In the early 90s, Halsey Minor was an Internet Startup Superstar with successful businesses he sold to bigger companies that today are household names. Then in 2007 he took a break from public spotlight until 2014 when Halsey Minor joins the crypto-scene with his new venture Uphold/Bitreserve which launched Voxels in 2015/2016 – A cryptocurrency that did not impress Stakepool at all when we went through all the facts in retrospect yesterday in our Teamspeak.
Problem #1 is money – for lets all face it – Voxels only raised $350,000 total in its crowdsale, a very small sum of money for any project in general, and we all know a handful of young college-dropouts that has made it big in the crypto-currency scene, so what is wrong with Voxels? Why couldnt a star like Halsey Minor trigger investors to invest?
Looking over Halsey Minors resumé, one would think that this 90s billionaire would have strong connections, friends and partners that would jump on the chance to get in on his next project and throw their money at him – but they never even showed up.
Voxels are whitepapered to be the currency in Virtual Reality, a market that has enormous potential as new VR-Headgears are shipping this year and probably will make waves in 2017, but analysing the Voxels Blockchain, Block-explorer, Wallets – the whole backend that is used to make Voxels work – is basically really old Litecoin-technology that most of us don´t want to deal with unless we absolutely have to.
Voxels have been promoted by “The Daily Decrypt” – A Youtube-channel that promote whatever – and the whole thing look so “ghetto” – so cheap – Investors ask “What the hell is this shit?”
I want to like Voxels, I really do – but the entire presentation is so shady and so badly done that the lust for investing in this project has become a non-existing problem. Looking at Voxels trading at Bittrex, knowing that 210 Million coins were made initially, knowing that they only sold a few of them in a crowd-sale that only raised $350,000 (which tells us that there is -none- invested in this project worth talking about) Traders wont touch it in fear of getting 200 million coins dumped all over them in an exit-scam, the red flags are all over this one.
So lets fast-forward to today – what Voxel is doing in the marketplace:
Remember that they only raised a small amount of money, but on Bittrex suddenly this shitcoin is worth 85K Bitcoins in market-cap? No Way – Pure manipulation as money has not been coming into Voxels but rather – going out from Voxels – Looks like the coin you want to buy if losing money is a hobby you care to cater to, as the Crowdfunding only brought in about 800 Bitcoin which is a lot less then the 85,000 Bitcoin marketcap it currently holds (not that coinmarketcap will ever show this fraudulent amount to be any real marketcap as the coin is held up by 16 Bitcoins at the moment)
Halsey Minor was a key player in the digital publishing revolution. In 1993, he founded CNET Networks, the first comprehensive consumer-facing technology content publisher and one of the most-visited technology information resources in the world. Minor ran CNET for eight years during which time it became one of the Internet’s first companies to achieve profitability. Halsey led CNET to become a NASDAQ 100 company and it was acquired by CBS Corporation in 2008 for $1.8 billion.
In 1997, Halsey spun off technology developed by CNET to Vignette, a web-publishing software company, acquiring a 33% stake in the company. Vignette was one of the most successful IPOs of the first tech boom, reaching a market capitalization of $26 billion. Halsey also provided the seed funding for trailblazing music service Rhapsody in 1998.
Minor co-founded and was the largest financial investor and second largest shareholder in salesforce.com, one of the most successful technology companies of the decade and a pioneer in “cloud computing“. Starting in 2000, Salesforce.com had achieved a market capitalization in excess of $15 billion. He was Salesforce’s second-largest shareholder at the company’s 2004 IPO, owning over 10% of the company.
In 2005, Halsey established Minor Ventures, the vehicle through which he founded and funded a string of successful tech startups, including OpenDNS, a web security leader and Grand Central Communications, one of the world’s first web-based telephony companies. In 2007, Halsey sold Grand Central Communications to Google, where it was rebranded as Google Voice.
In May 2014, Minor announced his current venture, Uphold [FKA Bitreserve], a next-generation digital money service. Uphold referred to as, “The Internet of Money” offers tracking of all of its transactions through what it calls the Reserveledger and Reservechain. The two products allow users to track balances, transaction flows and volumes, along with the corporate balances, assets and obligations of Uphold itself.
