Archiving What a Disaster TheKey’s ICO Was
This entire article is excerpted from the broader piece I did on $NEO, which is the first part of a two-part series where I effectively show that the $NEO protocol cannot live up to its promises and this something that the developers more than likely have been aware of for some time, making it fraudulent.
The purpose of extracting this specific part of the article is to ensure that any and all information with regards to TheKey is archived in a way where it can be immediately accessible because it appears that the project is trying to actually gain some form of legitimacy in the blockchain sphere and this should not be permitted without individuals being able to know of the gross incompetence that this team displayed during their ICO.
Again, it was shown rather definitively that the individuals responsible for fueling and launching this project are also the ones that are at the top of $NEO.
Summarizing and Mapping TheKey ICO
Out of all projects launched on the $NEO network that will be covered in this analytical research piece, this one was perhaps mired in the most controversy.
According to its website, ‘TheKey’ is, “A decentralized ecosystem of an identity verification tool using national big-data and blockchain.”  The statement reads as though it were translated directly through a translation service because the sentence is not intelligible in the way that it is presented on the site.
On the website, NEOCouncil is listed as a ‘strategic partner’. And on ‘CoinGecko’, both Onchain and NEOCouncil are listed as investors in TheKey as well as ‘Ant Financial’, which is a relic from when $NEO was known as ‘Antshares’ for a brief period of time.
In addition, Roger Lim, whom is on the Board of Directors for GSR Ventures (which invested in Deepbrain Chain) and NEO Global Capital (which is now partnered with Fenbushi Capital) was also listed as one of the advisors for project. This makes the relationship between $NEO and this ICO even more intertwined than what many originally perceived at inception. 
During the ICO crowdsale, ‘TheKey’ raised $22 million dollars by January 15th, 2018.  The amount of money that was raised via private investments is currently unknown at the time of writing. Also, at the time of writing, there is a negative return on the ICO investment of -2.45%.
Scathing Reviews Were Posted About TheKey’s ICO Token Sale
The inefficiencies in the process behind TheKey’s crowdsale process were alluded to in an article written by ‘Bitcoin.com’.  However, the alleged horrors, as well as its negative impact(s) on the $NEO blockchain were outlined in full in a published article by 71Republic, which dubbed it the “worst ICO of 2018” just 15 days into the new year. 
In the report, the author states, ‘THEKEY’s website was inoperable well in advance of the dated timestamp for the ICO.” The author also went on to state that the “NEO blockchain slowed to a crawl and eventually stopped tracking altogether.”
Other notable concerns from the article include:
- “[The team refused] to confirm how many TKY (THEKEY) tokens investors would receive per NEO until one hour before the sale.”
- “Investors learned close to the sale that any NEO transferred to the crowdsale address after the initial cut off of 10,000 NEO had been accepted would be held in storage for over a month as THEKEY performed an audit of the sale.”
- “Neotracker.com, a site used to track transactions and view public addresses, also struggled during the evening to perform orders and gather data.”
- “Nearly eight hours after the token sale…various components and aspects of the NEO blockchain [were] still unusable.”
There is a wealth of evidence to corroborate the author’s writings as well. This is troubling when considering that the ICO appears to not only have compromised the $NEO blockchain, rendering its thesis of scalability void in this instance, but it also signals a major failure on behalf of the $NEO team since this is a project that they were intertwined with from the beginning.