The company behind Facebook's massive data breach scandal, Cambridge Analytica, tried to develop its own cryptocurrency last year and was planning to raise funds through an initial coin offer, Reuters and The New York Times reported today. The digital currency would have helped people store personal data online and even sell it, former Cambridge Analytica employee Brittany Kaiser said The Times .
Cambridge Analytica, which obtained the data of 87 million Facebook users, expected to raise up to $ 30 million through the company, said anonymous sources Reuters . Cambridge Analytica confirmed to Reuters that it had previously explored blockchain technology, but did not confirm the offer of currencies and did not say whether efforts are still underway. The Verge has contacted Cambridge Analytica and Brittany Kaiser for a comment.
The company would also have tried to promote another digital currency behind the scenes. He arranged for potential investors to take a vacation trip to Macau in support of Dragon Coin, a cryptocurrency aimed at casino players. Dragon Coin has been supported by a Macao gangster Wan Kuok-koi, nicknamed Broken Tooth, according to documents obtained by The Times .
Cambridge Analytica began working on its own initial coin offer in mid-2017 and the initiative was overseen in part by CEO Alexander Nix and former employee Brittany Kaiser. The company's plans to launch an ICO were still in the early stages when Nix was suspended last month and Facebook's data leakage began to attract public attention.
ICOs have become a dubious way to raise money, even rivaling venture capital from the initial financing stage in effectiveness for some companies. Companies like Kodak and Telegram have moved to launch their own ICOs and reap financial rewards. But even when they emerged as a new way for companies to obtain funds quickly, ICOs have increasingly fallen under the surveillance of the SEC as securities that must be regulated.
The brief adventure of Cambridge Analytica with the ICO is a strange convergence of two questionable parts of the Internet now under new scrutiny: cryptocurrencies and personal information.