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Mark Cuban criticized by fans for partnering Dallas Mavericks with Voyager amid crypto downturn

Yahoo Finance Live examines criticisms being lobbed at billionaire investor and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban over the team's partnership with Voyager Digital as crypto prices and NFT values sharply decline.

Video Transcript

- All right, a rough reminder this week of the inherent risk in sports teams, athletes, even celebrities, endorsing crypto. As we've reported here, Voyager Digital declared chapter 11. And the bankruptcy is being felt by the Dallas Mavericks fans, who are aiming their frustration at the team owner, Mark Cuban. You might know him from "Shark Tank."

Last year, the team announced a five year partnership with Voyager, giving fans a $100 reward to trade crypto on Voyager if they deposited $100 and traded just 10 bucks. Cuban at the time called it a unique opportunity. Rachelle, it may be an opportunity to never see their money again.

Now, Mark Cuban's a smart guy, and he certainly didn't intend for this. But, again, it's a reminder. And we talked about this in context of the Super Bowl and all those celebs doing crypto ads. It comes with a serious risk.

- I feel like this one takes a particular hit because unlike, say, if you're just an actor-- but if you're known for being a businessman, you're known for being on "Shark Tank," for making some of these shrewd business decisions, and you're a team owner, I think there's a higher level of expectation when you're sort of purporting something like one of these crypto exchanges, one of these crypto platforms.

So, obviously, a lot of people bought into this. A lot of people follow him. They admire his business acumen.

I mean, obviously, this is something that a lot of people couldn't have foreseen, necessarily. We did see some issues arising. What we saw with Celsius, we wondered what some of the other dominoes that were going to be that were going to fall-- really unfortunate. But, obviously, we're still seeing people still trying to get in these NFT spaces, this fear of missing out really driving this, though. But we are seeing a lot of declines in the value of these NFTs themselves.

- Yeah, dramatic declines. I mean, it is remarkable what's happened in recent months as the prices have just flat-out collapsed. And there's Voyager Digital. And you can see their collapse there on the screen.

But, look, I think it just comes-- just the reminder is buyer beware. Someone like Mark Cuban who is a tech investor, a billionaire, ought to be more clear about the risks of people investing. He certainly knows what they are.

But those NFT prices collapsing brings up a question because an interesting number put out that 60% of people invest in NFTs for one reason, and that's to make money. It's not because they enjoy collecting NFTs or they're passionate for them. They do it to make money. For NFTs to survive, Rachelle, are they going to need an entirely different reason?

- I mean, I think much like when crypto and Bitcoin and other things first started, and people were like, you know, this is gonna be a currency, it may be a case of seeing NFTs as something a little bit different. It might be-- if it's something specific, something that's very collectible, like, I believe they started with art at first. Then it became sort of sports moments, things that might actually have some value in the future.

But if it's some art that can be photocopied or shared widely or perhaps hacked-- because we've seen that also happen with some of these NFTs as well getting copied and stolen-- I think people just really aren't taking enough care to sort of do their homework with these things. Don't just jump on the bandwagon. You really do have to do your homework.

- Well, we've seen art go through the roof in recent months, in fact, probably the last six months to a year. But that's not driven by, presumably, people wanting to make money. It's been driven by people wanting to sink their cash into something that won't lose money. And certainly, a passion for art is underneath it.

Sports cards, we've seen. I think the latest was Logan Paul put down $5 million for a Pokemon card. But are they doing it to make money, or are they doing it because they have passion behind that product? And, again, we're gonna need a real practical use for NFTs for those values to go anywhere near where they were.

- It's true. We're not seeing that yet. But I guess you never know.