Controversial entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has announced his mysterious MegaNet venture will become a reality early next year, vouching to raise US$100 million in funding.
A Twitter update by Dotcom states that MegaNet, which combines the internet with the unalterable record-keeping capabilities of the blockchain, will be open to crowdfunding from January 20, 2016 – four years since the paramilitary raid on his home by the New Zealand police.
MegaNet details will be revealed and equity will be available via crowd funding on 20 Jan 2016, the fourth anniversary of the raid. #Disrupt— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 10, 2015
The German multimillionaire, who has also announced the completion of a US$40 million funding round for his extant filesharing service MEGA, has been outspoken on issues of mass surveillance and freedom of information online. His once-omnipresent filesharing network Megaupload.com, from whose remains MEGA was created, was previously shut down by authorities.
MegaNet, a network which is thought will run without IP addresses, would facilitate complete user privacy and be completely decentralized, with Dotcom further tweeting that he “would raise $100 million” in funding.
I have successfully raised $40m for Mega. Giving 20 million users 50GB of free & encrypted cloud storage. I will raise $100m for #MegaNet.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) June 10, 2015
Dotcom had already given vague outlines of MegaNet’s premise on Twitter, writing in February that the network would mean that “[a]ll your mobile phones become an encrypted network.”
#MegaNet is non-IP based. No more DDoS or hacking. No more censorship. No more spying. All your mobile phones become an encrypted network.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 16, 2015
Nonetheless, commentators regularly point out the difficulty in seeing the success of the project, given the wealth of competition in the space. Services such as MaidSafe, for example, are already involved in decentralized network use propagation.
“[W]e already have an open internet and the deep web as well. No need for this I believe,” a response to Dotcom’s recent tweet reads.
@KimDotcom we already have an open internet and the deep web as well. No need for this I believe— SniperPranks (@SniperPranks) June 10, 2015
Nonetheless, given the enormous success of Dotcom’s current operations including MEGA, the serial disruptor appears hardly lacking in enthusiasm. Much earlier in the idea’s conception in January 2014, Dotcom told Max Keiser that the technology behind MegaNet could even “change the world.”
His multiyear international legal battle resulting from the site’s continued presence has seen Dotcom’s funds frozen, albeit with apparent rifts between judicial decisions within the case’s jurisdictions, the US and New Zealand.