AP Photo/Amr Nabil

Gurbaksh Chahal, the charming tech entrepreneur best known for admitting to domestic abuse, may have blocked me on Twitter, but his antics refuse to leave my timeline. The latest is a $100 million crypto offering called Lydian Coin, which is being supported by none other than Paris Hilton, fresh off her return from Burning Man.

Four notes on this thing:

  1. Top line: Lydian Coin is being offered by via Gravity4, the digital marketing company Chahal launched after being booted from RadiumOne. Per its white paper: "100% of the proceeds raised by the sale of Lydian tokens will be held by LydianCoin Pte. (in fiat currency or cryptocurrency, as financial, security, and other considerations may demand) as reserves against the cost of services to be performed for Lydian token holders upon negotiation of the token back to Lydian."
  2. What does that mean? Like many things with Chahal, this is a lot of sound signifying fairly little. In short, it appears that token buyers will (indirectly) purchase technologies and services from Gravity4 — something they could simply do with old-fashioned cash. The only apparent advantage for buyers is that they'll get advance access to "crypto-specific audience targeting" products that Gravity4 is supposedly creating although, if the tech is really effective, it's hard to imagine the company will refuse more traditional customers.
  3. But another way: Chahal knows Gravity4 has little chance of ever going public due to his personal history, so he's leveraging the ICO craze to bolster its balance sheet. And somehow Paris Hilton is on board, because of course she is.
  4. False advertising: HuffingtonPost, where Chahal regularly publishes, is hosting a Lydian-promoting press release that masquerades as a blog post. It notes that TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington "will be personally investing in the token sale," although Arrington told me last night that he has made no such decision.

Go deeper

2 mins ago - Podcasts

House antitrust chair talks USA vs. Google

The Justice Department filed a 63-page antitrust lawsuit against Google related to the tech giant's search and advertising business. This comes just weeks after the House subcommittee on antitrust issued its own scathing report on Google and other Big Tech companies, arguing they've become digital monopolies.

Axios Re:Cap talks with Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.), chair of the subcommittee on antitrust, about Google, the DOJ's lawsuit and Congress' next move.

14 mins ago - Economy & Business

Boeing research shows disinfectants kill coronavirus on airplanes

Electrostatic spraying of disinfectant. (Photo courtesy of Delta Air Lines)

Boeing and researchers at the University of Arizona say their experiment with a live virus on an unoccupied airplane proves that the cleaning methods currently used by airlines are effective in destroying the virus that causes COVID-19.

Why it matters: Deep cleaning aircraft between flights is one of many tactics the airline industry is using to try to restore public confidence in flying during the pandemic. The researchers say their study proves there is virtually no risk of transmission from touching objects including armrests, tray tables, overhead bins or lavatory handles on a plane.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill McConnell urges White House not to strike stimulus deal before election.
  2. Economy: Why the stimulus delay isn't a crisis (yet).
  3. Health: Studies show drop in COVID death rate — The next wave is gaining steam — The overwhelming aftershocks of the pandemic.
  4. Education: Schools haven't become hotspots — San Francisco public schools likely won't reopen before the end of the year.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!