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50 Cent Says He 'Never Owned' Bitcoin in New Court Filing

Performance artist 50 Cent Jackson may not be a bitcoin millionaire after all.

The American rapper, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, stated in a bankruptcy court filing obtained by The Blast that he “has never owned, and does not now own, a bitcoin account or any bitcoin,” and nor have his businesses. The filing was submitted on Feb. 23.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, Jackson accepted bitcoin as payment for his 2014 ‘Animal Ambition’ album, and according to a January report from entertainment news site TMZ, garnered about 700 BTC, which was worth roughly $8 million when TMZ’s story was published. At the time, Jackson appeared to confirm the news on Instagram, writing, “Not bad for a kid from the South Side, I’m so proud of me.”

He said further in a comment thread that he had forgotten that he had the bitcoin. The post has since been removed from his account.

Jackson claims in the newly-filed court documents that a third-party company handled the bitcoin transactions and that they were immediately converted to U.S. dollars.

Based on print-outs from Jackson’s BitPay account that were included in the filing, TechCrunch estimates the total bitcoin payments received for the album to be much lower than the figure initially reported by TMZ, suggesting Jackson reaped around 6 or 7 BTC, not 700 BTC.

The performance artist and entrepreneur claimed in the documents that he did not dispute TMZ’s report because he stood to benefit from the publicity.

“As a general matter, so long as a press story is not irreparably damaging to my image or brand, I usually do not feel the need to publicly deny the reporting,” Jackson wrote. “This is particularly true when I feel the press report in question is favorable to my image or brand, even if that report is based on a misunderstanding of the facts or contains outright falsehoods.”

As for his previous comments on “forgetting” his bitcoin holdings, Jackson stated:

“I made social media posts stating that ‘I forgot I did that’ because I had in fact forgotten I was one of the first recording artists to accept bitcoin for online transactions.”

Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson image via Shutterstock

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Rapper 50 Cent Is Now a Bitcoin Millionaire

Rapper 50 Cent’s move to accept bitcoin for his 2014 “Animal Ambition” album has resulted in a multi-million dollar windfall.

On Tuesday, celebrity gossip site TMZ reported that 50 Cent, whose real name is Curtis Jackson, had garnered about 700 BTC after moving to accept the cryptocurrency for the album. At the time, the rapper was accepting payments through processor startup BitPay. At the time, that amount was worth about $400k, and by the publication’s estimation, his holdings are now worth somewhere between $7 million and $9 million.

The performance artist has confirmed the TMZ article, posting its text to Instagram and writing: “Not Bad for a kid from South Side, I’m so proud of me.” In a comment on the social media site, he claimed that he had forgotten about the cache of bitcoin in the years since the Animal Ambition move.

Jackson has a history of entrepreneurial success, most famously as an early investor in Glaceau, which Coca-Cola later acquired for $4.1 billion. He has an extensive portfolio that includes a clothing line, dietary supplements and real estate among other things.

Yet he made waves by taking the step to accept bitcoin for the album, joining the ranks of other musicians who in past years have made similar moves. That year, for example, rock group Mastodon similarly started taking bitcoin via BitPay, and in November, Icelandic singer Bjork revealed that her “Utopia” album would be available to buyers using multiple cryptocurrencies.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in BitPay. 

Image Credit: Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.