One of the breaking news coming from the industry is that the popular data analytics firm of the U.K – Cambridge Analytica – was reportedly working on launching its own digital currency through the means of an ICO and is also said to have raised funds worth $30 million.
According to the latest reports from Reuters, The British data analysts firm had already approached another financial institution which provides professional advice to companies on how to properly structure the ICOs, confirmed sources familiar with the matter.
A spokesman of Cambridge Analytica refused to comment on the coin offering but said that the company is currently working on using the blockchain technology to safely and securely store the user data. In an email to Reuters, the spokesman wrote: “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.”
However, during an interview with the New York Times, Brittany Kaiser, a former Cambridge Analytica employee said that one of the major plans with the ICO could be to raise funds for creating a system to help people store and sell their online personal data to advertisers. The idea behind the project was to protect online user information.
Jill Carlson, a consultant for cryptocurrency companies, said that the data firm planned for a digital currency contrary to its inherent nature of openness and transparency. Carlson said: “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.”
However, Cambridge Analytica is no ‘holier-than-thou’ as it is the same firm that is accused of using the personal data of 87 million Facebook users. Ms. Kaiser said: “Who knows more about the usage of personal data than Cambridge Analytica? So why not build a platform that reconstructs the way that works?”
In the past, Cambridge Analytica is said to have worked for formulating the election campaign of U.S President Donald Trump back in 2016. However, the firm has been under intense scrutiny since the last month, after reports about it using the Facebook data arrived. The data analytics firm is also accused of using the personal information of Facebook users to influence political elections in different countries.
Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix was suspended last month in March after an undercover reporter recorded him for bragging and boasting about the firm using shell companies and strategies in order to help the politician’s entrant opponents.
The New York Times also said that the company has also been involved in promoting another digital currency with tainted credential while working behind the scenes. Cambridge Analytica is also said to have arranged a vacation trip for potential investors to Macau in support of Dragon Coin, a digital currency aimed at targeting the Casino players for gambling. As per reports, the Dragon Coin project has been supported by a Macau gangster Wan Kuok-koi, nicknamed Broken Tooth.