Michael Le and Robin DeFay

Courtesy of Joystick

TikToker Michael Le enters Web3 with new crypto-based gaming start-up Joystick

‘For any influencer that wants to be a part of it, I think they need to educate themselves first before doing anything because it’s a very unregulated space.’


Grace Stanley

Internet Culture

Posted on May 26, 2022   Updated on Jul 26, 2023, 6:06 pm CDT


This story was originally published on Passionfruit.

We’re reaching out to creators to explore the good and the bad of new trends and unexplored territories. This week, we’re discussing the divisive Web3 world—aka, the world of blockchain-based technologies—with TikTok star Michael Le, who recently co-founded a crypto-based, “play-to-earn” gaming organization and NFT-asset lending platform alongside CEO and serial technology entrepreneur Robin DeFay.

Web3 can be confusing, controversial, and volatile, so many creators choose to avoid it altogether. Some have adopted a staunchly anti-crypto stance; others are skeptical, but interested; and others wholeheartedly believe blockchain technology will allow them to have greater ownership over their digital creations. 

One such Web3 evangelist is TikTok star Michael Le, who recently announced he is co-founding a new crypto-based gaming organization called Joystick, which intends to lend players NFT assets for varying monthly fees. Le (@justmaiko) is a TikToker with over 51.4 million followers who blew up for his dancing and choreography videos. In 2020, Le was listed by TikTok as one of the top 10 biggest break-out stars of the year—alongside influencers like Charli D’Amelio, Addison Rae, Bella Poarch, and Noah Beck. 

Le was ahead of the TikTok curve, joining the app and rising to fame during its early Musical.ly days, and quickly became one of the app’s top earners. Le told Passionfruit in an interview he considers his early arrival to Musical.ly to be the reason for his internet fame. But despite Le’s rapid climb to virtual stardom, he said he quickly became disillusioned with what he was doing on social media. 

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*First Published: May 26, 2022, 11:38 am CDT