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Custos Media Technologies, a South African bitcoin blockchain-based startup that has developed the means to identify and track illegal file-sharing and pirates through the bitcoin blockchain, has received a new cash injection of over $400,000.

South African startup Custos Media Technologies, a company that uses the bitcoin blockchain to combat media piracy has reached an agreement with the Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) that will see funding of 5.9 million Rand (approx. $400,000) gained by the startup over the next two years.

A Bitcoin Reward for Downloaders?

The technology, seen as a unique way to combat media piracy, works by embedding a bitcoin bounty within a piece of a media. The watermark can then be tracked on the blockchain with the idea of recognizing and identifying infringements when the media leaves the original recipient or buyer of the media.

The watermark is an identifying code unique to each user purchasing the media. This code can be used to access a “finder’s fee”, a deposit in the form of cryptocurrency. If and when the content is shared or leaked, the third-party gains possession of the media can cash in the code, for the finder’s fee. At this point, an alert is triggered toward the content producer, who can then check the bitcoin blockchain ledger to discover the source of the leak.

As a nod to the technology and the idea, the Stellenbosch-based startup has already seen funding from the TIA in the past, to the tune of R500,000. The TIA, a government initiative set up by the South African government grants financial support through various funds for a variety of businesses and institutions, along with Small Medium Micro Sized Enterprises (SMMEs).


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Custos CEO G-J van Rooyen stated:

TIS has again shown their commitment to support early-stage technology business in South Africa. The funding agreement will allow Custos to accelerate product development, while simultaneously freeing up resources to spend on bringing the product to the widest possible market.

The newest cash injection follows a seed funding round in April 2016 where the blockchain-startup raised $265,000 from prolific industry investor Digital Currency Group (DCG) and a South African private investor. Prior to that, Custos raised an initial investment of R2,100,000 last year from Innovus Technology Transfer. Altogether, the company has, so far, raised some 12 million rand (over $800,000).

Speaking to CCN in the past, Custos chief operating officer Fred Lutz revealed that the South African company’s ultimate goal is to target Hollywood, to see major movie studios among its client list.

 Featured image from Shutterstock.

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Posted by Samburaj Das