Megaupload Back Online: Kim Dotcom Unveils Bitcoin-Powered Version of New Sharing Site
In the late-night hours of Sunday, April 2, pirate superstar Kim Dotcom unveiled a preview of the bitcoin-powered payment system behind his highly anticipated Megaupload 2 file sharing service.
The service, called Bitcache, allows content providers to set up bitcoin payments for their shared files. Offering both monetized content and enhanced privacy, Dotcom noted in a video demonstration on Twitter that users can name any price they want, while protecting their identity through the pseudonymity of bitcoin.
“A first look at encrypted anonymous content delivery with build-in [sic] Bitcoin payments. Private. Easy. Safe. Tidy.”
Dotcom announced Bitcache and Megaupload 2 in July 2016 as a followup to his iconic Megaupload service, a file sharing website where users could torrent digital content — which was oftentimes copyrighted.
Bitcache & Megaupload 2:
A first look at encrypted anonymous content delivery with build-in Bitcoin payments. Private. Easy. Safe. Tidy. pic.twitter.com/QHjU5pisGe
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) April 3, 2017
‘Megaupload and Bitcoin Had Sex,’ and Their Lovechild Is Bitcache
Touted as an improvement upon the original Megaupload, Dotcom teased his Twitter followers last July by hinting that bitcoin would be integrated with the new service.
“I can tell you that Megaupload and Bitcoin had sex,” Dotcom wrote. “There is a pregnancy and I have a feeling that the baby will be such a joy.”
The internet entrepreneur also promised greater privacy with Megaupload 2, tweeting: “Megaupload 2.0 will not host servers in the United States or use domains under US control. Avoiding the Mass Surveillance Empire.”
Later that year, Dotcom launched a bitcoin-only crowdfunding campaign for the project on Bnk to the Future. By the end of the funding round, on October 24, the project had raised over US $1 million from a total of 330 investors.
“Think [of Megaupload 2 as] Dropbox, but without the ability for Dropbox to read your files or hackers to steal them,” reads marketing material displayed on Megaupload 2’s Bnk to the Future page.
“We cannot read or steal [files] as they are encrypted end-to-end.”
Further explaining how the project achieves those levels of privacy, the fundraising page says that the platform uses blockchain-based storage services such as Storj and Maidsafe for file storage. Additionally, the service will use the custom-made Bitcache technology to enable the attachment of payments to each file.
Beyond Megaupload 2, Dotcom says that Bitcache will be available as a software-as-a-service product, so that any content platform can use it to add bitcoin payments.
Trouble in Pirate Paradise
Dotcom ran afoul of the US government in 2012 when a joint team of American agents and New Zealand police raided his New Zealand home. According to Fortune, “agents seized 18 luxury vehicles, 150 terabytes of data, [and] NZ $11 million in cash.”
In addition to the raid, the US Department of Justice seized and shut down Megaupload.
For the next three years, Dotcom fought against extradition to the US. If sent to the States, he will face charges of copyright infringement, racketeering, wire fraud, and money laundering. In December 2015, a New Zealand district court ruled that the US could extradite Dotcom, to which his lawyers responded with an immediate appeal. The case then went to New Zealand’s High Court, where Dotcom and his accomplices were deemed “eligible for extradition,” as reported by CNet in February 2017.
While the piracy giant awaits his fate, he continues to work on the new version of his infamous file sharing site. Deadset on making the platform as decentralized as possible, Dotcom seems determined to win the fight against content sharing this time around.
What do you think about the Bitcache and Megaupload 2 preview? Let us know in the comments below.
Image via Forbes