Ethereum-based startup goes offline amid uncertain future

Social gaming network Refereum announced that the company would shut down its online platform “for the foreseeable future to evaluate and rebuild” based on the lessons they learned from their community and partners. 

In a blog post, CEO Dylan Jones said the 3-year-old Ethereum-based company would continue to provide payment and reward services, but the current platform will go offline on May 16. Jones said the team does not have a timeline for “when or how the platform will return” only that it must adapt and streamline operations to be successful. 

The CEO warned that even these efforts might not be enough to save the organization. “Through working with users and partners, it’s also potentially possible we might not find a sustainable and valuable solution that enables a re-launch,” Jones disclosed in the post. 

Jones goes on to say that platform users and influencers with unused game codes or unspent $RFR tokens should claim their rewards and spend their $RFR. His team will notify users via email with reminders to do so. At press time, over 4.999 billion RFR tokens were in circulation.

Since announcing the restructuring, the price of the token dropped by ~8%, with the market cap decreasing to around $2,854,040. 

Individual unnamed partners of the company may continue to accept $RFR for various entertainment goods. Refereum cannot guarantee or support purchases on 3rd party platforms; thus, they highly encourage token holders to spend their remaining $RFR on games in the Refereum store before May 16th.

While not a scam project, Refereum has a history of erratic behavior. Back on February 8, 2018, the team abruptly canceled its planned public ICO on the day of the ICO itself. The management team justified the cancelation by explained that they had already earned about 40,000 ETH (~$28.5m) from the presale.

Unlike venture capital investing, ICOs were a lot more gambling than assessing the risk, and much of it boils down to personal greed rather than facts. The token sale cancelation met with a massive backlash from the digital currency community, with some accusing Refereum of deceitful tactics. 

Refereum billed itself as a gaming referral network to connect influencers, players, and developers directly. Its goals were to cut out the ‘marketing middleman,’ i.e., marketing agencies. The blog post paints a picture of success at incentivizing and rewarding millions of gamers and significant technical partnerships that “helped pioneer decentralized finance.”

Apparently that is not enough. The leadership team is now scrambling to transform the company but has given no clear direction forward to the RFK community outside of platitudes.

Jones gave no explanation or insight into the lead-up to this current decision leaving community members to wonder how much longer the team can continue to operate. He has offered no oversight plan for the RFK community to monitor the progress of their pivot. Interested parties or those holding the RFR token needing support may contact their team at [email protected] if they have questions.

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