50 Cent's Shopify store will accept bitcoin payments for the new release, with BitPay acting as the payments processor. Shopify first integrated payments for its network of merchants in November 2013. The development brings a prominent face to the bitcoin community. In addition to being a successful rap artist and producer, Jackson is a notable entrepreneur, having invested in Glaceau - the makers of Vitaminwater - in a deal that would eventually propel his net worth toward $140m.
Tony Gallippi, BitPay's executive chairman, hailed the announcement by saying:
"We are excited to see high profile independent artists use bitcoin and 50 Cent's trail as an innovator is outstanding."Jackson has also sold more than 30 million records to date, with hit albums including 'Get Rich or Die Tryin', 'Curtis' and 'Before I Self Destruct'. The release follows Jackson's decision to leave longtime label Interscope Records in February to work with distributor Caroline, part of the Independent Services division of Capital Records.
Bitcoin's Latest Entrepreneur
Most famous for his investment in Glaceau, which later sold to beverage conglomerate Coca-Cola for $4.1bn, 50 Cent has also engaged in other notable investments over the years. In 2013, he took another chance on the beverage market, launching Street King energy shots, which currently holds the number two market share in the $2bn annual industry. Jackson is a noted activist as an investor, it's possible that the move signifies the rap star's larger interest in digital currencies. For example, by accepting bitcoin as payment for copies of 'Animal Ambition', the venture provides Jackson with an interesting way of accruing BTC.
BitPay's relationship with Shopify allows merchants to receive dollars, bitcoins or a combination of the two. It isn't clear which direction Jackson plans on taking the store in this regard. CoinDesk reached out to Jackson's representatives for more details, but was unable to receive immediate comment.