Wait a Second: SEC Stops Murky Kodak-Linked Crypto Miner
Spotlite USA, the company that marketed the Kodak-branded bitcoin KashMiner, has officially shelved the crypto project owing to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s interdiction to terminate the scheme. The move is the latest in the SEC’s increasingly authoritative role in America’s nook of the cryptoverse.
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Kodak KashMiner — a Scam Since Its Inception?
In January 2018, Spotlite promoted a bitcoin mining machine dubbed Kodak KashMiner — licensed under the storied Kodak brand — at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The initial plan of Spotlite was to allow people to rent a KashMiner for two years upon an inaugural payment of $3,400 USD, then further splitting all resulting proceeds equally with Spotlite. The company claimed that the mining scheme could generate a return of $375 each month over the course of 48 months. To lure investors, Spotlite CEO Halston Mikail envisaged stationing hundreds of KashMiners at Kodak headquarters.
However, Mikali has confirmed with the BBC that the SEC has stopped the crypto mining scheme from actualizing. He didn’t cite why specifically. Kodak itself has since denied ever having miners stationed at its headquarters and has said the “KashMiner [was] not a Kodak brand licensed product.”
KODAKOne chimed in on Twitter, saying its crypto token project was totally unrelated to the KashMiner and that a “big update” was nigh.
We are not related in any way and completely separate companies and projects. There is no connection whatsoever. We are sending out a big update soon.
— KODAKOne (@KodakOne) July 17, 2018
Interestingly, Spotlite’s Mikali went on to say Spotlite’s mining operations would turn inward, insofar as they would shift their formerly public-facing operations to Iceland and begin mining there for themselves. The Nordic island nation Iceland has become a hotspot for crypto mining ventures due to its abundant, and cost-effective, renewable energy infrastructure.
As Spotlite seemingly licks its wounds then, longtime critics of the now-nixed scheme have sounded off, saying they saw such a development coming and that the math never added up.
— Janine (@J9Roem) July 17, 2018
The revelation of the KashMiner at CES back in January did increase Kodak’s share price, which ultimately benefited stakeholders. Yet now the camera company is suggesting Spotlite’s miner efforts were not sanctioned to be promoted under the brand name, regardless of the KashMiner being exhibited at the Kodak booth in CES.
Certainly, the entire matter seems to be murky as it prompts doubts on whether the KashMiner was a publicity stunt to shoot up stock prices — something the SEC has openly been looking at in recent weeks.
Accordingly, Bitcoin economist Saifedean Ammous tweeted out in response:
Reminder that you heard it here first. In retrospect, it's not clear whether the miners were the scam, or if the real scam was in using the story of the non-existent miners to pump the stock price for insiders to dump. Stock analysts' input welcomehttps://t.co/ChxPdWr8sQ
— Saifedean Ammous (@saifedean) July 17, 2018
KodakCoin Unrelated, Still On
Meanwhile, Kodak’s plan to launch its own crypto dubbed KodakCoin, aimed to enhance licensing photographs and itself unrelated to the KashMiner, is still live.
However, doubts remain about this play as well — particularly regarding whether it’s one of those projects that might be best served without going the blockchain route.
It’s a thread to keep an eye on in the months ahead, particularly in light of the KashMiner fallout.
Are you surprised by this development? Let us know your views in the comments section below.
Images via Gizmodo, UConn Today