As if we didn’t have enough scam-ridden cryptocurrency out in the world already, on Friday a new coin based on The Lord of the Rings will enter the market. But that’s not the weirdest thing about “JRR Token,” the crypto that identifies itself as “one token that rules them all.” That honor goes to the message from Billy Boyd, the actor who played Pippin Took in Peter Jackson’s films, promoting the crypto.
Earlier this week, JRR Token—not to be confused with the author of the beloved saga, J.R.R. Tolkien—posted a 40-second video of Boyd speaking favorably about the new crypto. Boyd was paid to do the video via Cameo, the platform that allows people to pay celebrities to send them video messages, do live video calls, and write them direct messages. As of the time of publication, Boyd’s video had been viewed more than 198,000 times on JRR Token’s Twitter.
That’s a pretty big impact considering they paid about $145 for the video, which is Boyd’s rate on his Cameo page.
While Boyd doesn’t explicitly tell people to buy the crypto in the video—in fact it looks like he’s reading a script they sent him most of the time—he does say that the currency will be around for the long haul. In addition, he adds that JRR Token will go “to the moon,” which in the crypto world means that the price of the currency will go way up. Not sure if Boyd knows the specific reference, though.
“Now, I’m here to tell you JRR was created with a mind to have a stable and sustainable crypto that would be embraced by adventurous spirits everywhere. Its ‘Tokenomics’ reflect that it will be around for the long haul,” Boyd said. “Do I think they’re going to the moon? There and back again.”
Funny enough, although Boyd ends with a reference to The Hobbit, it could be interpreted as a red flag in the crypto world. After all, if you want a price to go high, or to the moon, in theory I imagine you wouldn’t want the price to go low, or back again. Or maybe that’s just my interpretation.
The response on Twitter to Boyd’s message was not ideal, to say the least. Some called it “an embarrassment and disgusting grift” and others brought up Gandalf’s famous “fool of a Took” comment.
JRR Token has been preparing to launch for the past few months, according to its website and social media activity. It appears to be yet another hype coin, which are created in the dozens on a daily basis by developers promising big returns. Making hype coins is easy, as explained by the New York Times, and fast. However, the majority of them become worthless after a few weeks.
What’s worrisome in this case though is that JRR Token’s creators got a well-known figure in the Lord of the Rings community to endorse their scam crypto. Even though the reception hasn’t been great, some people might genuinely believe what Boyd is saying and invest their money into JRR Token, which will be available for pre-sale on Friday.
Gizmodo reached out to Cameo for comment on Boyd’s video. We’ll make sure to update this blog if we receive a response.
At the end of the day, it’s likely that JRR Token won’t be around for much longer. Anything related to The Lord of the Rings and its author, J.R.R. Tolkien, is fiercely protected by the Tolkien estate, which isn’t shy about taking out its swords and suing.