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Katy Perry’s Bitcoin Manicure May Foretell the Coming Crypto Collapse

If you thought that cryptocurrency and Katy Perry’s nail art existed in parallel worlds that would never intersect, think again, for intersected they have: Katy Perry now has a crypto-themed manicure.

The singer posted a photo of her nails on Instagram on Thursday, tagging, in addition to her nail artist, an assortment of crypto-related accounts like ethereum_updates, stellarlumens, bit, moneroofficial, and litecoinofficial. Against a background of American dollar bills, each nail is adorned with a small 3-D bauble representing a different cryptocurrency (five of them; they repeat on the other hand). The post has more than 100,000 likes.

What meaning should we take from this, in terms of both the state of Katy Perry and the state of the cryptocurrency sure-to-be bubble? You might see it as a sign of crypto’s infiltration into mainstream culture: Hey, this big pop star put it on her nails! But the field is already rife with hangers-on and grifters, some of whom happen to be celebrities. Just this week, we learned that 50 Cent (aka 0.000045 Bitcoin) accidentally became a bitcoin millionaire.* Ashton Kutcher has also gone on the record as in favor of bitcoin, and Paris Hilton has voiced support for new cryptocurrencies.

What many of these celebrities have in common in that they tend to be either C-list or be experiencing careers that are on the downswing. For all the talk about the coming burst of the cryptocurrency bubble, it may be that Katy Perry’s bubble has already burst. In the past year, with the release of her album Witness and her turn toward wokeness, Perry has struggled for relevance. Taken in that light, it’s easy to imagine that Katy Perry saw that bitcoin was a hot topic on social media and is trying to earn herself some cool points with the kids with this nail art, which is both desperate and very in-character for Witness-era Katy Perry. So it doesn’t take a crypto genius to take this as a sign to sell, sell, sell!

*Correction, Jan. 25, 2017: This piece originally misstated that 50 Cent became a bitcoin billionaire. He is a bitcoin millionaire.

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Heather Schwedel

Heather Schwedel is a Slate staff writer.