After Providing a Thriving Landscape for ICOs, What is ConsenSys-backed Token Foundry Doing Next?
Last year, Token Foundry aimed to be a platform that helped initial coin offerings (ICOs) to thrive. This mission continued to be true until the ConsenSys-supported startup made an annoucement on January 21st.
Over the days following, the Token Foundry expressed multiple missions, ultimately stating, “This year, we are adding new ways to conduct cryptocommerce.
Multiple sources, which have all spoke to CoinDesk, have stated that there’s no way that Token Foundry will follow through, claiming that they are dead in the water. Chief operating officer, Jay Thakrar, who runs both Token Foundry and ConsenSys Digital Securities, says the claims are not true.
Thakrar emailed CoinDesk to say, “Token Foundry has not shut down. The information you have received is not correct.” In another message, Thakrar added,
“Token Foundry is focused on building sustainable decentralized networks and enabling purchasers to safely buy vetted tokens. … We learned that there is a long tail market of potential purchasers that do not know how to participate in the Web 3.0 world, and as a result, we are building additional software to help responsibly bridge that gap.”
CEO Harrison Hines left the company in August last year, which was just four months after deploying Token Foundry.
Since then, Hines has chosen to run Terminal Systems, in which he has multiple former ConsenSys workers employed.. An anonymous source added to the information provided to CoinDesk, saying,
“There’s no one left at Token Foundry – anyone still employed under that banner actually works on ConsenSys Digital Securities. They just haven’t killed the brand yet because it’ll be a bad look.”
In reply, Hines sent a text message to CoinDesk to elaborate, saying,
“Having a good founder/leader who is passionate about the vision and the mission is critical to a startup’s success and keeping the team motivated and together.”
This could have been a jab at Joseph Lubin, the founder of ConsenSys that owns many of the startups of the platform. Hines added, “I’ll never start a company again that someone else has control of.”
During an interview with CoinFund founder Jake Brukhman, Lubin was pressed for a list of the most lucrative ConsenSys 50 projects that were profiting. Lubin included Token Foundry as one of the only two mentioned.
Presently, the former website for Token Foundry has four finished sales, though one of the sales was never completed. Those sales included:
- Dether, for $13.4 million in February 2018
- Virtue Poker, for $18.5 million in May 2018
- FOAM, for $16.5 million in August 2018
- Civil, which did not reach the soft cap, resulting in the refunding of contributions
At this point, Token Foundry would have been credited with a small fraction of what the companies were sold for, at best. When the company let go of seven staff members in August, Thakrar said,
“We are expanding our offerings and will continually reassess our positioning to ensure Token Foundry’s future success in this dynamic space.”
The same message was provided to CoinDesk shortly after. However, Thakrar added, “Our goal remains the same: connecting platforms with existing participants that will add the most value to a given network, lessening the barriers for well-seasoned participants, and building incentives for new participants.”
According to ConsenSys Digital Securities, the new mission is security tokens. The industry regulator, FINRA, shows that ConsenSys Digital Securities operates as a broker-dealer involved in registered securities.
This is an interesting change, considering that Civil, ConsenSys and Token Foundry were collectively promoting that “consumer tokens” would be exempt from securities law. Within multiple text messages, a final statement was made –
“Last year, Token Foundry became the standard for issuing and purchasing well designed tokens. This year, we are adding new ways to conduct cryptocommerce, from subscriptions to token issuance.”
The CDS team is ultimately part of a bigger strategy for the direction ConsenSys is taking now, acting as a discreet team to “build both the primary and secondary markets for tokenized assets.”