The controversial entrepreneur Kim Dotcom said last month that he was preparing to relaunch Megaupload, the file-sharing site that U.S. and New Zealand authorities dramatically shut down in 2012, with bitcoins being involved in some way.
Now we know more. Dotcom, a German-Finnish man living in New Zealand and currently fighting extradition to the U.S. over copyright-infringement charges, tweeted Friday that the transfers taking place over Megaupload would be linked to very small bitcoin transactions.
This system will be called Bitcache and Dotcom claimed its launch would send the bitcoin price soaring way above its current $575 value.
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The launch of Megaupload 2.0 will take place on Jan. 20, 2017, he said, urging people to “buy bitcoin while cheap, like right now, trust me.” Bitcoin’s value fell sharply this week after a $72 million theft from the Hong Kong exchange Bitfinex, though it subsequently bounced back to a degree.
Crucially, Dotcom said the Bitcache system would overcome bitcoin’s scaling problems. “It eliminates all blockchain limitations,” he claimed.
Bitcoins are “mined” by computers that are racing one another to confirm the transactions taking place over the bitcoin network. Whichever miner first completes the validation of the latest “block” of transactions and adds it to the blockchain (the shared transaction ledger) gets a reward in the form of newly created bitcoins.
The problem is, the bitcoin system has a hard limit for the size of these blocks—they can’t be bigger than one megabyte. That’s effectively a limit on the number of transactions the bitcoin network can handle, and it’s one thing that’s stopping bitcoin from being useful for high-volume micropayments.
In theory, bitcoin could be “forked” to create a new version that doesn’t have this block-size limit, but the new version’s adoption would rely on widespread consensus across the bitcoin world.
So if Kim Dotcom really has solved this scaling problem using bitcoin as it currently exists, that’s a pretty big deal.
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Dotcom said Megaupload 2.0 would also be available as a “white label” service that lets people use their own web domains for their “cloud sharing needs.”