Two Emirati royals are backing an obscure crypto token billing itself as the “first” to have won the endorsement of a royal family.
Khalfan Saeed Khalfan Al Mazrouei and Sheikh Abdullah Bin Rashed Al Sharqi are both shareholders of the company behind Crypto Price Index, a cryptocurrency whose value supposedly represents the aggregate of the top 200 cryptocurrencies by market capitalization.
Laboring under the ever-popular DeFi banner (shorthand for “decentralized finance”), “CPI” purports to be “bringing a global level of stability and recognition to the emerging class of DeFi protocols which market commentators expect to disrupt the financial industry.” The token is also coordinating an ICO with “award winning” Malta-based token launch platform ICOMalta. (We tried to sign up but a promised login email never arrived.)
In addition, CPI is partnered with ZBX, an exchange spun up with Turnkey solution “Zillion Bits,” which neither appears on CoinMarketCap nor registers any pageviews on SimilarWeb. ("ZBX is affiliated with the ZB exchange group," said ICOMalta CEO Jan Sammut. "Their flagship exchange ZB.com is currently ranked 29th on CMC by adjusted volume.")
But it’s unclear whether it is indeed the first time their excellencies have endorsed a crypto product. Al Mazrouei has his name plastered on multiple other crypto businesses online, including Bondchain Management Consulting and Locus Chain. Al Sharqi, for his part, doesn’t seem to have done much to do with blockchain, but was appointed Vice-President for Asia by the International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness.
ICOMalta explained the royals' involvement. "[His highness] and [His Excellency] are regular board members," said Sammut, ICOMalta's CEO. "There is only one, regular directorship class in the company, therefore they have equal voting rights/obligations as any other member."
And how did the project win the royals' support? "The introduction was made on the (correct) assumption that they would be interested in getting involved with this project," said Sammut. Further questions have been sent to the royals' aides, and we will update with any response.
Anyway, here’s how CPI purports to work, according to its white paper: CPI is like an index fund, except it’s not. Instead, the price of a token called "CPI200" will represent the investments, and is constantly adjusted to reflect the aggregate notional market value of the 200 top cryptocurrencies, which is apparently around $17 (as of press time). As such, the CPI token shows “at a glance the average price of every single top 200 crypto asset by market cap which are trading on exchanges.”
Sammut elaborates. "CPI200 will be minted once a user deposits ETH/BTC/DAI into the CPI platform and will be burnt on redemption," he said. "The CPI token is simply a governance token to ensure that the platform is run in the best interest of its users."
It’s actually not a terrible idea, given that curating 200 separate assets all at once would prove remarkably unwieldy. But the problem is that, even before the 200 mark, a great portion of the cryptocurrencies included are functionally dead. Their price will be swallowed by Bitcoin. Who would invest in “DentaCoin” or “Robotina,” even without the benefit of a CPI token usefully streamlining the process?
Sammut addresses this somewhat, saying that there will soon be several CPI offshoots representing other indexes. "Whilst 200 might seem like a large number of assets," he said, "bear in mind that the architecture we are building for CPI will allow them to issue a CPI100/50/10, CPIprivate, CPImetals, or any other permutation that they reckon the market has a demand for."
Given that a much-ballyhooed “shitcoin index” composed of some of the better performing altcoins recently tanked, we keenly await CPI’s release: if not for our sake, for the royals’.
Updated with comments and clarifications from Jan Sammut.