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The crypto world is full of odd and bizarre stories, but every once in a while you still find yourself scratching your head in utter bewilderment, as it is the case with “KashMiner” – a supposedly Kodak-branded Bitcoin mining equipment.
If you walked next to the official stand of Kodak at the CES annual trade show all the way back in January, you probably noticed a little piece of interesting tech equipment with the Kodak brand labeled on it: “Kodak KashMiner – POWERFUL BITCOIN MINER.” Spotlite USA, the company behind this product – which licensed the Kodak brand – flaunted that for a $3,400 renting fee (again, renting) in advance, customers could earn a nice sum of $375 a month for two years (or $9,000 in total). But just as some of the agents of the Russian government found out, it’s not really that easy to make profits by mining Bitcoin.
A plentiful of prominent crypto-savvy folks pointed out that the finances behind this scheme just don’t add up… for instance:
There is no way your magical Kodak miner will make the same $375 every month, unless Bitcoin mining difficulty stays the same. It is currently increasing at around 15% a month, so mining output should drop around 15% a month, too. Good luck to everyone who bought this deal! pic.twitter.com/0xA2HNtHFc
— Saifedean Ammous (@saifedean) January 10, 2018
Kodak is selling a Bitcoin miner where you pay for a two year contract and “make a profit”. (*at current prices, Kodak gets half of all bitcoin you produce.) This is the dumbest shit I’ve ever seen at CES. pic.twitter.com/rbzECVEMn7
— Chris Hoffman (@chrisbhoffman) January 9, 2018
And most of all (it is recommended to read all of David Gerard’s 7 parts of research):
Kodak-branded cryptocurrency folly: the Kodak KashMiner, a foray into Bitcoin cloud mining scams.
Yet, in spite of the criticism, Spotlite CEO Halston Mikail doubled down and asserted that the company intends to install the KashMiner devices at the headquarters of Kodak in New York (!) in order to maximize the profits due to cheaper electricity in the locale. Moreover, Mikail added that there had already been eighty operational devices on-site – yippee!
Don’t be shocked, but it didn’t work as planned… or at all really.
Kodak denied that this eerie venture was never actually licensed and that the eighty operational devices on-site are not really operational and not really on-site. And who was to blame according to Mr. Mikail? The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that didn’t allow this dubious enterprise to move forward. That’s right, this wasn’t the fault of an unsubstantial profit claims; this wasn’t the fault of a doubtfully-working product; and this certainly wasn’t the fault of the CEO, said the CEO. Let’s blame the SEC, because blaming the SEC is… kinda easy. Mikail also alleged that the company now altered its business model (fine, let’s call it a “business model”) and instead of renting the KashMiner devices to customers, the company would keep its operations private in Iceland. Boo hoo.
This story again shows how the crypto world can be perceived as alluring and tempting because it’s still full of so much uncertainty; but not everything that is uncertain is also lucrative. And there are people who would sometimes exploit others’ attraction to the unknown and the mysterious by trying to target exactly those sentiments of mystical enticement.
Yup, still scratching my head in utter bewilderment…