A lot of people thought RadioShack’s Twitter was hacked when it started posting stuff like…well, this. (Be warned: their tweets wander deeply into PG-13+ territory. Maybe R. Some, even XXX.)
But these weren’t sent by a traditionally NSFW account. No, these come from a (formerly) family-friendly establishment your grandparents proudly frequented in the 80s and 90s: RadioShack.
To answer your next question: No, RadioShack wasn’t hacked by a disgruntled ex-employee. Nor was it the victim of an intern’s last day on the job.
Simply put, this is what twice-bankrupt electronic companies do when they start selling cryptocurrencies.
That’s right. Radio Shack Crypto is now open for business.
REV-ing up for business
RadioShack was originally founded in 1921 to sell radio equipment. As technology grew more advanced, it added in the staples your grandparents remember: cell phones, charging cables and the like.
Unfortunately, cheap alternatives sold by online competitors like Amazon largely pushed it out of the market in the mid-2010s. Ultimately, RadioShack filed for bankruptcy twice: first in 2015, then in 2017. It also shut down over 1,000 company-owned brick-and-mortar storefronts, leaving just 400 franchises compared to its 7,300-store peak.
Then, in 2017, investors Alex Mehr and Tai Lopez bought the struggling brand through their company Retail Ecommerce Ventures. They planned to revamp the brand, partner with the competition and revive its online presence. For many, the brand fell out of mind as nothing came of their claims.
Then, in March 2022, RadioShack relaunched as a cryptocurrency swap, supplementing its limited tech offerings and retro apparel with modern-day tokens.
A quick look at Tai Lopez
Tai Lopez is a famous entrepreneur and the owner of Retail Ecommerce Ventures (REV), the company that purchased RadioShack in 2017. Other businesses under his name include Pier 1 Imports, Ralph & Russo, Wilhelmina, DressBarn and Steinmart.
Lopez is also a crypto enthusiast and former NFT “guru” who has stumbled into a few controversies over the years. Complaints include allegations of questionable marketing tactics and ridicule over his self-proclaimed “expertise” on any trending topic that could potentially turn a profit.
Additionally, his foray into NFTs was labeled a scam by critics who unearthed blockchain evidence that he “siphon[ed] out the funds” as soon as users minted NFTs on his platform.
But that hasn’t stopped Lopez from revamping crypto. (Or trying to, anyway.)
Radio Shack Crypto: A new lease on life
“Think you know crypto? You don’t know SHACK”
That’s the new greeting you’ll see if you venture over to RadioShack’s website, alongside a promo reading: “Radio Shack Swap is live.”
There’s also a banner topping the page with the words: “Looking for Radio Shack Crypto? Swap Is Now Live!” and a handy link to “Enter App.”
You might be thinking: Between the wild tweets and the fact that a twice-bankrupt electronic company sells crypto, this is all very bonkers. And, dear reader, you’d be quite right.
At the same time, it’s also a remarkably effective marketing ploy for a company trying to find its footing in a realm of buck-the-trend enthusiasts. With clever wordplay, crude jokes and more than one reference to Elon Musk, RadioShack ensures that its crypto bid enjoys the widest possible audience.
Sure, the tactic may drive away older or more conservative users. But in the process, it’s raising product awareness amongst its target base: libertarian-leaning and Gen-X crypto “degens,” or “degenerates,” a mantle many crypto advocates have proudly adopted.
The Radio Shack Swap and a new brand-named token, $RADIO. Currently, the currency itself trades for around a penny, as the crypto winter seems to have knocked about 2/3 of the wind out of its sails. ($RADIO’s peak never topped five pennies a token; having launched when cryptos are down hasn’t done the coin any favors.)
And while it’s unclear whether $RADIO or Radio Shack Crypto Swap will see success, the company’s certainly reaching for it. (And building off its brand name in the process.) The crypto platform dubs itself as a “100-year-old brand embedded into the global consciousness” that will “lead the way for blockchain tech.”
Don’t dive into crypto for a few buzzy tweets
If REV successfully achieves a crypto-powered RadioShack relaunch, it could bring the company back from the brink of bankruptcy. Unfortunately, new crypto launches are a dime a dozen – and most rarely achieve the success of bitcoin and ether.
As such, unless you pick the right coin at the right time, new crypto launches make bad bets for investors.
But in a world where everything seems to move toward blockchain and crypto, it could also be unwise to totally ignore the trend. That’s why we’ve launched our Crypto Kit, which uses the power of AI to invest in exchange-traded trusts that provide ample risk reduction and reward potential.
As a Specialty Investment Kit, you can rest easy knowing we’re doing all the hard work for you. And instead of capitalizing on the latest news in the crypto craze, we’ll take care to ensure that you’re investing in quality – not just buzz – every time.
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