Macau (MNA) – Dragon Coin has denied hiring political data firm Cambridge Analytica to approach and entice investors to subscribe to its cryptocurrency initial coin offering (ICO), as stated in a New York Times (NYT) article published last week.
According to statements made by a former Cambridge Analytica business developer, Brittany Kaiser, the company started dealing with virtual currency IPO’s last year, with Ms. Kaiser as the main person responsible for these initiatives.
The NYT stated Ms. Kaiser’s team started working with Dragon Coin – also known as Dragon Inc. – last year, emailing potential partners and investors while arranging fully paid trips to Dragon Coin events in the Macau SAR and the Hong Kong SAR.
Company CEO Chakrit ‘Chris’ Ahmad told Macau News Agency (MNA) that Cambridge Analytica was “definitely not” hired by Dragon Coin for the purpose of attracting investors, and “did not arrange the Hong Kong and Macau” trips.
According to the Dragon CEO, Ms. Kaiser approached investors and arranged the events “on her own free time” as a “friend and advisor,” something that Ms. Kaiser herself told the NYT.
Ms. Kaiser was also stated as being responsible for the Hong Kong promotional event that included the presence of notorious former leader of the Macau 14K triad Wong Kuok-koi.
The NYT article stated that they had access to e-mails sent by Dragon Coin’s Co-Founder Paul Moynan, which referred to Mr. Wan as a high-profile backer of the project, with Mr. Moynan having responded that the e-mails were a “hypothetical wish list” of a “junior staff” member.
“As I have mentioned and will clearly state again Wan Kuok-koi is not affiliated or involved with Dragon in any way, shape or form,’ Mr. Ahmad told MNA.
Kaiser is named on the Dragon Coin website as an advisor to the company, describing her as still holding a position as Director of Business Development at Cambridge Analytica and a blockchain technology and cryptocurrency expert, despite the NYT article stating she had left the company in February of this year.
The NYT article also stated Dragon Coin hasn’t yet allowed investors to take hold of their virtual tokens, something the company CEO vehemently denied to MNA, saying the company has already launched the Dragon Social Wallet, which allows investors to buy and transfer the tokens.
Dragon Inc. held its main cryptocurrency ICO public investment round between February 15 and March 15, 2018, having stated it had previously raised US$320 million with the ultimate goal of raising some US$500 million. The company has not yet revealed how much it raised after the main ICO.
The ICO enables investors to purchase virtual tokens called DRG to be exchanged for a cryptocurrency gaming chip called DGC (Dragon Global Chips) that can be used by Dragon Inc. partner junket operations or in their planned floating casino to be established in the MSAR, using blockchain technology as a security guarantee.
Dragon Coin plans to launch junket operations in the MSAR in the second quarter of this year, having announced a partnership with South Korean gaming company 7Luck to apply its virtual tokens in its casino VIP rooms.
An interview with one of the founders of Cambridge Analytica by British newspaper The Guardian has led to accusations that the company had illegal access to private information from 50 million Facebook users, which was then used to support Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential political campaign and the Brexit campaign.
[Edited by Sheyla Zandonai]