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The Crypto Crowd Holds a Glittery Awards Night, Despite Fiascoes

“They may not be dead,” he said. “But their dreams of striking it rich in crypto certainly are.”

The screens behind his back were football player Odell Beckham Jr. shown, who announced in November 2021 that he would take his salary in Bitcoin, shortly before its value began to decline. Then came the boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and rapper and music producer DJ Khaled, who was fined by the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2018 for promoting digital tokens without disclosing that they were paid for them.

Then flashed an image of Kim Kardashian, who in October agreed to a $1.26 million settlement with the SEC for failing to comply with the agency’s rules on promoting investment opportunities.

The pictures kept coming. One showed the August-September 2022 issue of Fortune magazine, with Mr. Bankman-Fried on its cover, headlined “The Next Warren Buffett?” The Fat Jewish predicted that Mr. Bankman-Fried’s “trading habit” would soon involve exchanging “cigarettes for toilet paper in prison”.

YouTube star turned media entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk was also featured on the screens. His NFT startup, Candy Digital, was once valued at $1.5 billion. Earlier this week, the company laid off “a large portion of its staff,” according to Decrypt, the crypto industry news site owned by Decrypt Media, the parent company of Decrypt Studios, the Crypties’ organizer.

As it turned out, the person who presented the first Cryptie Award was Avery Akkineni, the president of another of Mr. Vaynerchuk’s companies, Vayner3. In what was certainly not the evening’s hottest exchange of words, Ms. Akkineni walked on stage, gave a terse acknowledgment to The Fat Jewish and her boss Mr. Vaynerchuk, defended, calling him an “absolute pleasure” to work for.

After reading the list of nominees for Game of the Year, Ms. Akkineni opened an envelope and revealed the winner: Crypto Unicorns, a pet and farming game created on the Polygon blockchain, backed by a digital token called MATIC. Katrina Wolfe, the product director at Laguna Games, accepted the award, but a number of the other winners did not show up.

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