Cambridge Analytica Planned ICO Before Facebook Controversy: Reports

Cambridge Analytica reportedly planned to launch its own cryptocurrency before the controversy over its misuse of facebook data.

AccessTimeIconApr 18, 2018 at 10:45 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:50 a.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

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.

Data network image via Shutterstock


Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.