Soccer Legend Lionel Messi Shills This Solana Memecoin On Instagram, Prompting 400% Surge

10.07.2024 / Payment system news

Lionel Messi has jumped on the meme bandwagon and is touting a Solana-based memecoin. Out of nowhere, the international soccer superstar promoted the memecoin WATER Coin (WATER) on his Instagram story on July 8. The token’s price soared nearly 400% within just 3 hours following Messi’s post.

Messi Pumps Solana ‘Charity’ Memecoin WATER

Messi — who is currently the second-most followed person on Instagram after fellow footballer Christiano Ronaldo — shared with his 504 million followers on Monday about some obscure memecoin called WATER Coin. Messi’s story entailed an image displaying WATER’s logo, a cartoon glass of water, peeking over his shoulder, with a link to the token’s Instagram page.

Messi is now shilling solana memecoins. Via his Instagram stories. This is wild.

— Alex Krüger (@krugermacro) July 8, 2024

The goal of WATER Coin seems curious as its creators have dubbed it a “charity token”. As per WATER’s website, the project aims to raise awareness for water-related problems and become a full-fledged ecological coin in the future. WaterCoin’s roadmap highlights four phases from the initial presale of the token, through centralized exchange listings and celebrity collaborations, to the final stage of becoming a “charity-focused environmental currency.”

“WATER is a meme coin with no intrinsic value or expectation of financial return,” the token’s website reads. One of the exchanges where WATER Coin can be purchased and traded is Bitget, which might explain Messi’s public shilling of the meme coin, given he has partnered with Bitget since October 2022.

WATER rocketed by almost 400% shortly after Messi’s post on Instagram, though it had pulled back and hovers at $0.0009104 at press time, according to CoinGecko.

Huge Insider Activity On WATER

WATER is the latest in a line of celebrity-backed tokens that have made rounds in the memecoin ecosystem. Unlike previous instances where celebrities like actress Sydney Sweeney, legendary professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, and rapper 50 Cent were hacked to market crypto projects, Messi’s account doesn’t appear to have been hijacked by bad actors.

The post, nonetheless, was harshly criticized by some crypto commentators. On-chain analyst @ericonomic said on X, “Third token scam that Messi promotes. They will probably rug [pull] soon so make yourself a favor and don’t buy that sh*t.”

Third token scam that Messi promotes:– The first one was Leafty, which was a rug (they removed the liquidity like 5 days later lol)– The second one was PLANET, an slow rug that is like -90% since that promotion– This time it's Water. They will probably rug soon so make…

— Ericonomic (@ericonomic) July 8, 2024

Wallet tracking service Bubblemaps alleged in an X post that roughly 30% of WATER’s supply is controlled by insiders, urging followers to send it to zero. Nonetheless, some users dismissed the token’s supply concentration and acquired the mysterious token after Messi’s post.