Kim Dotcom took to Twitter, where he has the eyes of some half a million people, to explain that there was a snag in the recent planned launch of Bitcache and Megaupload2, the Bitcoin enhancement layer (allowing for tiny, automated transactions) and the incentivized file sharing platform that intends to use it.
Announcement regarding Bitcache and Megaupload 2.0 – The reasons why the 5th anniversary didn’t go as planned. pic.twitter.com/UKFaozXfUO
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 24, 2017
According to Dotcom, the firm attempted to merge with a Canadian company that had valued them at $100 million and would have provided another $12 million. However, “complexities” resulted when the firm demanded “intrusive” information from Bitcache. Dotcom did not go into specifics, and there are a lot of Canadian financial firms to guess about. Assuming no dishonesty on the part of Kim Dotcom, that firm will likely come to its own defense in the coming days.
Supporters and Investors Disappointed
Dotcom felt the backlash quickly. Within minutes, the replies began to roll in. Here are just a few examples:
@KimDotcom Yep, keep delaying everything you work on and pretend people don’t notice. What happened to MegaNet?
— Gavrilo Končar (@mrkoncar) January 24, 2017
@KimDotcom all you have to do is combining 2 open source technologies that are already there. How bad did you fail finding coders with 1m$¿?
— HeadCRasher (@HeadCRasher) January 24, 2017
— UKBrexit (@brexit_uk) January 24, 2017
The mood of most of the tweets in response is represented above. Conversations around Bitcoin also sprang up, with one person wondering how Kim Dotcom had failed to comment on the recent Bitcoin “crash.” Most analysts would consider a 20% loss to be a crash on a normal stock, but with something as volatile as Bitcoin, it’s unlikely that anyone was overly surprised. A market is only as fickle as the people participating in it. Effectively, these slips tend to amount to those with a mind to hold the coins long term having a chance to get them at a discount.
Breathing Room for Competing Platforms?
The delays Dotcom outlined have more implications than just to investors, supporters, and detractors of Dotcom, Megaupload2, or Bitcache. They also have a secondary effect of giving competitors a chance to not make similar mistakes.
In the past couple of weeks, Storj, a decentralized file storage platform which could perform some of the same functions as Megaupload2 and Bitcache. According to their Whitepaper, Storj is also currency agnostic. The initial design assumes the use of Storjcoin, but any currency could be used on the platform, including Bitcoin directly. It’s not a huge leap for Storj or one its competitors to implement the features that Kim Dotcom has so publicly divulged. See CCN’s previous coverage of Storj.
Erstwhile, the Lightning Network nears a stable state of development every day, having recently released a working example. Building on top of Lightning, one purpose of Dotcom’s system could be implemented by Mozilla or Google themselves – enable content providers to replace advertising with micropayment systems without requiring user personal details or subscriptions. This is to say that further delays from Kim Dotcom could mute his entire project into the annals of vaporware.
Connecting the Dots
Last month, a New Zealand judge gave the go-ahead for Kim Dotcom to be extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright infringement related to one of his big enterprises, Megaupload, an easy-to-use file sharing platform that was often (though not exclusively) used by content pirates. About a month later, Dotcom makes this announcement. Perhaps the other party in the deal became wary on the realization that a chief member of its partner organization could be in prison within the year. This is only speculation, of course.
Image from Wikimedia.