Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency which is “under siege” from established financial and regulatory institutions, may have found a new backer. 

Former action star Steven Seagal has become a brand ambassador for Bitcoiin2gen, a project that aims to make a “superior or more advanced version” of the original bitcoin.

Seagal is an American martial arts expert who became a Russian citizen in 2016. He became famous for starring in hit action movies like "Under Siege" and "Hard to Kill."

In a press release announcing Seagal’s involvement with the project, Bitcoiin2gen stated that its objectives were aligned with those of the actor, who believes that “what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner.”  

The Bitcoiin2gen project, which is based off the ethereum blockchain, does not mention any “superior” or “advanced” features on its website and sticks to tried and tested buzzwords, such as mining and staking.

Bitcoiin2Gen is currently holding an initial coin offering (ICO) for 50 million coins. To encourage investment into the ICO, the cryptocurrency’s developers have implemented a multilevel marketing scheme in which its investors are offered commissions based on the number of recruits they bring to the ICO.

While the whitepaper mentions the commission amount, it does not include explanations for the various levels. Previously, Bitconnect, a cryptocurrency exchange, employed similar schemes to pump up its ICO valuation. (See also: Beware Of These Give Bitcoin Scams.) The ICO will end on March 30, according to its website. 

Online publication Coindesk has additional details about the Bitcoiin2gen project. According to them, the project’s site was registered in 2015 and is based in Panama. Ownership of the site was transferred in January 2018. 

Steven Seagal is the latest celebrity to endorse a cryptocurrency product. Previous high-flyers in this category include boxer Floyd Mayweather and socialite Paris Hilton. In a statement in November 2017, the SEC came out against such endorsements. “These endorsements may be unlawful if they do not disclose the nature, source, and amount of any compensation paid, directly or indirectly, by the company in exchange for the endorsement,” the agency stated. (See also: SEC Warns Investors About Scam ICOs.) 

Investing in cryptocurrencies and other Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or other ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns small amounts of bitcoin.