Last April, $2m was raised in an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for a crypto token called Thor, which promised to “fix the gig economy”.
But as of last week, the project is no longer. Thor CEO David Chin announced its closure in a post last week, citing “many regulatory challenges…that prevented us from achieving what we set out to in our white paper”.
The idea of Thor, according to the aforementioned white paper, was to give temporary workers access to the kinds of benefits normally reserved for permanent employees, like pension plans, healthcare, and parental leave. All via the unique magic of the blockchain and “tokenomics”.
By April, the crypto market had taken a big dive from the dizzy heights of late 2017 and early 2018, and the idea that you could put your money into literally any ICO and the token would automatically go up in price had run out of steam. About a third as much money was raised in April as had been raised in January, according to tracker site icodata.io.
So raising $2m in this market wasn’t bad. You might think that some time was taken in producing the white paper — the document ICOs use to flog their mystical ledger-beans. Not so much. Here’s the first graph in it (shout out to Eric Turner, research director at industry site Messari Crypto, for drawing our attention to this chartological crime):
The white paper also contained other stuff that it clearly took a considerable amount of time to come up with, like this, in the table of contents
(Why is G for Gig?)
The $2m the company says it raised has been reported as $21m across other media sites, but the company insists that’s wrong, adding that the money “turned into $1M during the crypto bear market”.
The crypto market actually had a surge in April, in the weeks after the ICO, so the company would have had to keep most of the money in crypto to support the claim that the money they raised halved in value. But that would seems a little odd, given that presumably they would have actually had to spend some of it (most of it was raised in NEO tokens, so highly un-spendable).
And it sounds like they indeed did spend it, given that there is now no money left.