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Headphones maker Monster files for $300 million ICO

The former maker of Beats headphones wants to develop an Ethereum-based e-commerce platform.

Jack Taylor / Getty Images

Monster Products, the former maker of Beats headphones, is hoping to boost its coffers with an initial coin offering.

The company, which now focuses on high-end audio cables, aims to raise $300 million with the sale of Monster Money Tokens, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week. The San Francisco-based company plans to use the proceeds to develop an e-commerce platform based on the Ethereum blockchain it calls the Monster Money Network.

"We intend to utilize the blockchain technology to our marketing, accounting and audit, internal control and shipping management functions," the company said in its filing. "We believe the blockchain innovation will bring disruptive advancement to our e-commerce and business operation systems."

The company said consumers on the network will be able to use either Monster tokens or fiat currencies to buy its products and services.

The audio equipment maker's revenue stream took a hit when Taiwanese phone maker HTC acquired a 51 percent stake in the Beats by Dr. Dre line of headphones in 2011. Apple then bought the company in 2014 for $3.2 billion.

ICOs -- the sale of the digital assets central to the cryptocurrency technology -- topped $4 billion last year, according to data provider Autonomous Research, despite warnings of fraud and risk. SEC Chairman Jay Clayton warned investors last year that cryptocurrency and ICOs hold substantially less investor protection than traditional securities markets, creating an environment ripe for scams and market manipulation. He urged investors to weigh those risks before making an investment.

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