NEW YORK (Reuters) – Cambridge Analytica was planning to raise money by issuing a new type of digital currency before it became involved in a scandal surrounding the misuse of Facebook Inc's personal information, Reuters said Tuesday.
The UK data analysis consulting firm has approached a company that advises companies on structuring an initial offer of coins, an increasingly popular online fundraising program designed to launch a new digital currency.
The company wanted to raise up to $ 30 million, sources said.
It is unknown whether Cambridge Analytica is still pursuing such plans. One spokesman said he did not comment on the offer, but said that Blockchain – the technology underlying the digital currencies – is helping people to secure their online data.
"Prior to the Facebook controversy, we developed a set of technologies to help individuals retrieve their personal information from companies and have full visibility and control over how their personal information is used," said a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica Email Reuters. "We looked at different ways people can manage and monetize their personal information, including blockchain technology."
Cambridge Analytica, which worked for US President Donald Trump's election campaign in 2016, was intensively investigated over the past month after the New York Times and Observer reported that they had abusive access to personal information from millions of Facebook users have received. Facebook said earlier this month that data from more than 87 million users may have been affected.
Cambridge Analytica has stated that it has properly licensed data to far fewer users of a research company.
Offering mint would have made Cambridge Analytica one of hundreds of companies trying to raise capital as the value of digital currencies rose.
Companies have raised $ 3.5 billion through such deals this year, according to research firm Autonomous. They are popular with investors because they can trade the tokens on online exchanges, often at a profit.