Filipino boxing great Manny Pacquiao is used to being to being the world’s number one in the ring, and has now recorded another world first: becoming the only celebrity to launch his own cryptocurrency, called ‘Pac tokens’.
Named in honor of the fighter’s ‘Pac Man’ nickname in the ring, Pacquiao drummed up interest for the tokens by serenading more than 2,000 fans present at the free ‘concert for champions’ in the Filipino capital of Manila on Sunday.
The coins will allow fans to buy Manny’s merch and interact with him on social media, and have been floated on Singapore’s Global Crypto Offering Exchange (GCOX).
Pac tokens are set to be a hit in his homeland, where Pacquiao is not only the country’s most recognisable celebrity and sportsman but also a Senator. It was no surprise crooner Pacquiao grabbed the mic to perform a few personal numbers during the concert, having released a number of popular albums in the Philippines, one of the many strings to his bow.
Pacquaio’s business manager and CEO of GCOX Jeffrey Lin, also present at the concert, announced ambitious plans for the currency, stating: “We are not here to raise a lot of money but to build an ecosystem.”
Donning a smooth royal blue suit, Pacquiao was later joined on stage by Lin, business development head of GCOX Sean Wong, plus event hosts RJ Ledesma and Mauren Montagne in raising a glass to toast the launch.
Aside from boxing, Pacquiao had a career as a basketball player, playing for the Kia Picanto of the Philipine Basketball Association (PBA) from 2014-17, despite his diminutive stature, standing at 5 foot 6 inches tall.
But there are no plans for a career switch just yet as, at 40 years old, Pacquiao has proved he can still mix it with the best in boxing, having handed Keith Thurman his first career loss by dropping and decisioning the American back in July to claim the WBA welterweight super world title.
Since turning professional back in 1995, Pacquiao has won world titles from flyweight to welterweight, fighting and defeating a range of top class world champions in his 71-fight career.
The idea of launching personalized cryptocurrency may sound like the brainchild not of the reserved, humble Pacquiao, but his former ring rival Floyd ‘Money’ Mayweather, the self-styled king of bling in boxing.
Mayweather, 42, has been hyping up talk of a mega-money rematch in his typical flash, brash style lately. The two faced off in 2015, with Mayweather extending his perfect professional record by winning a shutout unanimous decision on points at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
Hot on the heels of Pacquiao, it is rumored Danish tennis former world number one Caroline Wozniacki is set to follow suit and soon also launch her own bitcoin line.