A Blockchain startup DotPlay claims that they have developed an algorithm that can dramatically reduce the size of digital files. If its technology is legit, it would help reduce the size of files 10,000 times – from 2GB to 20KB.
DotPlay asserts that it uses blockchain for two things: To control view rights to content and to run its compression algorithm which can purportedly compress any digital file to a fraction of its original size.
“Play can actually take every type of data and reduce it to a fragment of its size.” CEO and Co-founder of DotPlay, Shai Shitrit said. “For example, whenever you choose to take a video and convert it to the Play file format, let’s say that video weighs 2GB, after you convert it into the DotPlay file format it will be reduced into something like 20KB.”
For those who have seen HBO's hit series Silicon Valley, this seems like a real-world Pied Piper.
Certainly, DotPlay proposes its technology can reduce files’ size by a factor of 10,000. Popular file compression software 7Zip can reduce files to about a third of their original size – on a good day. Shitrit claims that DotPlay’s algorithm is functional and working today. DotPlay demonstrates the program to Neu-Ner, taking the trailer for the latest Incredibles movie – a 90MB file – and compressing it to just 472 bytes in 10 seconds.
Coder Udi Wertheimer took to Twitter to explain the problem.
1/ In @cryptomanran's latest episode, he and his viewers are being scammed by a group of blockchain-based liars, raising $50m in an ICO to use the blockchain to compress video files.
They show how they "compress" a 2 minute clip to a 472 byte file.
That's impossible. Here's why. pic.twitter.com/uaVJO1FlGX
— Udi Wertheimer 🔨 [#reckless] (@udiWertheimer) September 19, 2018
DotPlay has yet to launch its website, where perhaps it would also have a white paper that outlines how its technology functions. The startup says on its LinkedIn page that the compressed files it produces will be 75 to 95 percent smaller than their sources. It then goes on to suggest its software also supports a function to retain data “remotely.”
“Due to the way Play was designed, the binaries it produces are much smaller in comparison to their sources. A Play file that stores its data locally will weigh [from 75% to 95%] less than its source, while a Play file that retains its data remotely will usually have a predetermined file size of 40KB [to] 200KB. ”
While DotPlay’s system is not yet live, the demonstration shows an interface similar to that of WeTransfer, a popular, web-based file sharing service. It’s not clear what the remote function does, but the writing strongly suggests that by compressing a file on the DotPlay system, you are actually creating a shortcut to the original file that includes the user-defined data access rights.
Simply put, you are sending a small piece of code which could allow the recipient to access the original file via the DotPlay “shortcut”. The original file remains uncompressed and stored locally on your own computer. This is fundamentally different from compressing a file to a fraction of its original size.