What should you do when your ICO is dead in the water? Flog it on eBay

A blockchain project could be yours for only $60,000.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Shoes, hats, furniture, jewelry job lots -- eBay is a place to find discounted goods, the occasional bit of tat, and sometimes the oddball listing which makes you step back and blink.

The sale of an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) and blockchain project certainly fits into the strange section, and this is an auction which is currently live.

As first spotted by The Financial Times, the oddball lot is asking for $60,000 in return for a lock, stock, and barrel failed ICO project which has not managed to sell a single token.

The listing is for Sponsy, which describes itself as a "disruptive" force in the sponsorship industry.

"It is a one-stop online solution for sponsors and sponsees to conduct sponsorship deals," the organization's website states. "By tokenizing sponsorship assets and decentralizing decision-making, we do not only reduce costs, but also provide sponsees with a wider choice of sponsorship opportunities and make sponsorships available to every business."

Sponsy's whitepaper (.PDF) proposes a Net Sponsorship Asset (NSA) which sponsors pay for, and this form of token is sold by sponsees to parties interested in sponsoring a project.

These lofty goals have not borne fruit, it seems.


The eBay listing claims that the purchase includes all coding, a "cross-platform web-based Minimum Viable Product, native mobile iOS app, backend, and software solution enabling ICO/STO funds collection."

See also: 2018's most high-profile cryptocurrency catastrophes and cyberattacks

Sponsy also says that the auction includes "industry-leading software for collecting funds from ICO/STO participants," and two-factor authentication (2FA) is utilized in the code -- which is deemed as an "outstanding" security feature. In addition, the software is able to collect cryptocurrency in over 100 formats.

In total, Sponsy says this software alone has a "market value of $100,000."

The lucky winner of the auction will also find themselves the owner of a variety of documents "approved by investment bankers," including papers on the market opportunity, business model, valuation, a set of pitch & investor decks, and market research.

The founder of the project, Ivan Komar, told the FT that Sponsy is being sold as the startup didn't work out -- and the blame was laid at the feet of a lawyer.

"We hired a lawyer and that was a big mistake for us," Komar said. "Because our lawyer basically told us that we should not launch any ICO before we built a real product that might have some users."

How to spot a fake ICO (in pictures)

TechRepublic: Why cryptocurrency needs to get more user-friendly to achieve mainstream success

It is true that many ICOs managed to raise millions without a viable product. The willingness of investors to speculate on blockchain-related projects, however, has led to a regulatory crackdown, a "Wild West" scenario for ICOs, and countless exit scams.

Komar told the publication that this advice, although legitimate, meant that Sponsy delayed launching an ICO and failed to catch the ICO hype bandwagon in time to raise enough funds to push the project forward. By summer 2018, no-one was interested.

The blockchain enthusiast has hope that Sponsy will not simply die, however. Komar is hoping the eBay listing will attract a business giant -- Bosch being suggested -- to take on Sponsy. 

CNET: Blockchain explained: It builds trust when you need it most

Komar added that $60,000 is a bargain for the project. 

Despite this "low" amount, there have been no takers and three days left. I can't say that's really any surprise. Interested, Bosch?

Previous and related coverage

Editorial standards