ll have to be more careful in order to abide the FTC’s endorsement rules.