The past twelve months have seen a massive increase in the popularity of so-called ICOs, initial coin offerings. Whilst many companies not traditionally part of the blockchain community, such as Telegram, now have launched ICOs in order to keep up with the moving times, a surprising report now reveals that data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica also was slated to release its very own token through an ICO. Presumably, these plans were scrapped as Cambridge Analytica found itself under extreme public scrutiny following the recent Facebook scandal.
Initial coin offerings can, in summary, be likened to the ”initial public offerings” that are commonplace within the world of finance and stocks. It is essentially a way for investors to get into a company, or in the case invest in tokens, just as the company behind them are allowing regular investors. Cryptocurrencies often have the added benefit that their ICOs can be used as currency.
According to a recent report by The New York Times, Cambridge Analytica was exploring the option of releasing their own virtual token that would allow users to sell their personal information. They would then be able to make money from sharing their personal information. This seems apt, as Cambridge Analytica rose to public prominence following the company’s notorious collection and analysis of data from 87 million Facebook users – which was consequently used to influence voting decisions in the US election of 2016.
The information on Cambridge Analytica’s ICO plans has been shared by the Analytica ex-employee Brittany Kaiser, who was also the head of the firm’s coin offerings. Kaiser also shared the fact that Cambridge Analytica had proposed reimbursing rural Mexicans with cryptocurrencies, in exchange for the filling out surveys.
Moreover, Cambridge Analytica also worked with ”Dragon Coin”, a cryptocurrency meant to be used by gambling aficionados on the Chinese island of Macau. This is remarkable seeing as Dragon Coin allegedly has close ties to the infamous ”Broken Tooth” triad located in Hong Kong. It is unclear whether Cambridge Analytica was planning to bring on any expertise from Dragon Coin in their own ICO.
However, it would seem the all Cambridge Analytica’s plans for a cryptocurrency token has been rendered unworkable since the news broke on how the firm had targeted individuals using their Facebook information, in a bid to sway voters – not only in the US but in the entire world. It is interesting to note, however, that a company that is arguably at the forefront of technology, had significant plans to launch their own cryptocurrency token.
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