What Was Bananacoin (BCO)?
Bananacoin (BCO) was an Ethereum token offered for sale via an initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017. The project was led by a team of Russian entrepreneurs who wanted to raise funds to expand an environmentally friendly plantation in Vientiane province, Laos. The developers set out to use the capabilities of a blockchain to raise funds for their project and as a tool for providing transparent payments to its investors in the future.
The coin was available in an initial coin offering from Nov. 29, 2017, to Feb. 28, 2018. In the ICO, the price of each Bananacoin was set at $0.50. A pre-sale period offered the first one million tokens for sale at a 50% discount. The design was for the coin to be pegged to the export price of bananas to China from Laos, which was expected by the team to rise and generate returns for coin holders when they redeemed or traded them.
When the project was completed, the coin designers planned to allow coin holders to exchange the token for an equal amount of bananas or funds.
- Bananacoin (BCO) was an Ethereum token sold to raise funds for a banana plantation project in Laos.
- The coin was conceived to expand cultivation capacity and facilitate exports of Lady Finger bananas to China.
- The project ended after raising $4.8 million, with unpublished project results and 12% of the tokens redeemed.
Understanding Bananacoin (BCO)
The project's backers believed they could tap into the growing Chinese demand for bananas. At the time, they pointed 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 to 1,000 hectares. It believed product sales would grow by 360%, which project backers claimed would double the value of Bananacoin within 18 months.
Interestingly, in the project's frequently asked questions (FAQs), it claimed to rent the land from local farmers and pay them to work it. The same list of FAQs state that the project members are the owners of a "...real banana plantation..."
Bananacoin Project Goals
The Bananacoin project intended to sell 14 million tokens and raise more than $7 million, although only 6.8 million tokens were ultimately issued. It also was attempting to expand its banana production to increase revenues over a period of 18 months. The project ended on Feb. 28, 2018, after raising $4.7 million.
Based on available information, it is unclear how successful the Bananacoin project was, as it failed to meet its fundraising goals, and the coin is no longer being traded. However, the project is in the process of redeeming tokens (for funds or bananas) to investors, but according to the project website, only 12% appear to have been redeemed.
The developers posted a video in December 2018 discussing how tokens could be redeemed through a prepaid card using an ATM that they would send out to their backers.
Criticicisms of the Project
Critics of Bananacoin focused on the token sale's general terms and conditions. For example, investors could not make "...any claim of any nature whatsoever against Bananacoin for any failure to carry out its obligations...as a result of causes beyond its control..." The document also stated that Bananacoin could terminate or suspend terms with an investor without any prior 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. It's also worth pointing out that many investors were not likely to want large quantities of highly perishable bananas when they redeemed their tokens.
The project may have been too optimistic about investor interest and cryptocurrency prices. Addtionally, the developers appeared to rely on advertising that their plantation was environmentally friendly, but provided no evidence that it was.
What Is Bananacoin Worth?
The project Bananacoin (BCO), the first token using that name, ended in 2018 and does not have any trading history since late 2020.
How Do You Get Bananacoin?
You can no longer get Bananacoin (BCO) from the Bananacoin project that raised funds for the banana plantation. The project has concluded.
Is Bananacoin a Cryptocurrency?
Bananacoin was a redeemable token issued with the intent to crowdsource funds for a banana plantation expansion. It was not intended to be cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ether.