Cambridge Analytica was planning to raise money by issuing a new type of digital currency before it became embroiled in a scandal surrounding the improper use of personal data from Facebook. This is as per a Reuters news report.
The British data analytics consultancy had approached a firm that advises companies on how to structure an initial coin offering, an increasingly popular online fundraising scheme involving the issue of a new digital currency.
The firm was looking to raise as much as $30 million.
It is not known if Cambridge Analytica is still pursuing such plans. This report has also mentioned that the firm was looking at using blockchain – the technology underlying digital currencies – to help people secure their online data.
“Prior to the Facebook controversy, we were developing a suite of technologies to help individuals reclaim their personal data from corporate entities and to have full transparency and control over how their personal data are used,” a Cambridge Analytica spokesman said in an email to Reuters. “We were exploring multiple options for people to manage and monetise their personal data, including blockchain technology.”
Cambridge Analytica has been under intense scrutiny for the past month after the New York Times and the Observer reported that it improperly gained access to personal data of millions of Facebook users. Facebook said earlier this month that data of more than 87 million users may have been affected. According to a leading Indian business newspaper Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie said in a London court that he had heard reports that his predecessor Dan Muresan was being paid by an Indian billionaire who wanted Congress to lose elections.
Cambridge Analytica has said it properly licensed data on far fewer users from a research firm.