Earlier this year, various news outlets reported that famed rapper 50 Cent raked in millions thanks to bitcoin, as he accepted the flagship cryptocurrency for his album, Animal Ambition, back in 2014. A TMZ report claimed he now had $8 million thanks to bitcoin’s price surge, but new court documents reveal the artist never owned any bitcoin.
The documents, first obtained by The Blast, were bankruptcy filings filed to refute allegations that the rapper didn’t accurately disclose his financial holdings. They reveal 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, never owned and does not own any bitcoin. To the best of his knowledge, none of his companies ever dealt with the cryptocurrency as well.
While the rapper accepted bitcoin for an album back in 2014, the documents reveal a third party processed and converted the cryptocurrency to USD, before he ever saw the money. The documents read:
“All online transactions involving my brand were handled by an independently owned and operated third part, Central Nervous LLC.. the limited bitcoin transactions that occurred online were processed and converted to U.S. Dollars contemporaneously, based upon the then-existing exchange rate…”
The documents included screenshots of 50 Cent’s BitPay account. They list various transactions between $5.5 and $8.9, showing the rapper never raked in the 700 bitcoins that reports claimed had been left untouched.
The rapper knew media reports claiming he had $8 million in bitcoin weren’t accurate, yet he didn’t refute them. In fact, the artist claimed to have “forgotten he did that,” not because he still had the coins, but because he forgot he accepted payments in it.
He didn’t refute the reports, because he understood they would make him look good and support his brand. He stated:
“As a general matter, so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting. This is particularly true when I feel the press report in question is favorable to my image or brand, even if the report is based on a misunderstanding of the facts or contains outright falsehoods.”
Behind his reasoning, was that the reports showed he made a good business decision in accepting the flagship cryptocurrency. Although he didn’t keep the bitcoins he received and made millions because of that, it was still a good decision to accept bitcoin at the time, as it gave him free publicity.