A crypto platform promoted by Kim Dotcom as a revolution in how online content creators and sharers would be paid is now facing liquidation over unpaid bills.
The Megaupload founder originally came from Germany, but is now a New Zealand citizen living in Glenorchy. He is still fighting extradition to the US on fraud charges.
Back in 2016 and 2017 Dotcom talked up the prospects of Bitcache in a series of tweets and, alongside upload platform K.im, attracted almost US$5 million from 332 investors through investment platform Bnk To The Future.
The software-as-a-subscription technology would have allowed for Bitcoin micro-transactions to pay for internet services and content.
Dotcom said at the time Bitcache would be the preferred option for online transactions by 2022.
The company’s pitch to investors said because of his ongoing disputes with the US Government over Megaupload, Dotcom would not own or be involved in the day-to-day running of the company and instead would act as its “evangelist”.
The chief evangelist is, however, listed as a former director of the business, a role he held between July 28, 2016 and January 19, 2017.
Auckland lawyer Phil Creagh was a Bitcache director until September 2020. He applied to have the company liquidated on May 24, with a hearing expected to take place in mid-July.
Creagh would only address the basics of the liquidation when contacted by Newsroom. “It’s pretty straightforward, there are fees owed and not paid. The company has not taken any steps so far to avoid being placed in liquidation.”
“We’ll put it in liquidation and see what, if anything, can be recovered.”
He said he and his law firm Anderson Creagh Lai had stopped acting for Bitcache some time ago.
The business hit its first major speedbump in early 2017. It’s original launch date was set for January 21 that year, the fifth anniversary of the day in 2012 when a heavily-armed anti-terrorism squad raided Dotcom’s $30 million mansion in Coatesville, Auckland on behalf of the FBI, which was carrying out a worldwide operation targeting the hugely-popular file-sharing website Megaupload.
Less than two hours before the platform was due to launch, Dotcom tweeted “Sorry but there has been an expected hiccup. Will tell you all about it later today. Let this play out and give me some time to update you.’”
Despite more claims made by Dotcom, including the prospect of a beta release in August 2017, and a tweet saying it had found the right technology on which to operate, as of 2023 the company and its technology doesn’t appear to have progressed much further.
It hasn’t filed a return to the Companies Office since 2021 and is facing removal from the Companies Register.
K.im, the filesharing platform being developed to run on the Bitcache technology, dropped off the internet at some point this year.
Since May 21, the sole Bitcache director has been Auckland man Mark Hubble, also the director of workforce business Radius Recruitment.
Radius specialised in bringing workers into New Zealand from the Phillipines and was at the centre of a high-profile case involving a bingo hall being converted into unfit, $200-a-week accommodation for migrant workers.