While it is true to say that the great ICOmedy festival has died down a fair bit in recent months, it's not quite over yet. Dressed up in all sorts of new cryptoclothes and abbreviations — security token offerings (STOs), token generation events (TGEs), initial exchange offerings (IEOs), stablecoin offerings, etc — we are pleased to inform you, dear readers, that the perpetually preposterous initial coin offering lives on.
On Thursday, the Financial Times's markets news editor, Ben McLannahan, was sent the following (poorly worded) email which referred to an article written by the FT's Gillian Tett on bitcoin.
Good afternoon Mr. Mclannahan... After reading a Financial Times article last night; A fraud or the future? Bots bitcoin debate author Mrs Tett, I wanted take this opportunity to send you our most recent press release personally. I felt compelled to send this to Mrs Tett this morning prior to our release to an excess of 5000 global press at 14:30pm today.
The email was to inform Mrs Tett (apparently via Mr McLannahan) that a £16m mansion in Surrey had been sold to a British businessman in an “inspiring deal” for... cryptocurrency! Specifically, the “prestigious LGC-Coin cryptocurrency”.
In the press release Adrian Flint, a director at Heritage Group, the property developers, says:
Given the rarity of LGC-Coin, and the obvious demand soon after these substantial property transactions conclude, it's clear that demand will certainly outweigh supply. We will be holding the coins for a short period before a liquidation of a specific amount to cover build costs. The rest will be held, due to us being aware of further forthcoming world-first transactions using LGC-Coin.
According to LGC-Coin's website, the maximum supply of the cryptocurrency is 600m. That's the “rarity” Mr Flint refers to (ahem). (We're sure there's loads of obvious demand but we suspect that the “specific amount” Mr Flint talks about could be fairly close to 100 per cent. And that the “short period” he'll be holding the coins before selling them back for spendable currency might already have passed.)
To be fair though, LGC-Coin is trying to break new ground. In cryptoland, we have got used to the idea of the “exit scam”, we now have a new idea: an “exit coin”. The founder, Luke Wilson, explains:
The cryptocurrency community is unfamiliar with the term, but an exit coin is truly what it really is. It allows people to pair other cryptocurrencies with the LGC-Coin and will allow the to purchase luxury items such as property and shortly super-cars. This is why people should turn to us in terms of trust.
The LGC-Coin website and white paper are ICOmedy gold. Like the bit about how they're planning to raise $280.5m, 20 per cent of which (so a tidy $56.1m) is to be allocated to the “founders”. Under “the LGC-Coin Core Team”, just one founder is listed, CEO Luke Wilson. This is him (screenshot from the white paper):
And then there's the inevitable bit about saving the world, where the luxury exit coin company will use its considerable expertise to “undertake construction of fresh water wells” in some unspecified villages in some unspecified country in Africa (screenshot from the white paper, again):
There are no dates in the white paper so it's a bit difficult to know which stage we're at in terms of reaching the $280.5m, although the company's website states that the “market cap” of LGC-Coin in a cool $6bn or so (which is quite funny as no exchange seems to list it and it doesn't even feature in the 2,146 rare coins listed on CoinMarketCap). But a YouTube video from July 2018 shows Wilson, saying that the “pre-ICO” had launched:
I would confidently say that around 50 per cent of our pre-ICO has actually been sold tonight at this event, in two hours. People are realising that actually with this coin I can actually make a purchase.
The ICO is now referred to as a TGE in the white paper. The best bit of the white paper, though, has to be the bit wherer we're told that actually this isn't really a cryptocurrency at all, as although LGC-Coin “will be run on the Ethereum open software platform based on blockchain technology”, it is also “able to bypass some of the scalability issues that affect Ethereum”:
LGC-Coin will maintain an internal ledger of all the individuals that hold their LGC-Coin tokens in the LGC-Coin Application. The advantage of this is that LGC-Coin users can use their tokens through the LGC-Coin application, rather than using them directly on the network.
So in other words, all your precious millions will be looked after by the well-established company itself. Seems legit. To da moon!
Why security tokens are categorically and absolutely not crypto tokens — FT Alphaville
A failed ICO is trying to flog itself on eBay — FT Alphaville
The Bank of Hodlers [sic] (sigh) — FT Alphaville
ICOmedy — FT Alphaville
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