Traditional business models have been upended by the advent of the internet. It began with telecom, then music distribution, then photo printing and as internet penetration got deeper – journalism, movie distribution, taxis, hotels, IOT and the list goes on. Today, business models that are based on blockchain especially cryptocurrencies threaten the traditional banking sector and challenge the control that the state has over its currency.
The storyline of how the new business model (NBM) took over the traditional business models (TBM) has been eerily similar.
- The TBM mocks the NBM
- The rapid adoption of the NBMs threatens the TBMs
- TBM tries to use legal pressure to shut down the NBMs
- TBM uses political pressure to curb NBMs
- TBM portrays NBMs as tax evaders, job robbers and a menace to society to try to win over public opinion
- TBMs tries to get the NBMs users under some legal statute
- TBMs starts to change their business models to be more like that of the NBMs
One such story is that of the Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom. In 2012, Kim was arrested from his house in New Zealand in a military style raid. There was an unnecessarily excessive use of force even though his wife was 7 months pregnant with twins at the time and there were 3 children in the house – a fact that the police was well aware of before storming the house. Kim settled with the New Zealand police over the excessive use of force and is now suing the New Zealand government for the “multi-billion dollar damages”. .
Megaupload was one of the first cloud companies that allowed the sharing of content that was too large to be sent via email. However, the website gained popularity as a site to download pirated movies. This use case threatened Hollywood profits and that coupled with Kim’s audacious lifestyle made him a prime target to take down.
But was Kim as innocent as he claims to be? Or was he as devious as the NZ police, the movie industry and the FBI (yes, they were involved too!) made him out to be?
Kim participated in a tell-all documentary to reveal how he went overnight from an internet entrepreneur to a criminal fighting against his extradition to the US in New Zealand courts.
a trailer to the documentary
After seeing this documentary, I strongly believe that a similar fate is in store for the crypto currency entrepreneurs & users. It shouldn’t be a wonder then why the Bitcoin founder did not want to reveal his identity.
The full documentary is available on iTunes