The Crypto Crowd Holds a Glittery Awards Night, Despite Fiascoes
“They might not be dead,” he said. “But their dreams of striking it rich in crypto definitely are.”
The screens at his back showed the football player Odell Beckham Jr., who announced in November 2021 that he would take his salary in Bitcoin, shortly before its value began to plummet. Then came the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and the rapper and music producer DJ Khaled, who in 2018 were fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission for promoting digital tokens without disclosing that they had been paid to do so.
Then flashed an image of Kim Kardashian, who in October agreed to a $1.26 million settlement with the S.E.C. for failing to comply with the agency’s rules on the promotion of investment opportunities.
The pictures kept coming. One showed the August-September 2022 issue of Fortune magazine, with Mr. Bankman-Fried on its cover, with the headline “The Next Warren Buffett?” The Fat Jewish predicted that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s “trading habit” would soon involve swapping “cigarettes for toilet paper in prison.”
Also featured on the screens was the YouTube star turned media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk. His NFT start-up, Candy Digital, was once valued at $1.5 billion. Earlier this week, the company laid off “a large portion of its staff,” according to Decrypt, the crypto industry news site owned by Decrypt Media, the parent company of Decrypt Studios, the Crypties’ organizer.
As it turned out, the person who presented the first Cryptie award was Avery Akkineni, the president of another one of Mr. Vaynerchuk’s companies, Vayner3. In what was definitely not the evening’s warmest exchange, Ms. Akkineni strode onto the stage, gave a terse acknowledgment to The Fat Jewish and defended her boss, Mr. Vaynerchuk, calling him a “complete pleasure” to work for.
After reading the list of nominees for Game of the Year, Ms. Akkineni opened an envelope and revealed the winner: Crypto Unicorns, a pet and farming game created on the Polygon blockchain, backed by a digital token called MATIC. Katrina Wolfe, the product director at Laguna Games, accepted the award, but a number of the other winners did not show up.