Minor co-founded Voxelus a Virtual reality content creation platform and marketplace that allows anyone, anywhere to create, share and play virtual reality games. In November 2015 Voxel Crowd Sale was announced in 3 phases that will last until December 2, 2015. Early buyers and participants of the crowd sale will be able to purchase the digital currency for as low as 1200 voxels per bitcoin (It is now traded on Bittrex for a fraction of the early buyers price – a bad investment for everyone)
On September 4, 2007, Minor announced the development of a new three-star hotel located in historic downtown Charlottesville called the Landmark. The planned six-story hotel would be part of Minor Family Hotels, a series of three-star boutique hotels located in historical districts around the world. By early 2009, however, construction on the hotel had stopped as a result of financial problems involving the project developer and the bankruptcy and FDIC receivership of the construction lender. Minor alleges the FDIC’s failure to act on the note for two years while costing taxpayers $11 million in legal fees.
On December 19, 2007 the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation announced that Halsey had purchased the historic Carter’s Grove plantation on 720 acres (2.9 km2) on the James River for $15.3 million and that he “plans to use the mansion as a private residence and use the site as a center for a thoroughbred horse-breeding program.” The plan was to preserve the historic home and give it a use in keeping with its time, when Tidewater Virginia was the capital of horse racing in America. Minor’s Carter’s Grove LLC has since filed a bankruptcy petition, with more than $72 million in debts. Halsey never lived at Carter’s Grove and by 2012 the vacant house was in disrepair.
As of July 2008, Minor made known his interest in acquiring Hialeah Park Race Track, which opened in 1925. He stated that he wished to buy Hialeah Park and restore it to its original state and begin the process of restoring the popularity of thoroughbred racing. Minor had been in discussions with Hialeah Park owner John Brunetti and his attorney Andrew C. Hall, however they never were able to agree on a price. Minor then challenged Brunetti’s ownership in Hialeah in Florida Federal court with a trial expected before the end of 2011. In October 2010 Minor bid for 5 tracks belonging to the MI Developments including Santa Anita, Golden Gate Fields, Laurel Park Racecourse, Pimlico and Portland Meadows.
On May 22, 2008, Minor was the winning bidder in a Sotheby’s auction of Edward Hicks‘ The Peaceable Kingdom, with a hammer price of $9.6 million, a record for the artist. Minor also won two other paintings, Diamond Dust Shoes by Andy Warhol and Paris, Winter Days byChilde Hassam. The Peaceable Kingdom had been on loan to the American Folk Art Museum from 2000 until 2008. The painting was owned by Ralph O. Esmerian, who took it back to pay his debts to Sotheby’s, Christie’s, and Merrill Lynch.
In September 2008 Minor was sued for failure to pay for these paintings while allegedly waiting for Sotheby’s to provide the promised documents that showed their actions had not violated New York law. In October, Minor countersued, contending the Sotheby’s had had an interest in The Peaceable Kingdom that they did not disclose. Minor sought to have his countersuit designated as a class action October 1, 2008, in Northern District California but this claim was dismissed.
The outcome of this complex litigation has been both favorable and unfavorable to Minor.
On March 30, 2010, Sotheby’s won on all counts, and Minor was ordered to pay them nearly $4.4 million, plus interest, late charges and legal fees. That amount represents the perceived drop in the resale value of Mr. Minor’s artworks during the five months that Christie’s kept the pieces—a lag that took place between late May and early November 2008 as the art market spiraled into recession. This case is currently under appeal.
On the other hand, a May 21, 2010 jury verdict found for Minor in U.S. District Court. Judge William Alsup ordered Christie’s to pay $8.57 million in damages to Mr. Minor. Christie’s was found guilty of fraud, theft and failure to honor a contract by a 10-person jury in federal court. Christie’s then faced another $1.14 billion in outstanding litigation, the most threatening from billionaire Bill Koch. On March 18, 2011, this suit was settled in Christie’s favor.
Three days later, however, on May 24, 2010, Manhattan federal Judge Barbara Jones ordered Minor to pay the $6.6 million-plus he owed Sotheby’s (see March 30, 2010 award cited above) for reneging on his winning bids for three paintings. Minor satisfied the judgment and appealed in June 2010.
In addition to the suits cited above with the Landmark Hotel in Charlottesville, Minor now has actions against John Burnetti in Florida, Merrill Lynch in California and an appeal of Sotheby’s non-trial verdict in New York Federal court. Merrill Lynch is being sued under the Rosenthal Act which defines the rights of debtors to be protected from abusive treatment by financial institutions.
Minor v. Merrill, filed March 10, 2009, State Superior Court, Los Angeles. Merrill filed a demurrer October 7, 2009; a hearing was set for November 25, 2009.
The word on the street is that Halsey Minor has lost his money, are not in contact with silicon valley and has burned a lot of bridges over the years. Looking back at the Voxel-failure, one may paint a grim picture of the entire situation and we can only hope that things turn the right way for investors, because the traders wont touch this coin unless everything that is wrong with the picture changes to something worth investing into.