Mariah Carey buys Bitcoin, hopes to empower fans through education

Pop icon Mariah Carey is the latest celebrity to embrace Bitcoin (BTC) through the Winklevoss-led Gemini cryptocurrency exchange, offering another sign that digital assets were becoming mainstream. 

In a video message to her 10.2 million Instagram followers, Carey announced Tuesday that she is partnering with Gemini to boost Bitcoin adoption and support girls of color in their pursuit of STEM degrees — a broad education category that refers to science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

In the video, Carey confirmed that she invests in Bitcoin through Gemini. She also gave her fans a referral code to redeem $20 in free BTC.

“Did you know you don’t need to buy a whole Bitcoin to invest? In fact, you can buy as little as $5,” she said.

Carey credited Cryptopedia, Gemini’s free education platform, for teaching her about cryptocurrency investing.

Users who sign up through the referral link and begin trading on Gemini will be contributing directly to Black Girls Code, a non-profit organization that provides technology education for African-American girls. 

While early crypto investors can be considered ahead of their time for investing in Bitcoin before the major financial institutions, a large segment of the market is heavily influenced by celebrity endorsements. In September, a Morning Consult survey of 2,200 U.S. adults found that 45% of crypto holders would seek exposure to a cryptocurrency if it is endorsed by someone famous. 

Related: TikTok embraces NFTs with creator-led collection

Celebrities have become highly influential in the budding NFT market, which has attracted billions of dollars in investment this year alone. Despite the frothy hype, Ethereum co-creator Vitalik Buterin believes celebrities can push the NFT market toward socially relevant causes.