What is EthereumMax? A closer look at the token in Kim Kardashian’s SEC settlement

October 3, 2022, 4:13 PM UTC
Kim Kardashian settled with the SEC to the tune of $1.26 million over allegations that she promoted the cryptocurrency EthereumMax without disclosing she was paid to do so.
Daniele Venturelli—WireImage/Getty Images

Kim Kardashian on Monday said she would pay more than $1 million to settle allegations that she promoted EthereumMax without disclosing she was paid for it.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a statement that she received $250,000 to publish a post on her Instagram account about EMAX tokens, and although Kardashian didn’t admit to or deny the allegations as part of the settlement, she agreed not to endorse any digital tokens for three years.

So what’s EMAX?

EthereumMax, or EMAX, is a crypto token built last year on the Ethereum network by anonymous developers. Although the token’s white paper claims a grand vision of building “a robust and scalable ecosystem that fully maximizes the power of DeFi,” those lofty ambitions have yet to be realized.

In January, EMAX investors sued Kardashian and boxer Floyd Mayweather after promoting the token, which fell precipitously. EMAX was accepted as payment for Mayweather’s fight against YouTuber Logan Paul last year, and the star boxer was booed at last year’s Bitcoin Conference for wearing an EMAX T-shirt.

Lawyers for Kardashian moved to dismiss the investors’ lawsuit in August partly because the plaintiffs didn’t specifically say in the original court filing that they had seen Kardashian’s Instagram post. Last week, Mayweather also moved to dismiss the suit, saying in a filing that investors were just looking for a “deep pocket.” 

Former Boston Celtics player Paul Pierce also was named in the lawsuit. Pierce tweeted about the coin several times, including in May 2021 after he was fired by ESPN, saying he didn’t need the sports network.

“I got @ethereum_max. I made more money with this crypto in the past month then I did with y’all in a year,” Pierce tweeted then.

Not to be confused with Ether, the digital token of the Ethereum network, EMAX is worth just a fraction, trading at around 0.000000004226, or about four-billionths of a cent. It reached a high of $0.00000092 in May 2021 but has decreased 99% since then. The token dropped by as much as 4% on Monday morning on the news of Kardashian’s settlement before rebounding, gaining nearly 7%, according to CoinMarketCap.

EthereumMax launched with a supply of 2 quadrillion tokens, but according to its white paper, the circulating supply decreases 6% at certain intervals to increase scarcity. The token’s market cap was hovering around $8.7 million as of Monday.

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