The ethereum system allows developers to sell a stake in their apps by issuing tokens to investors in crowdsales known as Initial Coin Offerings, or ICOs. Recently, apps that haven't even released a working product yet have managed to rake in millions of dollars in mere minutes. This has led critics to worry that it's only a matter of time before an ICO-funded app goes belly-up and burns its investors. On Thursday, the most brazen ICO yet launched and raised $30,000 USD in 30 minutes. The product? A token called FUCK.
Tokens are digital assets built on top of the ethereum blockchain that can be easily created using tools like Token Factory. Tokens do nothing on their own, but by next year FUCK wants users on social media to be tipping each other in FUCK tokens using a bot that the company says it will finish developing this summer (for now, the developers have a flashy website.) The proceeds from the ICO will be used to pay the bot developer, cover "operational costs," and pay fees to list FUCK on exchanges, according to the token's white paper.
I emailed the FUCK token team and spoke over the phone with someone calling themselves "shwifteey." They declined to give their real name, saying that the FUCK token team is trying to remain anonymous because "when people search our names I don't want this to be the first thing that comes up."
According to shwifteey, the ICO launch comes just a month and a half after they had the idea for FUCK, and the bot developer has been working on the product for just two-and-a-half weeks.
On Reddit, shwifteey described FUCK token as the new Dogecoin, a bitcoin-based altcoin that started as a meme and unexpectedly became valuable once enough people glommed onto it. But Jackson Palmer, the creator of Dogecoin and a critic of the red-hot ICO market, doesn't see the similarities.
"What really sets it apart is that the people getting involved in Dogecoin were technologists who were simply interested in how it worked, and it was voluntary, not pay-to-play," Palmer said over the phone. "But with FUCK token, the community is based totally around profit and at the end of the day putting money into the developer's pocket." "It's peak capitalism, in my mind," Palmer continued. "People are just selling air. It's nuts."
Shwifteey said that the ICO market is made up of people who are "pissing away" millions of dollars on companies that are selling an idea without a product to back it up. When I asked him what he would say to anybody who levies the same criticism against FUCK token, he answered, "Fuck 'em."
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