How this startup raised hundreds of millions in crypto and then turned away from it


TaTaTu, one of the biggest token sales in 2018 which raised $575 million, has deviated from its intention to use the Ethereum blockchain in offering a publicly traded cryptocurrency linked with a media streaming. TaTaTu’s platform is now being used to offer rewards to individuals for watching videos. According to Andrea Iervolino, a film producer and overseer of the project, cryptocurrency was never the point of the project, reports Coindesk on June 28, 2019.


TaTaTu Project Deviates from Blockchain

Per the report, TaTaTu, an Ethereum-based project whose Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in 2018 was able to raise $575 million has deviated from the blockchain which it began with. At the time, the platform was meant to offer a publicly traded cryptocurrency in connection with a media streaming platform. 

The capital that was raised during TaTaTu’s ICO is one of the top-five largest, following after EOS ($4 billion) and Telegram ($1.7 billion). In the same vein, some investors in the TaTaTu ICO were Lady Monika Bacardi, of the famous liquor family, Ari Paul’s BlockTower Capital, and Johnny Depp, an America actor.

The turnout in terms of capital and investors was, therefore, remarkable given that the project was run by a team of remote freelancers hired by Andrea Iervolino, a newbie to the tech industry and a producer of films like “Bernie The Dolphin” and “Finding Steve McQueen.”


TaTaTu is Now a Platform for Obtaining Rewards by Watching Movies

TaTaTu is now a platform where people can earn rewards by watching a movie and as such, it can be said to be a Netflix look-alike. It offers movies such as 2006’s “Snakes on a Train” and 2012’s “Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies,” but after a year, it is still uncertain how many users have taken advantage of the platform.

However, a good number of investors which had backed the project left it since it deviated from the Ethereum blockchain. An analysis of TTU token activity carried out using Alethio’s reporting tool revealed that there 70 percent of operations were held between July 31 and August 1, 2018, and since then, there has been a low level of activity.

While explaining why that is so, Andrea Iervolino said that despite what was listed in TaTaTu’s whitepaper, the token sale was majorly carried out through private investments. Nonetheless, he is unwilling to name the individuals who had made contributions during the ICO and held that the value has been transferred to a platform-based points system that operates without a blockchain.


TaTaTu’s White Paper Contained Several Projections Which are Still Undelivered

A former employee, on the other hand, who spoke to the media said TaTaTu is still in the startup phase and the token’s white paper contained several projections and idealistic things but these have not been delivered. There are also uncertainties as to what Iervolino has got planned. Other employees opined that Iervolino is the sole driver and overseer of TaTaTu. 


An employee revealed that:

“Whoever invested in TaTaTu, in the beginning, did it thinking that they would be buying a token that can work on a decentralized platform and could be traded … I think that [Iervolino] is not behaving fairly to the people that invested in TaTaTu.”


Asides offering TaTaTu’s token for sale, Andrea Iervolino also struck a deal to produce a movie, Lamborghini biopic for the platform. The movie starred prominent actors such as Antonio Banderas and Alec Baldwin. According to an anonymous employee, reserves of the tokens are used to get potential token deals with Hollywood A-listers. 

While a number of people have pointed out that TaTaTu’s fundraising was opportunistic, Iervolino believes that the startup is creating a circular economy where users are rewarded for watching movies, sporting events, and fashion shows. The acquired tokens can be used toward coupons.

The producer also revealed that there is an e-commerce site which Italians can use to access some test products that can be purchased with TaTaTu tokens. Iervolino is also a contributing producer in the movie waiting for the Barbarians, one of his most mainstream film which is currently in post-production. It is believed that the token sale of TaTaTu had elevated his status in Hollywood.

Jide Idowu
I am Jide Idowu. A stay-at-home dad and a cryptocurrency enthusiast. I have had my hands on freelance writing for over five years, researching and writing guides, reviews, and latest cryptocurrency news for various blogs and individuals world over.

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