Mike Tyson Takes a Bite at the Bitcoin Market
Business + Economy

Mike Tyson Takes a Bite at the Bitcoin Market

© Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Mike Tyson is getting into the bitcoin market, apparently sponsoring an ATM that allows users to convert real-world cash into the digital currency.

Tyson, who was the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, tweeted on Saturday the link to a website advertising the "Mike Tyson Bitcoin ATM" coming in August of this year.

The site boasts that "Mike Tyson's fastest knock out in the ring was 30 seconds. The Mike Tyson Bitcoin ATM can turn your cash into bitcoin in under 20 seconds."

Related: Proposed Bitcoin Rules Threaten Emerging Digital Currencies

"I'm very proud to be a part of the Bitcoin revolution," Tyson said in a statement provided by his spokeswoman. "Digital currency is the future and the more I learn about it the more intrigued I become. Digital currency is going to level the playing ground for those that want alternatives for financial freedom."

"No one knows better than I how uncertain the economy can be and at this juncture in my life it is imperative that I am proactive about my financial planning and for me it includes Bitcoin," he added.

Still, tech news site SiliconAngle reported that Tyson himself may have been "suckered into a deal by a fast talker who has promised him millions if he gets involved and lends his name to the enterprise." It cited MikeTysonBitcoin.com's registration to a Peter Klamka, who is connected to Bitcoin Brands—a firm with a paltry $6,780 market cap according to Google Finance.

Speaking to CNBC over the phone, Klamka disputed that account, saying that Bitcoin Brands has nothing to do with his Tyson venture, which operates under the moniker Bitcoin Direct LLC.

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This new firm (which Klamka says is a subsidiary of cattle companyConexus Cattle "for financing") seeks to create a whole suite of celebrity bitcoin-related products. He told CNBC that he came to the idea after previously working with celebrity credit cards tied to Kiss, Donald Trump and Hello Kitty.

The Tyson-branded bitcoin ATMs, which are slated to launch in two Las Vegas locations in about three weeks, will feature "Mike branding on the software" and will "hopefully have the ability to build a database of Mike's fans that are bitcoin users," Klamka said.

The venture is a 50-50 split between Tyson and Bitcoin Direct, he added.

This article originally appeared on CNBC
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