One of the world’s foremost news sources, the British Broadcasting Company, recently reported that a Kodak-branded “Bitcoin miner” has been found to be a scam by critics and experts on the matter.
According to the BBC article, in January, a Kodak ‘KashMiner’ mysteriously appeared on Kodak’s official stand at the CES technology event held in Las Vegas. The appearance of the miner came amidst rumors that Kodak would be starting the so-called ‘KodakCoin’ cryptocurrency, which the camera manufacturer would implement into its services.
However, it was later revealed that the mining machine, which looks just like a rebranded ASIC (Bitmain ASIC), was actually the product of a firm named Spotlite USA, who licenses Kodak branding to put on its products.
At the CES event, Spotlite told the BBC that it planned to let people rent out the machines for an upfront fee of $3,400, and claimed for the product to make $375 every month for two years. If the advertised profits were achievable, they would total to $9,000 and would result in a $5,600 profit for the renters of the machine.
However, it quickly apparent that the advertised profits were unachievable, as it is near impossible for a cryptocurrency miner to maintain profits for 24 months consecutively. Despite blowback from critics, Spotlite’s chief executive Halston Mikali still stated that the firm will be going forward with installing hundreds of KashMiners in the New York State-based Kodak headquarters.
However, in an odd turn of events, a spokesperson from Kodak flat-out denied the existence of a license for the KashMiner and pointed out that KashMiners were not installed in the Kodak headquarters, stating:
While you saw units at CES from our licensee Spotlite, the KashMiner is not a Kodak brand licensed product. Units were not installed at our headquarters.
KashMiner Critics Speak Up
Many critics were quick to call the Kodak-associated ‘KashMiner’ as a “scam,” due to the questionable nature of the appearance and the unachievable profits.
David Gerard, a writer, and skeptic of the project called the scheme a “crypto-currency folly,” pointing out that the KashMiner website had not even been fully developed, resulting in an unprofessional looking webpage.
Saifedean Ammous, an economist with ties to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, addressed the miner, stating:
There is no way your magical Kodak miner will make the same $375 every month.
Ammous also stated that anyone who made an investment into a miner would have lost money on their investment.
Not only did third-party skeptics criticize the mining move, but so did one of the most influential regulatory bodies in the world, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the BBC, Spotlite’s Halston Mikali said that the SEC has put restrictions on the firm from moving forward with the project, possibly indicating that regulators saw it as a scam.
However, this has not deterred the Kodak licensee. with the firm stating that it still plans to privately run its mining operation in Iceland, instead of renting out the machine to consumers.