50 Cent’s decision to accept bitcoin payments for his 2014 “Animal Ambition” album has netted the Grammy award-winning rapper a multi-million dollar windfall.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ reported that 50 Cent, real name Curtis Jackson, raked in about 700 bitcoins after agreeing to accept payments in the volatile digital currency for his fifth album. When “Animal Ambition” was released in June 2014, one bitcoin was worth $662. If the report of his 700 bitcoin haul is accurate, that means Jackson made around $460,000 in sales at the time and now holds bitcoin worth roughly $8 million, according to Coindesk.
Jackson, one of the first high profile musicians to accept bitcoin in exchange for music, confirmed his windfall on social media. “Not bad for a kid from South Side, I’m so proud of me,” he said in a post on Instagram. The rapper then said that he had forgotten all about selling his fifth album for bitcoins until now.
Jackson’s bold decision to sell music for bitcoins before many of his peers represents a massive win for the rapper. One year later, in 2015, he filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after some of his other big investments, including a bid to come out with his own line of headphones, went sour. The musician has since paid off his $23 million debt (See also: 50 Cent Broke No More.)
Some of Jackson’s other investments have also turned into big successes over the years. The rapper was an early investor in Glaceau, the vitamin water company that Coca-Cola Co. (KO) later acquired for $4.1 billion in 2007. When the deal went through, Jackson is believed to have walked away with between $60 million and $100 million.
Now that cryptocurrencies have soared in popularity, many other musicians are beginning to accept virtual coin payments for songs. At the end of last year, cryptocurrency Monero announced that 45 musicians and five online stores had begun accepting its coins.
Artists involved in the scheme include Alice Cooper, the Backstreet Boys, Kaskade, Lana Del Rey, The Lumineers, Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson, Morrissey, Motley Crue, Sia, Slayer and Weezer.