What started as a $575 million token sale is now a rewards program for watching videos.
TaTaTu’s initial coin offering (ICO) was among the biggest of 2018, with film producer Andrea Iervolino raising money from royals like Lady Monika Bacardi, of the famous liquor family. Before this raise, Iervolino was best known for films such as “Bernie The Dolphin” and “Finding Steve McQueen.”
As some token sales start to slowly yield results, TaTaTu offers a prime example of a platform that used “blockchain” as a fundraising technique and then largely moved on.
The TaTaTu project, originally meant to offer a publicly traded cryptocurrency associated with a media streaming platform similar to Netflix, once attracted investment from Ari Paul’s BlockTower Capital (which declined to comment for this article) and movie stars like Johnny Depp (whose representatives did not respond to requests for comment).
Despite being entirely run by a band of remote freelancers hired by tech-newcomer Iervolino, the project was one of the top-five largest token sales of 2018, behind EOS ($4 billion) and Telegram ($1.7 billion).
But now Iervolino says crypto was never really the point.
When asked if TaTaTu is a blockchain business, he was clear:
“Not at all. We have one blockchain component in our system.”
However, that hasn’t stopped users from trying to trade the company’s ethereum-based TTU token on public platforms like YoBit.Net. Plus, one former employee, who goes by the online alias Legendster, told CoinDesk his task was “generating buzz” by creating announcements, airdrop threads, and bounty campaigns where “basically anyone and everyone is welcome.”
Regardless of whether the sale directly involved retail users or only accredited investors,