Not satisfied with social media constantly making jokes at her expense, former Tiger King subject Carole Baskin and her Big Cat Rescue animal sanctuary have announced her own crypto-currency, $CAT. Available on rally.io, holders of the $CAT coin have exclusive benefits with an official press release announcing "elite access to LIVE walkabouts and conversations with Carole Baskin and her crew of big cat lovers and keepers." In addition, $CAT holders will receive "discounts and first access to new merchandise and activities" with Big Cat Rescue promising more "future plans" that also include Big Cat Rescue themed NFTs, reportedly "launching in about two weeks" (Note: Cryptocurrencies and NFTs have previously been linked to having a negative ecological impact).
"I’m investigating crypto currencies because I am concerned about the volume of US dollars that are being printed and distributed with nothing to back them up," Baskin said in a statement, "At this point both the USD and BitCoin are fiat currencies, but at least BitCoin and other altcoins have scarcity built in and now there is much more broad adoption of them in our everyday lives. I like the idea of putting the power of money in the hands of the people, rather than banks and governments. Our new $CAT coin is not a currency for investment, but rather is a purr-ency of our fans to show their love for the cats and to reap the benefits of being our most forward thinking partners in creating a world where all wild cats live free.”
I'm purring like a bobcat rolling in catnip because we just launched $cat on https://t.co/pH2gCNtQGf Rocketing up to #35 out of 117 & thinking of ways to reward those who join our "pride" of big cat lovers! Learn more at https://t.co/FTxA8iVV0V pic.twitter.com/PxFiXJqA5k— CaroleBaskin (@carole_baskin) May 4, 2021
Baskin added, “Our fan base is amazing and I just know they will push $CAT to the top of the charts so that others learn about saving big cats from the cruelty of captivity.”
Considering Baskin's message of using the $CAT coin to benefit her animal sanctuary and her general approach to animal conservation some are calling out her use of a cryptocurrency and potential NFTs as critics have linked such technologies as having a disastrous effect on the planet and exacerbating climate problems.
In a detailed explainer on the subject, Gizmodo writes: "Without major overhauls to how tokens are created and sold, critics warn, it could ultimately help foist untold horrors on the biosphere and, by extension, humanity." You can read more about that here.