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How Vintage Sardines Became Fishy Talk of Crypto Town

Sead Fadilpašić
Last updated: | 3 min read

We talked about a number of interesting exhibitors at the Customer Electronics Show (CES 2020) in Las Vegas, but one participant has been stirring up the waters of the Cryptoworld lately with their unconventional offering – namely, sardines-backed stablecoin.

Source: iStock/Rrrainbow

You’ve read it well. A Luxembourg-based company called MY Sardines is all the talk in the Cryptosphere today, as it announced its initial coin offering (ICO) for its stablecoin SardinesCoin (SARD2020). MY Sardines says it’s a subsidiary of Luxfactory Group, a management consulting company chaired by Jérôme Grandidier, and Luxfactory is an exhibitor at CES where they’ve launched the ICO. MY Sardine’s website has announced the offering as well, stating that it’ll last from January 8 until April 1, 2020.

In the true spirit of a token, the company presented the white paper as well, which claims that the longer they stand around as collectibles, sardines actually gain value, while the production of vintage Sardine Coins, as the company calls them, is limited each year.

“These tins of sardines can be kept for many years and improve with time like good wines. We return the tins twice a year to ensure that the oil is well distributed. After 10 years, the fish bones disappears and the flesh of the fish is candied, which makes it an exceptional dish,” the company claims, adding that the “price is historically increasing by 15% to 30% per year” and that “you can either have the tins delivered to your home, as soon as the tokens are issued, to taste them or resell them.”

The token is an Ethereum-based, ERC-20 stablecoin, pegged to a physical commodity – cans of sardines, so that the price of each coin is one can of sardines, while the total number of tokens in circulation will be equal to the number of cans stored by the company. A biannual audit by an external company will make sure of that, they say. “And what’s more valuable than nutritive food full of omega3?,” asks the whitepaper.

The company will actually buy cans of 2020 vintage sardines from best producers using 75% of the money raised in the ICO, they say, while a small part of the SARD will be kept by the company to ensure liquidity. The remaining money will cover operational costs, and they will also invest up to 2.5% of the money raised in the MY Sardines foundation “to protect the planet and the animal world.” In their Q&A, the company says they’re currently negotiating to list the SARD2020 on an exchange so that holders can exchange it for cash or other cryptocurrency.

However, their website also reveals that they already had their first ICO in December, designed to test the platform before the worldwide launch of SARD2020 in Las Vegas. The tokens from this ICO will be issued at the end of January, claims the company, as the first order of 3,600 tins has already been placed at the distributor called the Pearl of the Gods for the 2016, 2017 and 2018 vintages.

Its no wonder then that the Cryptoworld would catch a whiff of this literally fishy endeavor, with people being both interested and confused. The curiosity is understandable, and the confusion stems from the uncertainty if this project is even real or if it’s just some prank, particularly when taking the end of the ICO into account (April 1, or April Fools’ Day).

Finance and economic writer, Frances Copola, went deep into this, saying that there seems to be a custody issue as the company can’t guarantee that the cans will be stored properly so to age well, that fractionally-reserving the sardine coins looks attractive, and asking if a token is linked to a specific can.

“Not your sardines, not your coins” would seem to apply here,” she writes.

While we wait to see how this ICO will develop, check out some of the other crypto and blockchain-related companies exhibiting at CES and their products.