A crypto company behind blockchain-based digital trading cards has lured a number of high-profile names, largely in part reportedly to its claim that NBA star LeBron James was involved with the venture.
VirtualStax is a blockchain company that offers digital trading cards that can be bought, sold or traded on the Stax.app.
The digital trading cards, VirtualStax, live on a platform called TheXchange where they could be bought and sold with a bespoke token canned TurnCoin.
Forbes recently reported that the blockchain system was under investigation for convincing people to join a false project. The South African company claims it’s worth $15 billion and told people that it would build up to $97 billion in three years. Reportedly, a claim by VirtualStax CEO and founder Rudolf Markgraaff that LeBron James was involved helped to attract other celebrity names.
This report comes on the heels of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent efforts to hold celebrities who endorsed fake cryptocurrency accountable.
Shaun Kelley, a former Motocross pro, claims the facade that James was involved was one of the reasons he signed on a sports ambassador for VirtualStax. He also says he was offered one million in TurnCoin to join the project. The TurnCoin is the token that powers VirtualStax. Kelley is currently suing the VirtualStax’s platform TheXChange for fraud. He and one other person connected to the lawsuit claim the platform owes them $12 million in unpaid royalties.
LeBron Not Involved
According to Forbes, one of TurnCoins’s employees came forward and confirmed that Masrkgraaf did, in fact, falsely claim that LeBron James was involved with the venture. James released a statement through a spokesman that denied involvement in endorsing VirtualStax.
“LeBron has never endorsed, invested, or had any relationship with these companies,” a spokesperson for James said.
Did Other Stars Promote the Platform?
The company also claimed to be endorsed by other stars like Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, former “American Idol” judge Randy Jackson, and Orlando Magic NBA player Wendell Carter Jr.
Mahomes seems to have endorsed the platform.
“What I love most about Stax, is that it’s a people-for-people movement,” Mahomes said in a video posted to VirtualStax’s YouTube.
Even Buffalo Bills NFL player Von Miller has been quoted as saying, “If you wanna win, join VirtualStax today.”
Representatives Mahomes, Jackson, Miller and Carter did not respond to Forbes for requests for comment.
VirtualStax’s tokens and celebrity endorsers’ cards have yet to launch; the company has announced delays of at least three months.