China may have banned ICOs last year but fans of China’s biggest boy band do not appear to be paying heed.
The Fighting Boys (TFBoys) may not look like they’re particularly good at fighting, but they’ve attracted fevered attention among Chinese teens.
Lead member Roy Wang was listed last year as one of Time magazine’s most influential teenagers of 2017, and with 100 million Weibo fans behind him, Wang has almost 10% of the Chinese population following the band’s every move.
Such popularity attracts both crazy fans and unethical opportunists. Some combination of those two has put together an ICO aiming to build a “blockchain ecosystem” around the band. The new TFBC token will be used to buy the band’s music and concert tickets, though it’s unclear why it offers a better solution than fiat. Still, nearly 20,000 have signed up, and $1 million has been pledged.
60% of all raised funds is apparently earmarked for the Boys themselves. However, the band is desperately trying to distance itself from the project. Their management, Time Fengjun Entertainment, have made a public statement that this ICO is illegal fundraising and a way of defrauding fans.
The ICO has responded that this is a fan-generated project, and that they’ll be reserving 60% for the band, whether the boys actually want it or not.
Tottering on the edge of legality, the ICO’s website carefully notes that Chinese residents should not invest in the TFBC token, though all the marketing copy is in Chinese and it makes no effort to block Chinese IP addresses.
The project also claims that the TFBC coin will be tradable on StarCoinEx, a platform for celebrity-based crypto-currencies.