A cryptocurrency YouTuber has expressed surprise after Joe Exotic, the controversial focus of Netflix‘s Tiger King documentary, purportedly sent him a message from prison.
The team behind the cryptocurrency claims their token has been endorsed by Exotic, whose real name is Joseph Maldonado-Passage.
Maldonado-Passage is currently serving a 22-year prison sentence after being convicted of murder-for-hire and other charges in January 2020.
Wallace tweeted on Thursday that Maldonado-Passage had sent him an audio message from prison, and shared the clip.
In the message, a person claiming to be Maldonado-Passage thanks Wallace for his support and pushes the Tiger King coin.
Wallace said in a tweet alongside the recording: “What in the world is 2021? Joe Exotic from Tiger King just sent us this phone recorded message from prison and he said my name in it.”
Newsweek was unable to verify the authenticity of the audio recording. Newsweek has contacted Joe Exotic’s lawyer for comment.
Wallace told Newsweek he received the audio message from Maldonado-Passage’s lawyer.
Speaking of his support for the token, Wallace, who has 223,900 Twitter followers and 244,000 YouTube subscribers, said: “I have to be really careful though because there are a lot of people who listen to me.
“So I spent a lot of time getting to know all of the information first [before investing]. I have talked with the three of them [the Tiger Coin development team] extensively and I know who they are. [Maldonado-Passage’s] lawyers also know who they are.”
The coin has risen in popularity in recent days and was worth around $0.00002 as of around 5:40 a.m. EDT on Thursday, according to CoinMarketCap. Its trading volume, a measure of how much of the token was traded in the past 24 hours, was up by over 180 percent at around the same time.
Cryptocurrency tokens are notorious for their high price volatility, meaning they can fall in price as quickly as they rise. Experts have previously warned Newsweek about the risks and dangers associated with cryptocurrency tokens. The cryptocurrency market as a whole has had an unsteady couple of months amid an ongoing crackdown on the technology in China.
It is unclear who the developers of the Tiger King Coin are. No information on their identities is available on the token’s website, which Investopedia calls a “bad sign” in terms of the safety of a cryptocurrency token.
Tiger King Coin states on its website that it aims to “amplify the efforts of Joe’s representatives” and that the team are aiming to launch non-fungible tokens to fund his legal costs.
Newsweek has contacted the Tiger King development team for comment.