The cryptocurrency exchange Bitget has brought on famous comedian Adam Devine to front its new promotional campaign. The announcement of the marketing ploy comes on the same day that Evan Luthra, a former influencer, moves ahead with litigation. Luthra claims the company stole $200,000 worth of crypto assets from him.
Bitget, currently the 13th largest crypto exchange according to CoinMarketCap, has appointed Devine to be the public face of its #SetForChange campaign. In an official statement, the company said this is part of its latest effort to promote crypto education with an “engaging and lighthearted approach.”
Celebrity Ambassadors Are Highly Controversial
Devine, who is probably most famous for his role as Andy in Modern Family, will front the campaign for a year from August 4. The 39-year-old has already appeared in an ad for the exchange and is front and center on their website.
The new marketing approach comes ten days after Bitget revealed a complete rebranding of the company. The exchange also unveiled a new tagline for the site: “Trade smarter.”
Bitget is no stranger to the use of celebrity influencers. The company previously worked with other big names, including football superstar Lionel Messi.
At the crypto industry’s peak in 2021-2022, many exchanges were rolling out their celebrity backers. Matt Damon famously appeared in a 2022 Crypto.com commercial, while Mila Kunis, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Reese Witherspoon have also done time pushing the crypto industry.
However, since last year’s market crash, and FTX’s legal dramas, celebrities are noticeably less keen on working for the industry. The high-profile collapses of FTX, 3AC, Genesis, and Bittrex have not helped on the PR front.
The celebrity-backed approach is a controversial one. A class action lawsuit targets FTX and a host of celebrities for their endorsement of the failed exchange. But that isn’t the only legal minefield an exchange has to navigate.
The tapping of Devine as the face of its new campaign comes on the same day that Bitget faces new accusations about its conduct. Evan Luthra, a crypto entrepreneur, and influencer, has accused Bitget of stealing $200,000 from him. According to Luthra, the exchange did not reply to his queries and then blocked the withdrawal of his funds.
“I had $200,000+ in Bitget and it got stolen. The worst part is that they’re not responding to me, instead, they’re spreading lies about me,” Luthra tweeted.
Luthra is not taking this lying down. Outraged at Bitget’s conduct, he is seeking $16 million in damages from Bitget, Foresight Ventures, and their executives.
Bitget Accused of Stealing Funds From Users
The story began when Luthra was reportedly banned from the platform for selling $REELT & $MOVR tokens with the projects’ permission.
“Bitget used it as a reason to block my account and steal the money. This is the fraud they are committing, they are stealing funds from users,” Luthra told BeInCrypto.
In a thread on X (formerly Twitter), Luthra said that over 300 others had complained to him about similar experiences. They include people unable to withdraw funds because of apparently spurious allegations.
In the same thread, Luthra also raised other reasons for concern about the company. They include breach of trust and misleading marketing campaigns.
Luthra is currently blocked by Bitget’s profile on X. He has said that if Bitget refunds him the money, he will donate the entire sum to charity. He explained to BeInCrypto:
“Bitget is the next FTX in the making. They are following the exact same playbook – hiring influencers such as Messi to promote their scam and trap retail investors. Most of there reserves are in their own BGB token like FTX had FTT. They are stealing money from users like myself to finance their marketing campaigns.”
According to Luthra, his counsel have been after Bitget since March. But the exchange has not yet provided a response to his accusations or latest court filing. The next step is a notice sent by certified mail, Luthra said.
BeInCrypto reached out to Bitget for comment. A spokesperson for the exchange told BeInCrypto that it had not received notice of a lawsuit, which Luthra called “lies.”
In a message to BeInCrypto Bitget called Luthra “a figure with a documented history of fraudulent activities” and said that, in April, it detected suspicious trading activity involving Luthra and others. The email accused Luthra and others of dumping a coin called REELT after its listing on Bitget. It continued:
“Our vigilant staff detected suspicious activity and swiftly halted operations with the coin to prevent illegal actions. The accounts involved in the incident were subsequently blocked for further investigation.”
We await further comment from the parties involved and will update this story accordingly.
In adherence to the Trust Project guidelines, BeInCrypto is committed to unbiased, transparent reporting. This news article aims to provide accurate, timely information. However, readers are advised to verify facts independently and consult with a professional before making any decisions based on this content.