Before Instagram or Twitter, there was Paris Hilton, the socialite who practically invented the concept of influencers. And if you're thinking "Wasn't that Kim Kardashian?" you're wrong. Hilton invented Kardashian.
Now Hilton is reinventing herself—or, at least, her chosen mediums.
The granddaughter of the Hilton Hotels founder, who's built up her own net worth via multiple retail businesses, has joined Origin as an investor and advisor.
Origin is an Ethereum-based e-commerce platform focused on "bringing NFTs and DeFi to the masses." DeFi, short for "decentralized finance," refers to a range of financial products and tools that cut out bankers and other financial go-betweens. Instead, DeFi protocols leverage blockchain technology to facilitate peer-to-peer transactions. NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are tokens indicating ownership of a specific digital or physical asset.
Origin's governance token, OGN, trades on Coinbase, Binance, and other exchanges; it's currently valued at around $0.82 with a market cap of $175 million. The Origin US dollar (OUSD) stablecoin has a market cap one-tenth that size. OGN token holders receive a cut of the revenue earned on the platform, while OUSD users can generate yields on their holdings.
"We look forward to working closely with Paris to bring NFTs to mainstream consumer audiences through education, marketing, and creating new use cases with this disruptive technology (e.g. redemption for physical fashion and accessory items, access to unique experiences or premium content)," wrote Origin co-founder Matthew Liu in a blog post today.
Hilton, who strives to be on the cutting edge, actually is old hat in the NFT industry. Last August, she raised 40 ETH (worth $17,000 at the time and close to $100,000 today) for charity after selling NFT artwork she created on Cryptograph. In April of this year, as NFTs grew exponentially in popularity, she hopped back in to release an NFT collection on Nifty Gateway. Her "Iconic Crypto Queen" sold for over $1.1 million in ETH.
Paul Veradittakit, a partner at Pantera Capital, is also an investor/advisor to Origin. "I think Paris Hilton will be a strong advisor for the Origin team," he told Decrypt. "She brings entrepreneurial experience in addition to creator experience and media/industry connections."
And, the hope is, she can influence more people to start creating via Origin.