Cambridge Analytica Was Behind Gambling Token Sale Dragon Coin

Dragon, which is betting its focus on Asia’s gaming industry, ‎claimed earlier ‎this year that it has raised $320 million

Political data firm Cambridge Analytica is in the midst of a media firestorm again after The ‎New York Times reported it was trying to get in on the blockchain and digital currency craze ‎in recent months. ‎

According to documents and emails obtained by the American newspaper, the London-based elections ‎consultancy was one of the sponsors of the casino cryptocurrency Dragon Coin and its initial coin offering (ICO).

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The alleged involvement with Dragon Coin, which gives its buyers a cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for gambling chips in a yet-to-be-built casino, also associates the embattled voter-profiling firm with Wan Kuok-koi, a ‎Macau gangster.

Documents have listed Wan as a supporter of the Dragon Coin, although ‎the project founder denied his participation in financing the token sale in any way.‎ Wan Kuok-koi, who served 12 years in prison for money laundering, showed up at a signing ceremony staged by Dragon to launch the ICO.

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Dragon, which is betting its focus on Asia’s gaming industry, ‎claimed earlier this year that it has raised $320 million in capital before the public token sale opens. The startup aims to raise more than $400 million in what would be one of the biggest crowd sales to date.‎

Cambridge Analytica played an insidious role in promoting‎ Dragon ‎Coin, according to the report. The company emailed potential investors and ultimately arranged for some of them to take all-expenses-paid trips to a glitzy Dragon Coin event in Macau.

While a number of prominent businesses have made moves into the cryptocurrency ‎realm in recent months, this one may be different for a few reasons.

Alongside Facebook, Cambridge Analytica is at the ‎center of an ongoing dispute over the alleged harvesting ‎and use of personal data without users’ permission. The ‎authorities in the US and UK also investigate ‎whether such data was then used to ‎influence the outcome of the 2016 ‎US presidential election and the Brexit vote.‎

One major reason why Cambridge Analytica ‎was interested in getting into ‎the ‎cryptocurrency space was its plans to attract ‎people to store and sell their online personal data. A ‎former employee of the company said in an interview that “‎the goal was to protect that data from more or less what the ‎company did when it obtained the personal information of up to 87 ‎million Facebook users.‎”

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