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Bitcoin bounty hunters: Stellenbosch tech firm cracks down on content pirates

Bitcoin bounty hunters: Stellenbosch tech firm cracks down on content pirates

JOHANNESBURG — Long before the Bitcoin hype began to bite in recent months, a Stellenbosch outfit called Custos was already looking at how to tap the so-called ‘Blockchain’ to catch out content pirates. Custos essentially quietly deposits Bitcoin into digital files of new film or ebook releases. The deposited Bitcoin then gives  ‘bounty hunters’ a unique way of anonymously earning the cryptocurrency by unlocking the coins if a movie or ebook finds its way onto a content piracy platform or website. It’s an interesting business model that highlights how the underlying Blockchain technologies of cryptocurrencies could actually have the potential to disrupt an entire set of industries across the globe. What’s more interesting is that it is South Africans who are starting to lead the way in this regard as well. - Gareth van Zyl

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