What is Bananacoin?

Bananacoin is an Ethereum token that was offered for sale via an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. The project was led by a team of Russian entrepreneurs who raised funds to expand a banana production facility in Vientiane province, Laos.

The token's backers have posted no significant updates to the project's website or social media channels in 2020. In addition, the Bananacoin token does not appear to trade on any major exchange.

In the ICO, the price of each Bananacoin was set at $0.50 and pegged to the export price of one kilogram of bananas. A "presale" period offered the first one million tokens for sale at a 50% discount. Bananacoin intended to sell 14 million tokens and raise more than $7 million, though just 6.8 million tokens were ultimately issued.  

Key Takeaways

  • Bananacoin is an Ethereum token that was sold to raise funds for a banana plantation in Laos.
  • The coin was conceived to expand cultivation capacity and facilitate exports of Lady Finger bananas to China.
  • Tokens were priced at $0.50 each with the first one million tokens sold at $0.25 each.
  • Backers of the project have not updated their website or social media channels in 2020.

Understanding Bananacoin

The project's backers believed they could tap into growing Chinese demand for bananas, pointing to figures that indicated that Laotian banana exports were shifting from Thailand to China. They argued that China lacked suitable arable land for banana cultivation. Bananacoin would take advantage of rising Chinese demand by cultivating Lady Finger bananas, which were said to command higher prices than other banana varieties.

To this end, the Bananacoin project intended to expand cultivation from 100 hectares to 360 hectares and eventually 1,000 hectares. It believed product sales would grow by 360%, which project backers claimed would double the value of Bananacoin within 18 months.

Criticism of Bananacoin 

Critics of Bananacoin focused on the token sale's general terms and conditions, under which investors could not make "any claim of any nature whatsoever against Bananacoin" for any failure to carryout its obligations. The document also stated that Bananacoin could terminate or suspend terms with an investor without notice.

Other critics noted that while the project's white paper claimed that tokens could be exchanged for goods or equivalent monetary compensation, the backers failed to elaborate how redemptions would be handled or make provisions for audits.

Bananacoin peaked at $3.68 in March 2018 and subsequently crashed. As of December 2020, according to Etherscan, Bananacoin was worth 1.43 U.S. cents each with a fully diluted market cap of $86,600.