Cambridge Analytica planned to raise financing by issuing its own digital currency and then distributing it through ICO before the analyst firm was involved in a large-scale scandal involving the "stealing" Facebook users personal data. One source told Reuters that Cambridge Analytica has set a target of $ 30 million for its hypothetical ICO.
Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of the firm, said that Cambridge Analytica's own digital currency was to be used to enable people to store and sell their personal data on the network.
Who knows more about the usage of personal data than Cambridge Analytica? So why not build a platform that reconstructs the way that works?
Former employee, Cambridge Analytica
According to Kaiser, the head of the firm Alexander Nix was responsible for the project, who was dismissed in March, after it became clear that he was disseminating information about the company's participation in political events.
The scandal around Facebook and the dismissal of Nix, apparently, forced the firm to postpone plans about own virtual currency, although before that Cambridge Analytica contacted companies providing consulting services in the ICO field.
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. We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetise their personal data, including blockchain technology.
Cambridge Analytica Spokesman
NYTimes talked with a consultant on blockchain technology Jill Carlson, who attended Cambridge Analytica meetings on the issue of digital currencies. According to Carlson, the company's approach was far from the ideas of openness and transparency, which became one of the reasons for the popularity of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.
The way that Cambridge Analytica was talking about it, they were viewing it as a means of being able to basically inflict government control and private corporate control over individuals, which just takes the whole initial premise of this technology and turns it on its head in this very dystopian way.
Consultant on blockchain technology
Despite this, Cambridge Analytica managed to win over some cryptocurrency startups. Last summer, the company began to work with Dragon Coin, the issuer of a token on the Ethereum blockchain, used by visitors to the Macau casino. Cambridge Analytica did not play a big role in promoting Dragon Coin, but behind the scenes the company sent out letters to its partners and investors offering a free visit to the Dragon Coin event last year.