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Streaming Service Raises $575 Million in Ethereum, Then Turns Its Back to Crypto

With the rising crypto prices, online crypto trading started surging as well. Not only that, but the investors appear more than willing to buy some of the top digital coins. The demand is, as usual, the highest when it comes to Bitcoin, which has recently exceeded $13.600, after which it saw a sharp correction. However, investors and traders are also more than willing to buy Ethereum as well, but also to invest in some new tokens and projects.

One such token sale was held by a project known as TaTaTu, which managed to raise as much as $575 million. It was one of the biggest ICOs, which, interestingly enough, took place in 2018, before the second biggest crypto hype to date. During the ICO, the film producer, Andrea Iervolino managed to get funds from royals such as Lady Monika Bacardi.

However, soon enough, TaTaTu soon became an example of a project that used the blockchain and crypto to raise funds for its platform, and then simply move on to supposedly becoming a rewards program for those willing to watch its videos.

TaTaTu’s original idea and a change of plans

TaTaTu’s original idea, at least the one that the project presented, was offering publicly traded digital currency in association with a Netflix-like streaming platform (find out how to buy Netflix stocks). The idea was so popular that it even attracted celebrities willing to invest, such as Johnny Depp. The project also got an investment from Ari Paul’s BlockTower Capital. Considering the fact that Iervolino’s talents lie in the film industry, and not so much in tech, the project was run by a group of tech-oriented freelancers.

Even so, it easily became one of the biggest ICOs in 2018, just behind EOS, which raised $4 billion, and Telegram, with its $1.7 billion. Now, Iervolino came out by saying that cryptocurrencies were never the point of the project. In fact, he claims that TaTaTu is not even a blockchain business. Instead, there is only a single blockchain component in the entire system.

While this revelation may have surprised many, investors were still not discouraged from trading the Ethereum-based TTU. However, after August 2018 had passed, TTU’s activity remained relatively low. In fact, most transactions were made on July 31st and August 1st. Iervolino explained this by saying that the token sale was mostly done through private investments, although he never named any participants.

Since then, the company has moved to certain platform-based points, which does not require a public blockchain. However, one former employee confirmed that a number of ‘idealistic things’ mentioned in the white paper were never delivered, and they are unlikely to ever arrive. Meanwhile, Iervolino’s decision to distance the project from Ethereum, as well as crypto itself, has caused many employees to abandon the project itself. The overall sentiment is that Iervolino is not behaving fairly to early investors, who believed that the TTU token would be used on a decentralized platform, once the project kicks off.

Rising through the ranks

As for what happened with all the raised money — there are some speculations, most of which appear to be coming from former employees and anonymous sources. They seem to be convinced that Iervolino used the funds for making potential token deals with some of the Hollywood movie stars. For example, he was seen yachting with Selena Gomez, as well as supposedly closing a deal with Alec Baldwin and Antonio Banderas.

These days, the hype regarding the project is gone, and many see the ICO as ‘opportunistic.’ Iervolino himself, however, sees it as part of ‘circular economy,’ as the platform will allegedly reward users for watching films with tokens. However, it has been almost a year since the project had kicked off, and Iervolino still refuses to share insights into details such as how many users the platform has.

As for Iervolino himself, he is currently a contributing producer in a film called ‘Waiting for the Barbarians,’ starring Johnny Depp. Despite the fact that the project certainly seems to be a failure, it did provide Iervolino with a major career boost and Hollywood connections.

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      A journalist, with experience in web journalism and marketing. Ali holds a master's degree in finance and enjoys writing about cryptocurrencies and fintech. Ali’s work has been published on a number of cryptocurrency publications.