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Football legend Ronaldinho considers return of cryptocurrency despite past controversy

Football legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho, mostly known as Ronaldinho, recently hinted at returning to the crypto scene, but his controversial past in the industry casts a long shadow of doubt.

In a June 23 X-post, Ronaldinho said it was time for cryptocurrencies to go “mainstream” and urged his audience to join him, but this announcement quickly drew criticism from crypto enthusiasts, including on-chain investigator ZachXBT.

The investigator questioned Ronaldinho's intentions and suggested that his recent post could be a sign of financial troubles. He specifically reminded the public of the former soccer star's past involvement in controversial crypto projects and accused him of being involved in several pump-and-dump schemes.

A screenshot of ZachXBT's post showed several crypto projects that the soccer legend had promoted in the past, including World Cup Inu (WCI), Atari Chain, Lord Society NFT, and the popular meme coin Baby Doge.

Ronaldinho's previous foray into the crypto market was fraught with controversy, most notably the “18kRonaldinho” scandal, which allegedly involved a pyramid scheme worth $61 million.

This scheme falsely advertised 2% daily returns on crypto investments and used Ronaldinho's name and image to underline his credibility. At a hearing in Brazil's Congress, Ronaldinho vehemently denied any connection with the company and claimed his image was used without authorization.

Celebrities in the crypto world

Ronaldinho is not the only one whose celebrity status is closely tied to the crypto world. In April 2021, popular rap artist Eminem made headlines by launching a series of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on Nifty Gateway. Eminem also collaborated with Snoop Dogg on an NFT music video for their song “From the D to the LBC.”

Other celebrities have also made a name for themselves in the crypto scene. UFC star Conor McGregor has partnered with Tiger.Trade, a crypto trading platform. Tennis star Maria Sharapova has also shown interest in cryptocurrencies, alongside personalities such as Gal Gadot, Bruce Willis and Justin Bieber.

Most recently, the crypto community saw a wave of celebrity-backed meme coins, which quickly crashed, triggering losses for investors. Media personality Caitlyn Jenner and Nigerian musician David “Davido” Adeleke were some of the celebrities caught up in the saga.