In Brief

Kodak’s bitcoin mining scheme collapses

Photography giant says the subscription service was never officially licensed

The technology company behind Kodak’s cryptocurrency mining scheme has confirmed that the project has collapsed. 

Spotlite USA had demonstrated Kodak-branded computers capable of solving complex algorithms to unlock the bitcoin virtual currency at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January.

The company hoped to rent the computers, called Kodak KashMiners, to cryptocurrency miners for a fee of $3,400 (£2,600) for a 24-month period. 

Considering cryptocurrency ranking site CoinGecko valued bitcoin’s price at around $15,000 (£11,000) in January, significantly lower than today’s high of $6,500 (£5,000), Spotlite claimed users could earn up to $375 (£280) per month. 

However, the digital currency news site CryptoGlobe says the “rapidly-changing” landscape of bitcoin mining, with new tech leading to drastic shifts in profitability, may have turned investors away from the project. 

Bitcoin expert Saifedean Ammous called the subscription plan a “scam”, as Spotlite USA and Kodak reportedly failed to acknowledge that the cryptocurrency is finite and becomes harder to mine as more coins are unlocked. 

However, Spotlite chief executive Halston Mikail told the BBC that the US Securities and Exchange Commission had prevented the subscription service from going ahead.

But despite breaking its ties with Kodak on this particular project, Mikail confirmed that Spotlite will launch the cryptocurrency scheme privately using computers based in Iceland.

Kodak, meanwhile, told the broadcaster that the product was never officially licensed. 

“The KashMiner is not a Kodak brand licensed product. Units were not installed at our headquarters,” the photography giant said. 

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