PonzICO Mission Accomplished


More than two years ago — March 31st, 2016, to be precise — I squared away $1000 for a dream. A dream that a beautiful, “decentralized” experiment could usher in an indelibly better world, by enriching me personally and getting me a Tesla.

A year after that fateful day, the second step of my master plan was unleashed upon the world. PonzICO was born, and it was an instant success.*

*Redefining Success/Moving the Goal Posts

If nothing else, PonzICO has been a #RadicallyTransparent project. Full disclosure: we fell short of our original goal of raising 100,000 ETH by around 99.99%.

This was truly disheartening, but unlike less scrappy Ponzi-themed projects like EOS, we kept going (no conference calls necessary). And in the end, we reached our goal — even if it meant some unconventional ways of generating money in the cryptocurrency space, like converting my labor into wages.

Continuing with our commitment to full disclosure: Brian Hoffman never made us a promotional video. I’m a big believer in taking personal responsibility as a leader, but if you put me in a corner and told me to scapegoat, I’d place 99.99% of our fundraising failure on him for not making PonzICO videos for free. Do better next time Brian.

Turning Roadmaps into Teslas on Roads

Back to better news: WE DID IT! Despite Brian’s best efforts to sabotage PonzICO, I got my Tesla, making PonzICO the first ICO in history to actually achieve something meaningful on its roadmap.

Lessons Learned

If you can’t Ponzi your money, you’ve got to earn it

Despite the Model 3 being Tesla’s “cheapest” model, it wasn’t cheap. And since the community didn’t invest enough into PonzICO — the cheapskate bastards — I had to work for a living and buy the car using a combination of savings and debt. Other projects should take this unorthodox lesson to heart: turns out one of the best ways to generate income is trading your labor for money, rather than scamming people out of money.

And yes, while I’m no legal scholar, I do know the SEC just made Ponzi schemes legal, which is quite exciting. BUT — and this is a big but — there’s still no clarity on whether the eventual exit scams will be legal. Best to play it safe.

Keep track of your private keys

No one is contributing to PonzICO anymore but fuck I think I lost my fucking private key that manages the contract. Fuck.

Your scheme is only as decentralized as its most centralized component

When I unveiled the Tesla color voting contract, I made it abundantly clear that I wanted a blue car. So much so that I preloaded the contract with 10 votes for blue.

And yet, the community disobeyed my will and put 27 votes for a black Tesla.

I ended up buying a blue one anyway.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