With so celebrities launching their own meme coins in recent weeks, it seemed absolutely plausible that rapper 50 Cent (aka Curtis Jackson) would take to Twitter to shill his own Solana token with a flurry of posts Friday afternoon.

But within minutes, after millions of dollars’ worth of crypto was already spent, the truth emerged: His account had been hacked for a pump-and-dump scam.

In a rapid-fire string of tweets, 50 Cent’s Twitter account began making promotional posts on Friday for a new Solana token called GUNIT, launched via Pump.fun.

The posts were elaborate. Some referenced the rap icon’s cognac brand; others called out recent celebrity-related crypto narratives including Martin Shkreli’s creation of an allegedly official Donald Trump Solana token, and controversial influencer Andrew Tate’s promotion of the DADDY coin. One even featured a Solana-themed meme with 50 Cent at center.

While some crypto users were cautiously suspicious of the posts, it wasn’t immediately certain the posts were a fake, either.

In the meantime, money poured into GUNIT’s coffers. Most of the token’s $18.6 million in total trading volume came within barely 40 minutes as it rocketed upwards some 8,000%, then plunged just as rapidly as liquidity disappeared.

Despite warning signs, the rush of investment sadly made some sense. Recently, celebrity meme coins created via Pump.fun have skyrocketed in value with little more to them than a prominent personality’s endorsement. The Tate-promoted DADDY token rose from worthlessness to a $340 million market capitalization last week; Iggy Azalea’s earlier MOTHER token crossed $200 million around the same time. 

A screenshot of 50 Cent’s Instagram post about the hack. Image: Instagram

Quickly, though, the GUNIT scheme fell apart. Soon after the token launched, 50 Cent announced via his Instagram account that his Twitter and website had indeed been hacked. (In perhaps a sign of the hacker’s attention to detail, the real rapper did indeed tag his cognac brand in the update.)

50 Cent’s Twitter account was also locked by the platform; all posts on the account are inaccessible at writing.

GUNIT continued to plummet on the revelation—though not yet to worthlessness. At writing, the token still retains a market capitalization of about $150,000, with fresh purchases of the token still streaming in.

In 50 Cent’s Instagram update, the rapper and entrepreneur claimed that whoever pulled off the exploit made away with $300 million. However, the token only hit a small fraction of that market capitalization during its brief spike, according to multiple data sources—to say nothing of the huge gulf between a token’s market cap and the amount of liquidity a token’s creator could conceivably pull from it before it collapsed.

50 Cent is not the first public figure to apparently suffer a hack during the ongoing celebrity meme coin frenzy. Earlier this month, Hulk Hogan suffered a similar exploit when hackers apparently seized his Twitter to promote a HULK token that saw $82 million worth of trading volume in a single day.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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