Michael Owen has come under fire for encouraging people to invest in his latest NFT venture, which he claims cannot lose their value.
The former England, Liverpool and Real Madrid star Owen tweeted on Monday that his project ‘will be the first NFTs ever that can’t lose their initial value’.
Oceidon, a technology company working with Owen, have said the NFTs have a fixed floor price which means the value can only rise. Yet Andrew Green, a co-founder of Oceidon, appeared to backtrack on that claim in a discussion on Twitter.
Michael Owen has come under fire for encouraging people to invest in his latest NFT venture
His claims that they cannot lose their value have provoked widespread scrutiny
A user messaged Green claiming that advertising the scheme by saying people can’t lose money was ‘bordering on criminal’, to which Green said: ‘We cannot guarantee or say that you cannot lose. There is always a chance.
‘There is no such thing in life as no risk propositions. But what we can do is protect the collector as best we can and that’s what the floor price protection will do.’
James Daley, from the consumer campaign group Fairer Finance, blasted Owen’s involvement in quotes reported by The Telegraph.
‘Celebrity advertising in financial services rarely goes well,’ Daley said. ‘Michael Owen is encouraging people to invest their hard earned cash in risky assets.
‘It’s all very well for him as he has already made his fortune in football. But for most people that’s not the case.
‘It could well be in breach of the Advertising Standard Authority’s guidelines on crypto assets.’
Owen appeared on a Twitter space on Monday evening to talk about his NFTs but has not commented further on the subject amid the backlash.
While the ASA don’t comment on specific cases, they told The Telegraph: ‘We have strict rules on the marketing of crypto assets, including NFTs. Ads must make it clear that crypto assets are unregulated, and consumers’ investments are not protected.
Andrew Green, who is involved in the project with Owen, said on Twitter that ‘we cannot guarantee or say that you cannot lose’
Owen has been accused of ‘encouraging people to invest hard earned cash in risky assets’
‘Our rules apply across ads in all mediums and that includes social media. Celebrities and influencers are subject to these rules and need to make sure they’re not making misleading or irresponsible claims.’
Many fans seemed skeptical about Owen’s reply to claims the NFT’s could not go down in price.
‘Thats (sic) a really worrying claim to say that an NFT won’t lose its initial value especially with prices and liquidity plummeting,’ one fan said.
Another wrote: ‘Assuming the value isn’t 0, how in the hell is that remotely possible? Will someone ALWAYS be willing to buy it back for the same price?’