Forget famous names like Dropbox and Rapidshare. They've been eclipsed, at least temporarily as measured by the rate of sign ups, by Mega, the new cloud storage brain child of Kim Dotcom. Check out this graphic he tweeted, January 22, claiming that Mega, "is now the biggest .co.nz site in the world!"
Launched this January by the founder of Megaupload, a site shut down by the FBI for allegedly storying pirated material, the new site features an important difference: files are encrypted by the user so that, if seized, cannot be viewed without the encryption key. Mega can't get into the files either. Only the user knows. This functionality is accessible to developers through its API, using HTTP calls and JSON responses.
Mega is stampeding, as Jon Martindale at zeropaid.com writes,
"If the launch day signups and traffic were something to shout home about, after the surge of media attention that Mega garnered over the next few days from sites like ourselves, it only got stronger and now we’re at a stage where Mega has almost broken into the top 100 sites in the world. Its overall 3 month rank is still in the low thousands, but if you look at the daily results, you’ll see that Mega.co.nz now sits at 141st."
Kim Dotcom leads a life that's larger than life: when Megaupload was shutdown in January of last year, his home was also raided, as reported by "thegift73" in techfleece
"Since the raid, the US and NZ governments have faced embarrassment from all angles. The actual raid was found to be illegal by Judge Winkelmann, the copying and exporting of data to the US was also deemed illegal (due to the fact the warrants were illegal), the spying by New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB ) on a NZ resident was also illegal. Then the Prime Minister of New Zealand made a public apology to Dotcom for the illegal spying on him and his family. It also cast New Zealand in a very bad light as being a puppet of the US."
Is Mega really a threat to rivals? Not so fast, argues "Zerp" in a perceptive comment on the zeropaid article quoted earlier,
"This is retarded. You need to look at a) revenue b) deployed infrastructure c)ongoing use and growth. a traffic spike in the first week of a start up doesn't tell anyone anything."
That may be true. Even with half a million users signed up in the first 14 hours, according to Dotcom in his speech on the launch of Mega, it's early days. But consider this formula. He has an ability to get the word out (front cover of Wired, November 2012 and apparently a topic of discussion between New Zealand's prime minister and President Barack Obama ). He's good at creating strong start-ups. And the hot issue of Internet privacy is the cornerstone of his political argument. With these ingredients, Mega is guaranteed to be a great show.