The U.K-based data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica has been under a lot of talk and scrutiny after the recent scandal surrounding the misuse of Facebook’s personal data. As recently reported by The New York Times and Reuters, sources familiar with the matter said that Cambridge Analytics has been working on its own cryptocurrency and was planning to raise funds through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).
The sources also say that the data analytics firms had approached professionals on how to structure the ICOs. It is being further said that by the means of an ICO, the firm was looking forward to raising as much as $30 million. Although one of the spokesmen refused to comment on the cryptocurrency plans, he said that the company is currently working on using the Blockchain technology, underpinning cryptocurrencies, to help them secure their online data.
In an email to Reuters, a Cambridge Analytics spokesman said: “Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used. He further added: “We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetize their personal data, including blockchain technology.”
Reports suggest that the data analytics firm started to work on its own cryptocurrency in the mid-2017 and this project and initiative was overseen by company CEO Alexander Nix and another former British employee Brittany Kaiser. Just when the Facebook controversy broke out last month, the plans of ICO launch were still in the early stage when CEO Nix was suspended after being recorded on the tape for boasting the company’s use of shell companies and strategies to entrap political opponents.
Cambridge Analytica is the same company who has worked for the election campaign of the U.S President Donald Trump in 2016 and is embroiled in the charges of having misused the personal data of millions of Facebook users in order to influence the elections. Facebook reported earlier this month that the data of nearly 87 million users has been compromised.
In addition to working on its own digital currency, Cambridge Analytica has been working behind the scenes to promote another cryptocurrency called Dragon Coin. The firm also arranged for investors to take a vacation trip to Macau for supporting Dragon Coin, a digital currency aimed for casino players. According to the sources, Dragon Coin has been supported by Macau gangster Wan Kuok-koi, nicknamed Broken Tooth.
A lot of dubious ICO offerings emerging last year has caused regulatory bodies from around the globe to scrutinize this method of fundraising. Some of the popular companies like Kodak and Telegram have used the ICO way to raise funds and have reaped tremendous rewards. However, several regulatory bodies from around the globe have been talking about the need to consider ICOs as securities and thus have raised for them to be properly regulated.