Cambridge Analytica, the firm that faced much criticism over its misuse of Facebook user data, had reportedly planned to organize its own initial coin offering (ICO) before the news broke.
According to a Reuters report citing anonymous sources on Thursday, Cambridge Analytica was originally expecting to raise around $30 million via the launch of its own cryptocurrency and had reached out to a firm that advises on how to structure such schemes.
While it remains unclear at the moment whether the ICO will go ahead after the Facebook controversy, the company told Reuters that it currently has plans to develop a blockchain platform that would give users control of their own information.
Another article from the New York Times indicates that the firm’s ICO plan started in mid-2017 with the aim of building a system that would secure users’ personal data so it could be sold to advertisers.
“Who knows more about the usage of personal data than Cambridge Analytica?” Brittany Kaiser, a former employee of the firm, was quoted as saying. “So why not build a platform that reconstructs the way that works?”
The reports come as the firm is under international scrutiny over the way it acquired data on possibly as many as 87 million Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica was hired by President Donald Trump’s campaign prior to the 2016 election and was also involved in the “leave” campaign of the British Brexit referendum in 2016.