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Mike Tyson: Blockchain Brawler

The boxing legend has reinvented himself in retirement as a voice for cannabis and psychedelics. Now, he’s going all in on the world of cryptocurrency and NFTs.

Mike Tyson is a folk hero. A mythological figure. A walking tall tale whose very real exploits as both a championship boxer and cultural iconoclast don’t always feel believeable or even conceivable.

(There’s nothing in the historical record to suggest, for instance, that he ever delivered an uppercut that liberated an opponent’s head from his body. But if Iron Mike told you he’s done exactly that, you’d almost have to believe him.)

His staying power into his 50s long after his run as a heavyweight champion and the Baddest Man on the Planet became a faint memory isn’t an accident — the man has developed a knack for reinventing himself and contributing to some of the more interesting conversations on the cutting edge of culture and society, from making inroads in the cannabis industry to advocating for the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like dimethyltryptamine (DMT).

Now, Tyson is officially making the leap into another emerging space and singing the praises of blockchain technology, NFTs, and cryptocurrency — including the ways in which they can serve a higher purpose than simply providing entertainment or ROI.

Here’s what you need to know about Mike Tyson’s moves into crypto world.

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He’s a big fan of Solana.

Back in September, Tyson asked his five million-plus Twitter followers a simple question:

“Solana or Ethereum?”

The cryptocurrency markets may have had a rough go of it over the last few weeks, but Tyson has made his choice: He’s a Solana guy now, thanks in no small part to the Solana blockchain’s ease of use for consumers interested in microtransactions (like those frequently used in gaming) and digital collectibles communities.

So, what’s the deal with $SOL? A quick primer:

  • It’s the world’s No. 5 largest cryptocurrency by market cap (just over $44 billion)
  • $SOL is currently trading for just over $140 per unit
  • The coin has grown in value by over 3,500% in the past 12 months
  • A Bank of America analyst suggested it could overtake Ethereum’s market share
Solana’s price over the last 12 months (chart via Coinbase as of noon ET on Jan. 17)
Tyson is taking on NFTs.

There’s a lot of fun to be had on the Solana blockchain, and Tyson wasn’t one to hesitate last week. He proudly announced the purchase of a non-fungible token from the Catalina Whale Mixer community complete with an unmistakable face tattoo, a WBC world championship belt, and a smokable that we can very safely assume to contain cannabinoids.

Catalina Whale NFTs currently have a price floor of 14 SOL (just under $2,000), with the most expensive one listed at 777 SOL (over $108,000).

He supports TheDreamChain and its $DREAM coin — as well as its mission for mental health.

The terms “always on” and “very online” apply to vast swaths of blockchain enthusiasts. And like so many fascinating pastimes, it’s hard to know when to stop or where to draw the line as it relates to the stress and fatigue of the never-ending chase.

That’s what drew Iron Mike to TheDreamChain and its $DREAM coin.

“24/7 trading is creating a rapid emergence of a mental health crisis, where work-life balance is non-existent and constant monitoring is a requirement,” TheDreamChain’s official website reads.

Their project aims to take up the cause of mental and emotional wellness in a few interesting ways:

  • Only permitting $DREAM to be traded during traditional stock market hours
  • Developing apps and games that develop mental health skills and strategies and provide positive reinforcement based on personal achievements
  • Foster a sense of community through its “Cloud Club” Discord channel exclusively for $DREAM owners

Mike Tyson is obviously here for a good time. But the additional component in play that speaks directly to the champ’s own health and wellness journey — and what the distributed, decentralized principles of blockchain technology mean for community-building in the age of Web3 — is an intriguing development in this Solana Slugger’s ongoing story of reinvention.

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