$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation

Temitope Akintade
Many investors have taken to X to accuse Davido of rug-pulling…
$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation


There was an interesting nexus between the crypto community and entertainment industry on Wednesday night when global music superstar, David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido announced the launch of an eponymous token called Timeless Davido ($DAVIDO) on the Solana blockchain. 

This announcement was surprising to many because it was unprecedented in the Nigerian music industry. The superstar made his intention to launch the token known around 5:30 pm WAT on Wednesday and by 6:24 PM, he posted a link to the token that was launched on pump.fun, on X (Twitter).

$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation
$DAVIDO: The party ended too early

The token got off to a bright start, with multiple investors and ‘degens’ reporting how they made gains on the meme token. The Solana and Phantom (Solana decentralised wallet) official X (Twitter) accounts acknowledged Davido’s onboarding. 

Read also: Global fintech funding declined by 16% in Q1 2024, its lowest quarterly slump in 7 years

Maybe inspired by the euphoria, David Adeleke declared that the token would attain a $30 million market cap, from the $9 million it was at that point. He also assured his followers and community members not to worry, that with the token, they WAGMI – they were all going to make it. 

$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation
$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation

Shortly after, things started going south. The value of the $DAVIDO token, as typical of meme coins, started to decline drastically. Many investors have taken to X to accuse Davido of rug-pulling. 

The crypto lingo, rug pull refers to a scam where a cryptocurrency or NFT developer launches and promotes a crypto project to attract investors or buyers funding, only to shut down and disappear, taking investor assets with them. 

Now that the meme token is steadily dipping in value (down to $ 1 million from over $10 million market cap), the Afrobeats star seems to have abandoned the project. Instead, the musician has been sharing posts about his orphanage charity project on X.

According to reputable blockchain analytics platform Lookonchain earlier today, Davido made a profit of $473K in just 11 hours, with an unrealised profit of $207K. Per figures from the firm, David Adeleke bought 20.3% (203 million of the tokens) of the total supply of $DAVIDO tokens when he launched, and has so far sold 121.88M coins for $474.4k. 

$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation

He has also allegedly sent 20 million of the tokens to an unknown wallet and he now has 61.12M $DAVIDO ($207K) left.

As it stands, the music superstar now has to defend himself from these accusations. 

This isn’t the first case of Davido being associated with risky investment. In 2020 – 2021, Davido was an influencer and ambassador for Racksterly, a pyramid scheme that defrauded thousands of Nigerians of billions of naira.

Many of Davido’s followers ‘invested’ their savings in Racksterly and till today, David Adeleke has not issued an apology on how the scheme he promoted scammed Nigerians. 

Also in 2021, Davido advertised a shitcoin called Rapdoge and told his followers to ‘buy and hold’. However, the token didn’t  ‘moon’ like Davido said and is now worthless in the market.

$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation

Another instance of Davido’s romance with risky investment is his ambassadorship and endorsement of 1XBet, a gambling company in 2022.

Nigerian online community reacts to the development

Observers and stakeholders have taken to social media to react to the development. 

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According to Olumide Adesina, a prominent finance reporter, the scheme damages Davido’s image.

I don’t understand why a well-celebrated entity will put its reputation on a meme coin, the internet never forgets such a narrative. Even a basic crypto analyst could accurately forecast the outcome of such a crypto project, the reputation damage is highly worrisome.” He remarked on X (Twitter).

Adding that:

“Securities Exchange Commission had called back disputes that were 10 + years old, victims never forget and the chase is never-ending. Rug-pull projects aren’t worth it.”

On the flip side, some think the crypto space is an ‘eat or get eaten’ industry.

An X user named noteezzy said:

Every single person who is profitable in crypto has dumped on someone else less knowledgeable before. That’s exactly how this shit works. Before you start buying tokens do your research if not you WILL be dumped on by people who did their research.”

$DAVIDO: Nigerian music superstar Davido’s token loses 95% value amidst “pump and dump” allegation

However, another Twitter user, Salako thinks Davido could be jailed for coordinated scams. In an X post, he said:

SEC currently has filed charges against Jake Paul, Soulja boy, Lil yachty and Lindsay Lohan. He’s also not a “first offender”.He’s not poor. I don’t know why he’s moving like a fool and a fraudster.”

It remains to be seen if Davido will respond to the allegations and what he plans to do.


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