With his extradition to the United States on charges of racketeering, money laundering, and criminal copyright violation looming (having recently concluded an appeal), Kim Dotcom appears optimistic about his business ventures.
The veteran entrepreneur whose endeavors have included one of the most successful file-sharing websites in history, Megaupload, and later the much more regulation-friendly Mega.co.nz as well as the halted Baboom music service, believes that Megaupload2 and Bitcache will not just be a success, but will also lead to serious price boosts of Bitcoin. In a recent tweet exchange, Dotcom told Andreas Lang:
MU2 and Bitcache will take #Bitcoin mainstream. I expect Bitcoin to hit the $2000 mark within 2 years.
Bitcache purports to be a blockchain-powered method of attaching Bitcoin microtransactions to file transfers. Other endeavors have sought to intertwine the two in the past, with last year’s release of Joystream, a torrent client which pays users for sharing files in an effort to stabilize the distribution of files. Joystream works by creating a market for consumer bandwidth. Conversely, Bitcache will underpin the second version of Megaupload. The general purpose of Bitcache will be to attach a value to every file download as well as protect user privacy through encryption.
Megaupload made file sharing possible for those who had trouble making use of torrent applications for various reasons. Various internet service providers around the world interrupt torrent traffic, but since Megaupload transactions took place over the HTTP protocol, they would have worked in many cases. Dotcom seems to believe that Bitcache will provide a similar mainstream appeal for Bitcoin. Users downloading files through the service will become familiar with Bitcoin in that they will apparently need to acquire it to activate downloads.
Dotcom has been alluding to his ability to boost Bitcoin for quite some time. Last February, CCN reported on Dotcom saying that Mega, his encrypted file-sharing service which overtly protects user privacy but is more receptive to takedown notices, would “give Bitcoin a boost.” This statement came on the heels of various payment processors choosing not to work with Mega.
Going “mainstream” has long been a subject of much speculation and innovation in the Bitcoin space, with numerous efforts aimed at it. Arguably the most successful efforts have been the likes of Coinbase and Bitpay, who’ve both made it easier to acquire Bitcoin and for businesses to accept it. As a financial instrument, Bitcoin’s viability has largely been proven, and plenty of investors have been able to profit from its rises and falls in value. But providing utility for everyday people remains a largely unexplored possibility.
For months, Dotcom has been alluding to the marriage of Bitcoin and file transfer technology. In one tweet, he jokingly said the two “had sex.”
I can tell you that Megaupload and Bitcoin had sex. There is a pregnancy and I have a feeling that the baby will be such a joy.
The ability of retail usages of Bitcoin actually increasing its value has been the subject of debate. In one sense, it seems inevitable. If a major retailer were to offer discounts for the use of Bitcoin, then many people would go out of their way to pay in Bitcoin, which would involve the acquisition of the currency, which would in general lead to sell orders rising in price. However, there is a chance with Dotcom’s bullishness that he is overestimating the actual reach of a new Megaupload service, which will in concert with Bitcache apparently be funded by Max Keiser‘s Bank to the Future project. After all, numerous users of the original were targeted in scams and some of the more up-and-up users suffered data loss.
Time will tell if Bitcache and the second rendition of Megaupload actually gain any traction or make for a spike in the Bitcoin price. In the meantime, Dotcom may have serious legal ramifications to deal with in the United States, including potential prison time. While his own government was willing to even return some of his assets during the legal proceedings, the US government prosecutes computer crimes and copyright violations with a globally rare vitriol, perhaps fomented by the extreme influence of lobbyists from the entertainment industry.
Featured image from Wikimedia.