Michael Clarke is a former Australian cricket captain and – in many ways – is a national treasure. Yet, as an individual he hasn’t be afraid of facing a little controversy over the years. Even though he might not be hitting sixes and cutting the English down to size at Sydney Cricket Ground anymore, he’s still making sure he stays in the headlines through various endorsement deals.
While it’s clearly a sponsored post, Clarke’s latest endorsement has raised a few eyebrows – as he’s backed an ICO from controversial company Global Tech. The Australian cryptocurrency exchange divides opinion, so Clarke’s decision to tweet his support has created quite the backlash.
Out With the Ostrich, in With the ICO
Part of why Clarke’s endorsement has been met with such negativity actually comes through how ICOs are viewed in Australia. ICOs are often compared to Ostrich farming, a bizarre trend that seemed to gain mainstream popularity overnight during the 1990s. Ostrich farming made several people wealthy overnight, with the remaining market left to suffer the consequences of its downfall. It’s safe to say that this comparison does not paint a pretty picture of ICOs in the land down under.
ASIC Continues to Clamp Down
It’s certainly not helping matters that the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) continues to question the validity of ICO projects. ASIC has created regulations to help protect investors, but still seems to present a stumbling block for any ICO that looks to generate momentum – whether they’re an honest ICO or not. We’ve even seen some ICOs canceled in the wake of ASIC’s recent behavior, showing that these measures have various companies running scared.
Global Tech Seeks Legitimacy
Australia has deemed the ICO market to be high risk, with it needing to be regulated accordingly. Global Tech – a company based out of Brisbane – feels that it can be the shining light for the ICO market in Australia, lending legitimacy to the cause. The company was founded by Marlon Donaire and Andrew Mclean, with the pair currently putting together an ICO that carries a $50 million hard cap.
The problem is that company’s potential – at least at this point – appears to be built on hyperbole more than anything else. Amidst all the supposed “scam and illegitimate companies” that currently flood the ICO market, it claims to be the great problem solver, delivering an “education-based trading and exchange platform.” The Global Tech Platform and Exchange promises plenty through “premium education, important industry updates, and a social platform,” but we don’t see it making our “Hottest ICOs” list anytime soon.
Big Time Blunder
Michael Clarke’s tweet is obviously a case of paid promotion. It reads, “I am really excited to be involved with Global Tech. Their ambition and drive is something that I resonated with straight away and I can’t wait to learn more about blockchain technologies.” But fans of the Australian cricket superstar soon lashed out, questioning just why Clarke would agree to promote such a vague and questionable ICO.
Of all the angry responses to the tweet, John Hempton – Bronte Capital founder – certainly delivered the funniest and most scathing comeback. He compared Clarke’s promotion of Global Tech to another questionable decision of his, that being the backing of the infamous “sandpaper” trio. After Steve Smith, David Warner, and Cameron Bancroft were labeled a national disgrace for ball tampering, Clarke supported them, saying the country shouldn’t “go hard” on the three men. As Australian cricket was dealing with the shame, Clarke’s words were heavily criticised.
Hempton tweeted, “ffs, ex Australian cricket captain in an ICO. Suggest Mr Clarke you just buy sandpaper. It will do less damage to your reputation…” Hampton has also accused Clarke of squandering his reputation for the sake of making a quick buck, with such tweet potentially putting him in the ASIC firing line from a legal standpoint.
Clarke is Out for a Duck!
Every ICO deserves the chance to prove itself, but Global Tech needs to think more about clearing up the vagueness that surrounds its project rather than looking towards celebrity promotion. As for Michael Clarke, he might want to think twice before he sends his next promotional tweet, as in the case of this latest outing it’s probably done more harm than good.