Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom
Photo by Simon Watts/Getty Images
By David Meyer
August 28, 2017

Kim Dotcom, the file-sharing entrepreneur who is currently fighting extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. on copyright violation charges, has provided a glimpse of the new payments platform he says will make it easier to reward creators for their work.

Dotcom first talked about his Bitcache micropayments platform a year ago, when he said the bitcoin-connected system could provide a new business model for file-sharing—this would involve those who upload copyrighted media being able to charge downloaders small amounts. However, on the weekend he showed off how the platform could be used.

In a YouTube video, Dotcom showed how YouTube creators could embed a bar at the bottom of their videos, encouraging their viewers to give them very small amounts of money through their Bitcache accounts.

The German-Finnish entrepreneur tweeted Saturday that YouTubers with over 500,000 subscribers could contact him for a “beta partnership.” A few days previously, he said he would be conducting an initial coin offering (ICO) to fund the system’s infrastructure. ICOs are a trendy way to raise capital, giving people tokens in place of shares—these tokens are commonly virtual coins, similar to bitcoins.

Bitcoin itself is not naturally well-suited to micropayments, as it already suffers congestion in its blockchain ledger system due to the number of transactions that are taking place at any given moment. This congestion means it takes a long time for individual transactions to be verified.

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Dotcom has previously said that Bitcache will make it easier for people to make bitcoin micropayments, and it seems he intends to address the scaling problem by converting bitcoins into and out of a new token, specific to his platform, called “bits.”

Dotcom is a highly controversial figure. The New Zealand high court ruled in February that his extradition to the U.S. can go ahead. If extradited, he will find himself facing multiple copyright and money-laundering charges, connected with his notorious Megaupload website.

However, the high court also said on Friday that the New Zealand intelligence services’ surveillance of Dotcom—which led to a dramatic raid on his mansion—had been illegal. Dotcom’s lawyers say this revelation calls his extradition into doubt.

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