By CCN: Scottish lingerie tycoon and parliamentarian Baroness Michelle Mone seems to be stuck in a second failed crypto venture. Her £250m ($325 million) condo development in Dubai that would be sold for bitcoin is on hold. Government officials who’ve visited the site of what The Sunday Times calls a “bitcoin bolthole” say construction has stopped.
Mone was planning to sell two bedroom apartments for £185,000 worth of bitcoin after developing the Aston Plaza Project. But the development remains stalled at 25% complete since last January, according to the developer’s website and promotional materials. The £250m development was advertised to be completed by this summer but nothing’s moving.
Sunning day. Hope you are all enjoying this beautiful weather. Global Business announcement coming soon #athome #equicapital #blockchain #entrepreneur #business #businesswoman pic.twitter.com/l4ONWXiO4g
— Lady (Michelle) Mone (@MichelleMone) June 24, 2018
Baroness Mone’s EQUI Coin Flop
This bitcoin condo development was as unrealistic as her last attempt to break into the crypto industry. A year ago, she sought an $80 million ICO for a startup investment clearinghouse disguised as a cryptocurrency. She hyped it as the “bitcoin of Britain” even though it is really nothing like bitcoin and raised only $7 million.
Bitcoin made an earnest and shockingly effective attempt at creating a payments and banking solution. EQUI is a blockchain back-end that’s been shoe-horned into a startup investment clearinghouse platform. Bitcoin is open source, public, and raised computing power to maintain and secure its network. EQUI is propriety, corporate, and raised money.
EQUI was not “the bitcoin of” anything. It was another example of corporate marketing hype over substance, and that’s why it failed.
Bitcoin & cryptocurrency is here to stay. I predict Bitcoin will reach $100k in the next 18 months https://t.co/OfiqBUQoxg
— Lady (Michelle) Mone (@MichelleMone) January 13, 2018
Baroness Mone Should Lean In; She’s Onto Something Despite Missteps
Obviously a very smart and tenacious woman, Mone advanced from trying to compete with bitcoin in her first venture to trying to acquire bitcoin with her second. That represents a fundamental strategic shift in her view of the crypto industry. It evinces the realization that bitcoin presents far more lucrative and substantive opportunities as a truly competitive merchant currency with an unmatched network effect among cryptos.
But instead of studying and making a useful contribution to the bitcoin industry, Mone again shoe-horned bitcoin into a foreign condo development project. So she’s pursued the strategy twice now of exploiting bitcoin hype to raise money by appearing to be working in the crypto business while not actually doing anything in the crypto business. This is the kind of corporate exploitation that Andreas Antonopoulos warned about in many talks.
Corporations will mislead the public. “Forget about bitcoin – we’re using its underlying technology, blockchain” goes the familiar refrain. But what they’re doing isn’t anything like bitcoin. Doesn’t have bitcoin’s salient characteristics. Doesn’t even attempt to solve the problems that bitcoin solves.
Now with Baroness Mone after bitcoin instead of another blockchain fake coin, we’ve seen another phenomenon Andreas Antonopoulos has described: infrastructure inversion. Amazing this is an example of it happening within a few years within the same entrepreneur’s crypto ventures. This industry is growing up fast.