Is It Time to Get Serious? Whacky ASKfm ICO Stunt Could Hurt the Industry
ASKfm is back with another initial coin offering (ICO) stunt, but this time no one’s life is on the line. For those with an eye on the latest ICO news stories, ASKfm will be familiar as the company that encouraged people to climb Mount Everest in search of digital tokens. The stunt was part of a PR move designed to make the “to the moon” phrase a reality (i.e. climbers would have the closest crypto to the moon). However, when the Sherpa leading the trip died and ASKfm declined to notify those interested in the climb, the company’s reputation took a hit.
ASKfm ICO Drops Another PR Bombshell
Despite the incident, the ASKfm ICO is back with another outlandish campaign. First picked up by the Financial Times, the ASKfm initial coin offering is encouraging people to go hunting for tokens in the Highlands of Scotland. Bringing some literal context to the phrase airdrop, the Latvian social network launched a Ledger Nano S crypto wallet into the air with the help of Skyrora. Although the USB stick was actually parachuted down and then buried by the team, the stunt has still attracted the attention of ICO news hounds.
According to ASKfm, the coins stored on the Nano S are worth $100,000. However, at this stage, the ASKfm ICO hasn’t started. Without being on any formal ICO register, the true value of the tokens can’t be verified. Regardless, there are free tokens out there somewhere if people are willing to go looking for them. For crypto fans, that’s certainly something to get excited about. But, for the industry as a whole, these stunts run the risk of ruining the image of ICOs. Already in 2018, we’ve seen crypto fundraisers take a hit. In August, data from the Statis Group showed that 80% of ICOs in 2017 were scams. The revelation seemed to spook investors as ICO revenue the same month dropped to $326 million from a monthly average of $3 billion.
Crazy Stunts Aren’t Something ICOs Need Right Now
Although every ICO list has grown in size and value this year, things have taken a dip in recent weeks. Picking up on this, Bitmain founder Jihan Wu has urged investors to be wary. Discussing the current state of ICOs, Wu said that we’re in an “unsustainable financial bubble” that’s going to burst. When that will happen is unclear. However, the recent statistics suggest the hype is starting to subside. If we are on the edge of a cliff, the ASKfm ICO could be a nudge in the wrong direction. Zany PR campaigns are great when a market is mature. However, ICOs are far from established and any negative press could cause things to come crashing down. While the chances of someone dying this time around are a lot lower, the move may prove to be too much too soon.