Are investors finally getting wise to initial coin offering (ICO) scams? After a token offering for "Plaza Token" – a proposed Plaza Hotel-affiliated cryptocurrency – failed to take shape, some investors are asking what happened. Is luxury real estate suddenly not an attractive investment? Is the investor market for ICOs exhausted?
According to an unverified whitepaper reviewed by CNBC, the "Plaza Token" was conceived of by a group of foreign investors involved with Chimera, a real estate property management firm based out of Woodmere, New York. "Plaza Token," which would have apparently been structured similar to other asset-backed securitized tokens, would provide investors with equity in Chimera – after the real estate firm had acquired the Plaza Hotel property. Although the "Plaza Token" would have been a vehicle for purchasing Chimera debt once the Plaza deal was done, it would also have been able to be used at the hotel itself for what CNBC describes as "certain concessions."
Chimera, the Plaza Hotel, The Sahara Group, and Securitize – the ICO platform said to be advising Chimera's structured token offering – all failed to respond to ETHNews inquiries by time of press, as did CNBC after ETHNews requested to view the "Plaza Token" whitepaper.
Generally speaking, this deal, while notable in its aspirations, may have been dead before it was ever even fully alive.
Subrata Roy, chairman of the Sahara Group, has been trying to offload assets since being sent to jail in India following a 2014 investor scandal. Moreover, Shark Tank shock-jock Kevin O'Leary's personal endorsement of this ICO on CNBC might also have had an adverse effect on the coin offering, but details surrounding the hotel deal remain clouded by non-disclosure agreements.