Business 18 April 2018

Gerald Fenech

Cambridge Analytica eyed ICO before all hell broke loose: report

Digital data harvesting firm Cambridge Analytica has been in the news recently for all negative reasons you can imagine. What with it being used to harvest tens of millions of personal accounts data from Facebook and its technology’s alleged use in the rigging of elections on an international scale, it’s safe to say that Cambridge Analytica is amongst the most toxic names in the business these days.

Adding fuel to the fire of controversy were new reports that the data firm was also planning to come up with an initial coin offering (ICO) of its own prior to the Facebook scandal breaking out. With ICOs and cryptocurrency market in general taking a monumental beating over the past few months, this news is surely not going to go down well with investors in the sector since Cambridge Analytica’s use for digital currency is pretty questionable, to say the least. Sources who spoke to Reuters on the matter said that the company was pretty advanced in its plans to issue an ICO.

According to the report, Cambridge Analytica had already started discussions with a company that advises on how to initiate and set up ICOs. At present, it is not known whether the data firm is still actively pursuing this path, which would’ve allowed it to raise as much as $30 million.

In response to the report, a Cambridge Analytica spokesperson confirmed that the company has been “developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities” before the Facebook hubbub. The goal, according to the spokesperson, was “to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used.”

“We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetize their personal data, including blockchain technology,” the spokesperson told the news outlet.

Cambridge Analytica made headlines early this year following reports that it had worked on a number of high-profile election campaigns, including the 2016 United States election where Donald Trump emerged victorious. The news that the harvesting of well over 87 million Facebook users’ data could have been used in this election as well as in other campaigns such as the UK European Union Referendum have caused a storm of protest across the world, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg having to testify in marathon sessions before U.S. Congress to defend the company. Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was also intensely questioned by UK Parliament committees on the firm’s activities in the Referendum.

Although ICOs have been a popular method to raise capital, the vast amount of scams and illegality surrounding this activity has put the whole cryptocurrency market in very bad light.

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.

Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.

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