After the price of bitcoin plunged this week, erasing more than $200 billion in wealth in just 24 hours, Damon and nine other high-profile celebrities who have publicly endorsed digital currencies were not brave enough to comment on the apparent market crash.
NBC News spokespeople for Damon, as well as Larry David, Charli D Amelio, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, LeBron James, Kim Kardashian, Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow and Reese Witherspoon. Their spokespeople did not respond to emails sent Thursday morning by the Kardashians, and Kardashian's publicist didn't want to comment.
Damon, David and James appeared in eye-catching crypto commercials that aired during the Super Bowl in February. The star of Curb Your Enthusiasm showed up in a cheeky ad for the FTX exchange, making it seem like crypto deniers would be judged as harshly by history as those who opposed silverware or the wheel. James pitched for Crypto.com.
In recent years, D Amelio, Foxx, Hilton, Kardashian, Kutcher, Paltrow, and Witherspoon have publicly endorsed cryptocurrencies. In December, Witherspoon said that cryptocurrencies are here to stay and encouraged more women to get involved.
The dramatic market sell-off this week raises troubling questions about the stability of the digital currency and the long-term value, heightening anxiety and validating skeptics who have dismissedcryptocurrencies as a fad or scam.
Marketing experts say they helped create mainstream legitimacy for a fast-growing but poorly understood industry, despite the fact that none of the celebrities contacted by NBC News are directly responsible for the crash.
Jason Damata, founder and CEO of Fabric Media, said that the major celebrity endorsements across criptomes - whether it's Matt Damon or Tom Brady - help consumers feel comfortable with these brands.
When a celebrity puts their name on a brand in a marketplace where there's literally hundreds of choices, it helps the consumer to trust the product, he said.
Many consumers operate under the assumption that the pitchman has done some research into the product — in this case, digital currencies that some critics consider a wildly risky bet.
According to Damata, consumers assume that spokespeople have done some due diligence on the companies they promote, but he doesn't hold any celebrities directly responsible for fluctuations in the market.
The traditional stock markets are starting to dip from the Pandemic-era highs due to fears over inflation and a weaker outlook on the economy.