Kodak-branded cryptocurrency mining scheme collapses under a cloud

The Kodak Kashminer turns out not to be a Kodak-licensed product at all. Nor will the controversial cryptocurrency mining rental go ahead…

The old adage of if it looks too good to be true, it probably is, has come to pass again. This time, it’s in relation to the Kodak Kashminer, a product that debuted at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show back in January.

The idea – and it caused quite a stir, and a jolt in share price at first – was people could rent one of the machines, for around £2500, and it would apparently powerfully mine Bitcoin. As per the BBC, around 80 machines were already claimed to be in operation around the time of the Kashminer’s announcement. The carrot for customers was that they could keep a slice of any Bitcoins they mined, a sizeable incentive given that the currency was just shy of $20,000 in value around the time (it’s now bubbling just north of $6000).

Kodak, for its part, has been licensing its brand name to lots of projects. But as it turns out, the Kashminer wasn’t one of them. The company has confirmed that it never officially lent its name to the product. And yet originally, Spotlite USA claimed it had, with its demo unit heavily Kodak-branded. It’s taken some time for Kodak to distance itself, though.

Critics, though, had quickly claimed that the profits Spotlite was claiming were available – around $375 a month – were actually pie in the sky (and it’s generally accepted that months later, mining Bitcoin is more difficult and less lucrative). And now the US Securities and Exchanve Commission (SEC) has stepped in to stop the project going ahead.

Spotlite USA still intends to run the equipment, but privately. They will no longer be rented out. Kodak’s name does remain involved with other crypto projects.

Image: BBC