When Matt Damon appeared in a multi-million pound advertisement in October for a cryptocurrency trading platform, he told viewers “fortune favours the brave”.

Investors who followed the Hollywood star’s advice and invested in a cryptocurrency will have gone on to lose on average half of their money, according to Times analysis showing how celebrity endorsements of the digital asset have been followed by massive losses.

Other famous faces who have backed crypto before investors suffered losses include Gwyneth Paltrow, Reese Witherspoon and the footballers John Terry and Paul Pogba.

Interest in cryptocurrencies exploded amid the pandemic as millions of people took to trading online. The market has ballooned in size from about $780 billion at the start of 2021 to about $1.23 trillion.

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