50 Cent has a way of pulling money out of thin air by making prescient early investments. Though he hasn’t been doing so great lately, he’s still got some tricks up his sleeve. It turns out he accepted Bitcoin payments for his 2014 album Animal Ambition and never cashed them out. Suddenly, he’s richer than he realised.
In 2004, Fiddy signed an endorsement deal with a little company called Vitamin Water that ended up netting him half a billion dollars. In the meantime, he’s had his ups and downs on the sales charts, got hurt in the 2008 recession, mismanaged his cash, and filed for bankruptcy. Animal Ambition wasn’t much of a hit and in a 2014 article titled, “9 Albums That Flopped in 2014 (Or Did They?),” Billboard reported that it only sold 124,000 copies. Well, Billboard was right to question if it was an actual failure, because fans paid him 700 bitcoins that apparently have been sitting in an account with no one paying attention. Today, that stash is worth about £5.5 million.
At the time of the album’s release, one bitcoin was worth about £460, so his haul in 2014 was still around £320,000. That’d be a lot of money to most people, but the hip-hop star apparently forgot about it. “I’m a keep it real. I forgot I did that shit,” he wrote in a now-deleted comment on Instagram. At the time of the album’s release, he did a Reddit AMA in which he said he was accepting cryptocurrency as a way to “stay with times.”
It’s a little curious why 50 Cent deleted his original Instagram post bragging about TMZ’s report on his windfall. He still has other posts that reference it, including a video captioned, “Stop talking about my money,👀look at this shit. LOL.” One reason might be that he had to explain himself in bankruptcy court after posting photos of cash on the social network. Let’s just hope he didn’t forget his private keys. [NPR, TMZ]