Kodak-Branded Crypto Miner-for-Rent Scheme Fizzles Out
The Kodak-branded KashMiner crypto mining project will not launch, following scam accusations, licensing issues, and action from regulators
Spotlite USA is one of many firms that licenses the Kodak brand to put on its own products, such as Kodak LED Lighting. Spotlite USA presented the Kodak-labelled KashMiner on Kodak's official stand at the CES technology show in Las Vegas in January.
According to Spotlite’s plans, the mining equipment was originally intended to be rented out, with an up-front fee of about $3,400. Customers could then keep a share of mined cryptocurrency. According to Spotlite, the initial fee of $3,400 would result in $375 per month over two years through mining Bitcoin.
While Spotlite's chief executive Halston Mikail had announced plans to install units at Kodak’s Rochester, New York headquarters, Kodak told BBC that the scheme was never officially licensed.
"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."
The rental scheme was criticized by many as a scam that misled customers about promised profits. Economist Saifedean Ammous said, "There is no way your magical Kodak miner will make the same $375 every month." Many critics also suggested that the scheme did not take into account the fact that Bitcoin mining is becoming more complicated.
Mikail told the BBC that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) prevented Spotlite from moving ahead with the miner rental plan. He added that the firm will now privately deploy its mining equipment in Iceland, instead of offering it for rent.
On Jan. 9, Kodak announced plans to launch its own cryptocurrency on the KodakOne platform. KodakOne will allow photographers to register their work, license photographs, and search the internet for unauthorized usage. On Jan. 30, just a day before the initial coin offering (ICO) was set to start, Kodak delayed the launch of the new cryptocurrency, citing the need to evaluate the status of potential investors.