Former Australian cricket captain Michael Clarke has gone in to bat for an upcoming Initial Coin Offering (or ICO) from a Brisbane-based crypto trading exchange called Global Tech.

An ICO is a form of crowdfunding. It’s like an initial public offering — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or swapped for services.

“I am really excited to be involved with Global Tech,” Clarke’s endorsement says of the ICO which is looking to raise up to $50 million.

“Their ambition and drive is something that I resonated with straight away and I can’t wait to learn more about blockchain technologies.”

Global Tech was founded a little over a year ago by Andrew Mclean and Marlon Donaire.

“The Global Tech Trading Platform and Exchange combines premium education, important industry updates and a social platform, which is sure to revolutionise the way we invest and live,” is how they explain their business.

“Our mission is to develop, advance and modernise the industry, making it more accessible, transparent and forward-thinking.”

Their pitch addresses directly concerns about the sector, declaring that while there are some “fantastic blockchain and cryptocurrency companies… there are also many scams and illegitimate companies”.

That’s one of the problems Global Tech is planning to solve.

“Andrew and Marlon propose to bring legitimacy back to the industry with a community and education-based trading and exchange platform,” they say.

“With their revolutionary vision and entrepreneurial ethos, they spent months tracking down the right people to create the perfect team, and make their vision a reality.

Celebrity endorsements for ICOs are nothing new. Boxer Floyd Mayweather, actor Kevin Hart, Paris Hilton, and DJ Khaled have all jumped on social media to to plug upcoming ICOs, no doubt lured by they coinage they were initially offered.

Twitter outcry

Clarke’s endorsement of Global Tech wasn’t greeted with the same acclaim as his batting, however.

Twitter, as is its wont, was savage.

His tweet provoked more comments than retweets — the vast majority of them negative.

But perhaps the most damning commentary came from Bronte Capital founder John Hempton (you may know him from the Drug Short episode of the Netflix series Dirty Money), who didn’t hold back, comparing the endorsement to the notorious ball tampering moment that ended Steve Smith’s captaincy during the South African tour earlier this year.

Hempton then went on to blog about it, saying Clarke was “squandering his reputation on an initial coin offering”.

Global Tech’s ICO opens on August 15. The platform is seeking to launch in early December.


This article first appeared on Business Insider Australia, Australia’s most popular business news website. Follow Business Insider on Facebook or Twitter.