Palantir Denies Ownership of ‘Quantum’ Bitcoin Mining Service

Stan Higgins
May 12, 2016 at 20:17 UTC
Updated May 17, 2016 at 19:20 UTC
NEWS

Earlier this week, a press release for a Hong Kong-based company called CoinFac began circulating a plan to “introduce the next generation quantum computing technology into cryptocurrency mining”.

The pitch promised big processing speed increases thanks to the claimed technology advances, and visitors to the CoinFac website are quickly directed to a series of cloud mining contract options. Though the website shows that contracts costing 50 BTC and 100 BTC annually are “sold out”, the site is still selling contracts costing 1 BTC and 5 BTC, respectively.

But at least one claim in the press release appears to be false.

CoinFac stated that it was owned by Palantir Technologies, a secretive data analysis software company co-founded in 2004 by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel that originally drew funding from a CIA-connected venture fund.

The release stated:

“CoinFac Limited, a technology company established 2016 in Hong Kong is owned by Palantir Technologies Incorporation, a private American software and services company, specializing in data analysis and technological software research. Founded in 2004, Palantir’s is currently the top 30 most valuable companies in Silicon Valley with a valuation of $15 Billion USD reported in 2015.”

Yet Palantir is denying involvement with the firm. In an email to CoinDesk, Palantir representative Matt Long said that CoinFac’s claim is inaccurate.

“Palantir has no affiliation,” Long told CoinDesk.

This relationship is further claimed on the CoinFac site’s “About Us” page, which even includes a picture of Thiel. The page also details the firm’s founder, a man listed as Michael Howzeris, who is said to have held positions at major tech firms like Google, Intel and Oracle.

Yet, attempts to confirm this information via public search only result in links to the CoinFac page.

The release also claims that the firm is “in close talk [sic]” with Google, Microsoft and NASA, the US agency devoted to space exploration.

In a statement, a representative for NASA also denied any involvement.

“NASA has not been in any discussions whatsoever with any cryptocurrency companies regarding the possible integration of quantum computing into their existing products and platform,” spokesperson Kimberly Williams told CoinDesk.

CoinFac did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Image via Shutterstock

This piece has been updated.

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