A Bitcoin mining scheme working under the Kodak brand has ceased operations, while Kodak has told the BBC it never officially licensed the project.
The Kodak KashMiner was launched in January this year and featured on the official Kodak stand during the CES technology show in Las Vegas. Critics accused the scheme of advertising unachievable profits and misleading information from the start, labeling the venture a scam.
Spotlite USA is the company behind the KashMiner and is one of several companies that are legally licensed to use the Kodak brand on its own products.
The business plan offered in January detailed a scheme that would allow people to rent the machines at an upfront fee of approximately USD 3,400, with the miners allowed to keep the Bitcoins they were rewarded.
During this time, Spotlite’s chief executive Halston Mikail claimed 80 devices were already in functional operation, with future plans to install hundreds of hardware units at the official Kodak headquarters in New York that benefits from its own on-site power plant.
However, a spokesperson for Kodak informed the BBC that not only had this not occurred in the New York office, but Kodak had never officially licensed the KashMiner specifically.
Mikail confirmed that the US Securities and Exchange Commission was responsible for canceling the operation and said instead that Spotlite would use the equipment at a private mining farm in Iceland.
After paying the upfront costs to rent the hardware, Spotlite advertised monthly earnings of USD 375 months for the following two years. Those familiar with the logistics of Bitcoin mining found this figure to be problematic.
Accusations against Spotlite claimed that its internal analysis did not take into account the increasing difficulty of the mining process. Economist Saifedean Ammous was among the vocal skeptics, who pointed out there was no way the KashMiner could produce exactly USD 375 each month.
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