Filipino boxing legend Manny Pacquiao has launched his own cryptocurrency at a free concert in Manila on Sunday.
The 40-year-old eight division world champion, who defeated Keith Thurman to claim the WBA welterweight title in July, serenaded a crowd of more than 2,000 adoring fans to drum up interest in his new digital currency.
The Philippine senator hopes to cash in on his ‘Pac’ tokens, which will allow fans to buy his merchandise and interact with him via social media.
The ‘Pac’ token is backed by private investor including ex-Liverpool and England soccer star Michael Owen, along with Sheikh Khaled bin Zayed al-Nahyan, a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family, along with Pacquiao himself.
The cryptocurrency will be listed on Singapore’s Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX).
“We are not here to raise a lot of money but to build an ecosystem,” GCOX Founder and CEO Jeffrey Lin told Reuters.
Pacquiao, who is a recording artist in his home country along with his boxing and political career, sang songs from his own album at the concert along with covers of popular love songs.
“Pacquiao is idolised by many. People will be encouraged to check this innovation,” said Aaron Baetiong, a Pacquiao fan who attended the concert, of the ‘Pac’ tokens.
Pacquaio’s move into the cryptocurrency space follows Floyd Mayweather’s six-figure fine last year for failing to disclose payments to spruik initial coin offerings (ICOs) to potential investors.
Mayweather agreed to pay $614,775 to settle the Securities and Exchange Commission’s charges. In addition, Mayweather agreed not to promote any securities, digital or otherwise, for three years.
Pacquiao lost a 12-round decision to Mayweather in a bout billed as the ‘Fight of the Century’ in Las Vegas in May 2015.