20 Feb Is it an ICO, a Seagal or a seagull?
I feel like the ghost of Gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson just joined me to take a tour of the latest ICO.
It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry with some ICOs but we’ll put this one squarely in the LOL category. So pour a double Chivas and join me and Thompson on this magical mystery tour of the meaning of ICOs and life.
Bitcoiin2Gen and Steven Seagal
Welcome to the Bitcoiin2gen (B2G) ICO and celebrity ambassador Steven Seagal.
The Feb 12, 2018 Hong Kong datelined news release announcing the new ICO and Seagal endorsement is a classic in its own right.
We’re dazzled to learn the American actor, producer, screenwriter, director, martial artist, and musician who holds American, Russian, and Serbian citizenship “has become a believer of Bitcoiin2Gen, the Hollywood action star will be representing the leading cryptocurrency organization, Bitcoiin2Gen, as brand ambassador.”
Even more important, the news release continues:
“As a Buddhist, Zen teacher, and healer, Steven lives by the principles that the development of the physical self is essential to protect the spiritual man. He believes that what he does in his life is about leading people into contemplation to wake them up and enlighten them in some manner. These are precisely the objectives of the Bitcoiin2Gen to empower the community by providing a decentralized P2P payment system with its own wallet, mining ecosystem and robust blockchain platform without the need of any third-party.
Zen Master, Steven mentioned an old Chinese saying “Flow with whatever may happen and let your mind be free. Stay centered by accepting whatever you are doing. This is the ultimate”. by Chuang Tsu.“
The boldface and italics are all courtesy of Bitcoiin2Gen’s news release.
Thompson makes a wry observation over my shoulder: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”
The news release then provides a breathless description of Seagal’s films including “box office successes such as Hard to Kill, Marked for Death, Out for Justice, Above the Law, Under Siege, Executive Decision, The Glimmer Man, and Exit Wounds to name a few, are all loved for their storylines and fast-paced Hollywood action.”
Now we’re getting. somewhere. Cue the last paragraph where we finally learn what the Bitcoiin2Gen is:
“The inspiration of Bitcoiin2Gen is to make a superior or more advanced version of Original Bitcoin. Bitcoiin2Gen is a self-sustaining cryptocurrency that provides at launch its own eco-system, its own wallet, its own mining machines and the ability to exchange the coin to popular altcoins or FIAT currencies. Bitcoiin2Gen uses Ethereum blockchain which provides safer and faster platform. For more details please visit Bitcoiin2Gen official website https://bitcoiin.com/.“
A website, a whitepaper and WTF?
Still with us? Let’s take a closer look at the website, whitepaper, founders, advisors and technology team behind Bitcoiin2Gen.
Oh, there’s no info on the founders, advisors and tech team? Well, the home page does have a great pic of Seagal.
I’m confused. And the numbers aren’t adding up either.
So far, the website claims (Feb 19) either $23.84 million, $10 million or $12.8 million (or Euros, it’s unclear) of the soft cap goal of $75 million has already been raised before the ICO launch in 34 days. It also claims 1,039.27 bitcoins (est $11,431,970) and 3,255.23 Ether (est $3,056,660) have also been raised from 8,657,967 investors.
That means investors have each put up $2.75, $1.16 or $1.48 depending on which numbers are correct.
The Bitcoiin website advises that the “*balance updates every 6 hours.” The next day (Feb 20), pre-ICO funds raised have risen to $26.45 million and 9,179,967 purchasers so far. That now includes 1116.39 BTC and 3702.59 ETH raised.
That means the average purchaser has now bought $2.87 worth of B2G coins at $5 per coin. And in six hours, we’re up 522,000 new investors.
Math is a funny thing or as my friend Thompson reminds me, “There is nothing more helpless and irresponsible than a man in the depths of an ether binge.”
But I digress.
Bitcoiin: “The next big thing”
Luckily, a Feb 8, 2018 EIN PressWire news release offers more information for investors.
“Bitcoiin looks like the next big thing,” according to Johnny Chen, CEO of Dragon Mining. Dragon is the proposed Bitcoin mining giant and partner in this venture.
The news release continues:
“Cryptocurrency enthusiasts have seldom had such a chance to participate in the exhilarating launch of an integrated cryptocurrency ecosystem, with built-in controls, strong management and explosive upside growth potential. We announce the second generation. Seldom does life grant a second chance.”
Of course, it would be helpful if we could learn more about the ecosystem, Bitcoiin’s strong management team and the author of the news release, John Williams.
That key information for investors is nowhere to be found on the website.
With a nudge, Thompson reminds me, “We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold.”
Chasing the Dragon
We decide to investigate Dragon Mining and CEO Johnny Chen further. Unfortunately, the search turned up nothing but a dry desert gulch and crickets. Strange outcome for a company claiming to have a “massive array of mining rigs” on the Bitcoiin2Gen website.
The Dragon Mining link mentioned could not be located on the web page. The Roadmap – Our Timeline does promise investors that in April 2018, $100 million will be invested by someone, somewhere, somehow into “Purchase and deployment of purpose based mining machines developed by Dragon Mining $100,000,000 total investment.”
At this point, reading the Bitcoiin2Gen website seems to be taking us deeper into an ICO Twilight Zone.
Thompson pipes up in a Chivas-induced hoarse whisper, “You can turn your back on a person, but never turn your back on a drug, especially when it’s waving a razor-sharp hunting knife in your eye.”
My feelings exactly. The longer I read the website the more the cryptocurrency bafflegab amazes me. If this isn’t the biggest shell game, it’s the best ICO satire ever created.
Forget the Dogecoin. This is in a league of its own.
At this point, I’m ready to buy an airline ticket for Thompson and me to fly to Hong Kong, meet the founder of Bitcoiin and shake his hand in gratitude for the most rollicking reading and ICO entertainment in ages.
There’s one small thing nagging at me though. It’s that $26.45 million Bitcoiin2Gen claims it’s raised already on its website.
If it’s true, I’ll let Thompson speak for all of us the cryptocurrency business: “In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”
This one is definitely looks like a seagull. Let the buyer beware!
Visuals via The Paris Review, Bitcoiin2Gen, University of Kansas.