An innovative sponsorship and virtual goods platform launched on Halloween 2006 and immediately shut down by Google. After being reinstated (with public apologies) it was used as the internal currency for a private social network throughout 2007. On Halloween 2008 the Bitcoin white paper was published. Coincidence? Absolutely.
Mark Zuckerberg replies, “Yes, of course!”
GimmeSomeCandy launched in 2006 supporting a variety of musicians, writers, photographers, and video creators. Making $6,000/day on a blog post was unheard of and attracted quite a bit of attention.
FeedBurner wanted to add it as a service but got bought by Google who killed them — and RSS too. Blip.tv announced they were offering it to all their video creators but imploded first. GoDaddy wanted to offer it on ten million domain parking pages in support of non-profits but got scared of reporting requirements around fundraising. Tumblr considered using it as house currency but realized if they generated any revenue at all then investors might dare to put an accurate valuation on that turd. PayPal’s CEO couldn’t herd cats to get it going there, though they lifted some ideas.
Meanwhile Ze Frank was telling press and investors that he created the thing. (Although he did an amazing job selling it to his community, he had no input in design, concept or technology.)
In 2011, I printed custom M&Ms with the logo and sent a press kit to TechCrunch for yet another Halloween launch. In return I received a series of interesting communications from three letter agencies and an angry email from a famous venture capitalist who accused me of taking credit for someone else’s work.
The concept is proven and scaled to hundreds of thousands of dollars per month. But even in simpler times it was already becoming a fraud magnet. There’s definitely something to be explored in this space given the right platform and audience – but Crypto 1.0 ain’t it.