In early 2014 when I started on the BackBit concept I didn’t think in 3 years nobody would have had any real large scale success with using Bitcoin as a digital delivery platform, this goes to show how tough a nut this is to crack and whilst throwing off legacy thinking is one thing it’s now blindingly apparent that legacy money is required to gain any kind of traction in delivering on such a huge concept.
So where are we now? Well 2017 arrived and so far it does look like Kim Dotcom and his team are finally going to take the concept and deliver something with huge potential, in this analysis I’ll be looking at how ideas have changed, the near misses, and how we got to where we are.
My work in 2014 had outlined what was required, but as shown by the efforts I’m about to discuss, putting the pieces together and coming out the other end is an incredibly tough ask, one that Watchmybit went close with…
Until a few months ago I had never even heard of “Watchmybit” I got an email out of the blue from a nice chap called Mike pointing me at the interview on TheAnarchast, “Watchmybit” looked and clearly worked great but alas the project has already gone into hibernation by the time I was even aware of it! It’s a shame and further highlights just how difficult it is to attract interest and get the message out there even with an already functional platform.
In my opinion however despite clearly working, Watchmybit made significant mistakes that I’ve talked about on this site for years that stunted long term viability as platform, it’s as if they copied the blueprints from BackBit, but decided to immediately impose a legacy fee structure akin to Visa/Mastercard. Putting in “toll booths” to make a quick buck is counter-intuitive as I have written about extensively on this site, most recently here. Bitcoin is a disruptive technology specialising in dis-intermediation, if you insist upon putting in “toll booths” you mess with the purity of Bitcoin, unless you’re offering a genuine layer of value appreciated by users, you will be dis-intermediated.
Megaupload2 and Bitcache could be the duo to finally fit the pieces of the puzzle together, there’s no doubting that the platform launch has significant advantages with funding and exposure far eclipsing anything that has come before it, and whilst not technically being “first mover” with other products and concepts (and I include my work in this) not having any real meaningful exposure, it leaves Megaupload2 with the beneficial effects of “first mover advantage”
Kim and his team stand a good chance of getting the product out there and a meaningful uptake of early adopters, this is where it’s important to learn the lessons above and ensure there are no additional barriers to entry in the forms of fee structures without added value. The environment has shifted also, giants in the space youtube are now taking censorship to new levels, Hollywood seemingly want to come down with the maximum of force on anything it considers a micro infringement of its intellectual property, these both leave new opportunities for Kim to offer a viable alternative.
Megaupload2 is actually already late to launch, and that’s a good thing, whilst I’m sure it was frustrating for all involved to decide on postponing it was absolutely correct to give the product time to mature and to accomplish items envisioned on the roadmap, a lacklustre release would deter many but thankfully as the above video demonstrates it’s already looking slick, and with many months of development to go,
Kim and his team look like they’re going about things the right way so far and the decision to go open source should be welcomed by all as a huge further step in the right direction, anyone can make the same mistakes I’ve talked about on this site but the noises so far sound positive, the remainder of 2017 should be interesting.
Full disclosure, I did buy shares in MU2, but a trivial amount as I don’t have much BTC or fiat!