LONDON -- Kim Dotcom, the man synonymous with the file-sharing service Megaupload, has a new project in the works: a distributed, decentralized alternative Internet called MegaNet. The network will use the processing power of idle smartphones to create a network separate from the open web and presumably outside the reach of copyright laws, which have dogged the internet entrepreneur for years.
Dotcom is wanted in the United States on charges of copyright infringement relating to the now defunct Megaupload, so he spoke via Skype from his home in New Zealand -- where he is facing extradition hearings -- to the Sydney, Australia-based startup conference SydStart.
“If you install the Meganet app on your smartphone in the future, what you allow Meganet to do is to use your smartphone when it is idle, to use the processing power of your smartphone,” Dotcom said according to Business Insider, adding that "if you have 100 million smartphones that have the MegaNet app installed, we'll have more online storage capacity, bandwidth and calculating power than the top 10 largest websites in the world combined."
The eccentric Internet celebrity first teased MegaNet in a tweet back in February; in June, he said that full details of MegaNet would be revealed on Jan. 20, 2016, which is the fourth anniversary of the raid by the New Zealand police on Dotcom's mansion. He added that equity would be made available in MegaNet via a crowdfunding campaign.
How would you like a new Internet that can't be controlled, censored or destroyed by Governments or Corporations? I'm working on it #MegaNet
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) February 16, 2015
Dotcom, who has become a voice for Internet privacy in recent years, said that he had invented a new -- better -- version of the blockchain technology that powers bitcoin. The blockchain is a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions and requires no centralized clearinghouse such as a bank -- or in the Internet world -- no servers through which all traffic travels.
Dotcom says that MegaNet will have no IP addresses that are currently used to identify all Internet users and promised very strong encryption with "systems that will not be reverse engineered or cracked by any supercomputer," according to a report from Mashable.
Dotcom was keen to play down the speed at which he thought this technology might be adopted, saying it could take a decade before mass connectivity occurs on MegaNet. That said, he also believes the service could rack up 100 million users in its first year.