On April 9th, Thor Token announced that it is closing its doors. The announcement followed several days of speculation after Thor locked its Telegram to comments and allegedly offered a former employee the company and its 50 million tokens for US$10,000.
At approximately 5:30pm (UTC-5) on April 9th, the Thor website was updated to show only a post that has since switched back and forth in attribution between CTO Matt Moravec and CEO David Chin. Currently attributed to Chin, the post states that “We are incredibly proud of the groundbreaking work the Thor team accomplished – delivering useful and accessible products for 1099 gig economy companies. Unfortunately, we did not achieve the commercial success we were looking for.”
The post goes on to cite “regulatory challenges” as a key hurdle that prevented the company from achieving its goals. It also claims Thor had been working behind the scenes to raise further capital “to face the lack of sales or [find] the company a new home where our technology could benefit from more resources.”
Following the layoff of 50% of its staff in order to “correct cash flow” two months earlier, the company stated it had signed three agreements that “represent over 8,500 contractors” and that it had “a pipeline of over $1.8 million dollars of Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) that we will be closing in sales deals over the next year.”
Despite these claims, Thor has been unable to sustain its operations. “Ultimately, it has become clear that the only course of action for Thor is to shutter [sic] its doors,” the closing announcement said.
Concerns began to rise within the Thor community when former chief designer Matthew Lawler posted a series of videos criticizing the team following the staff layoffs on February 5th. In his videos, Lawler claimed that Thor had “an intention to abandon crypto and abandon the THOR token so that they can go sell a business payments platform to businesses.”
Director of legal and business development for Thor, Ben Lambert, responded to Lawler’s comments on the Thor Telegram channel stating: “There are fundamental differences between how we envision driving token value and what Matthew believes is the best path forward. For us, we value long-term growth and sustainability. For Matthew, he would like to utilize the THOR token immediately without weighing the legal/regulatory impact. For obvious reasons, I do not agree. We have never been a company that takes regulatory short cuts and we won’t start now to satisfy the wants of one team member.”
Aphelion, the only exchange to trade THOR tokens, delisted THOR shortly after with CEO Ian Holtz stating: “Our understanding is that they have abandoned the token, if that changes so can their listing status.”
In the weeks following Thor placed emphasis on its onboarding efforts and regulatory compliance, however, community tensions increased on Friday, April 5th when the Thor Telegram was locked for comments.
A community run Telegram channel was quickly established where supporters of the project expressed their concerns about the future of Thor.
Concerns deepened as allegations surfaced that Chin and Moravec had offered to sell Lawler the Thor company and its 50 million THOR tokens for US$10,000 that same day.
Screenshots began to circulate of an alleged conversation between Moravec and a community member, depicting Moravec calling Thor a “failed project” due to a “lack of sales,” and questions began being asked of Thor’s connection to Permian Capital Management, a digital asset hedge fund, of which Chin and Moravec were claimed to be founders.
On Monday, April 9th, the @goThorTech Twitter account was deleted.
Following the Twitter closure, NEO News Today contacted Moravec and Chin for comment. The questions sent were addressed publicly in the Thor closing announcement. The responses are published in full below:
We’d like to respond to a few rumors swirling throughout the community. Dean Jeffs, NEO News Today, summarized the rumors in an email.
With the Telegram locked to comments, the @goThorTech Twitter closed (current time 2:21pm (GMT-5), and claims that the company offered its THOR Tokens to Matthew Lawler in exchange for $10,000, the community is anxious about Thor’s future. What is the current status of the Thor project?
We have been exploring multiple options for Thor. We would like the project to continue in the hands of the right person and/or entity. Unfortunately we have not been able to find the right fit for an acquisition at this time.
Is it true the company offered Matthew Lawler THOR tokens in exchange for $10,000? What was the strategy behind this?
Matt Lawler was someone that reached out to us about an acquisition months prior. His response has been to harass and insult community and team members.
If true, does this mean the company will not be moving forward with THOR token integration into Odin or any other products?
Thor will be ceasing operations in the near future given no other funding or acquisition offers are found.
What is the connection between Thor Technologies, Inc and Permian Capital Management, LLC? Were any Thor company funds used to set up Permian Capital?
In the U.S. companies are not allowed to exchange tokens for cash needed to run operations and pay employees. Permian was the vehicle Thor used to exchange U.S. dollars for the funds raised, and all at no cost to Thor. Permian Capital existed many months before Thor was ever created, thus Thor never used funds to setup Permian Capital. Our accounting is reviewed by a leading firm in San Francisco. Using Thor’s money to setup Permian would never be legal or allowed by members of Thor.
There is a screenshot circulating where you allegedly private messaged a community member on Twitter and called Thor a “Failed project” due to a “lack of sales.” The screenshot also says that you claim the “Gig economy didn’t need the solutions that were talked about in the whitepaper.” Is this screenshot authentic, and if so, do you have anything to add to these comments?
Companies’ hesitation and doubts of cryptocurrency had a major effect on sales and adoption. Thor was not able to gain traction and achieve commercial success, and will be shutting its doors.
Lawler disputes the claims that he offered to acquire the Thor company, telling NEO News Today, “I never made any offers to acquire the company, that’s for god-damn sure.”
“It was absolutely clear that they wanted to essentially give me the company, at any price, while they walked away to build ‘Odin 1099’.”
Thor had pitched itself as a solution for workers in the Gig economy that would allow them affordable access to retirement planning and healthcare, whilst making it easier to receive payments.
Odin, which was first introduced in September 2018, was described as “the first blockchain-ready payments portal of its kind” enabling companies to “easily manage and track all outbound payments to their contractors, saving countless hours of unnecessary and tedious backend work.” It was intended to be used either as a stand-alone product or alongside Thor’s other core products.
During operations, Thor had established a partnership with US-based payment services provider, Dwolla, to facilitate the Thor payment network on the fiat/USD side of Odin. It had also onboarded Yoshi, a GM and ExxonMobil backed nationwide car care service, as a customer, and partnered with M Group Health to offer independent health insurance plans. Thor was never able to provide the group health plans it originally intended.
On June 30th, 2018 Thor also released the beta version of its mobile app on the iOS and Android store, allowing users to purchase Thor merchandise with THOR tokens as a test in the “sending and receiving of digital credits.”
Thor’s token sale ended on April 6th, 2018, raising 26,727 NEO, 4,296 GAS, and 1,819 ETH, approximately US$1.9 million at the time. 7,069,224 THOR tokens were distributed, with 50,000,000 remaining in the company hands, and 42,930,776 tokens burnt.
Former staff members who were laid off in February, Ben Lambert, and director of communications Reggie Clodfelter have joined the community Telegram channel to answer questions about Thor operations. Both maintain that Thor was a legitimate startup that had a working product at the time of their firing, but ultimately run out of funds before the company could achieve all of its goals.
Some members within the community have indicated plans to file a complaint against Thor with the SEC.
The open community Telegram channel can be found at: