International Awards and Media Coverage, Without Delivering an App

Kent Dahlgren
3 min readJan 1, 2023


In 2017 Bitnation received an award previously given to Twitter, Spotify, and Siri, which is massive considering that at the time; the company didn’t even have an app.

The UNESCO NetExplo Award (article)

And without having delivered an app, Bitnation received massive media attention from BBC, Forbes, Russia Today (RT), The Economist, The Telegraph, Bloomberg, International Business Times (IBT), TEDx, The Guardian, WSJ, Business Insider, Le Figaro, Tech Crunch, Huffington Post, Vice, CNN, New Statesman, The Atlantic, Independent, Wired, and others.

I was their CTO for a year (2017–2018), after being originally hired as an AI designer, and my small, newly-staffed software team developed and released the long-promised app (“Pangea”) after just four months, enabling the company to run a fundraising round, and almost immediately afterwards: employees stopped being paid.

Roadmap presentation from 2018

With insolvency blamed on “the crypto winter” by a CEO that was in Portugal shopping for tile for her oceanside Brazilian estate (source: her own public Facebook posts), the company’s employees departed as she alternated between accusing other executives for malfeasance (including myself), and lecturing everyone for not understanding sacrifice. 🙄

(She maintained flats in Amsterdam, Paris, and a walled estate in Brazil, so investors and employees began to suspect the worst).

In the parlance of the crypto industry: it’s perceived that she “rugged” her investors, and six years later, Bitnation has become … a crypto news site.

“The bitnation domain name was acquired via auction in August 2022. We are not affiliated with Pangea Arbitration Token (XPAT) or the previous Bitnation team. Please direct all inquiries regarding XPAT to the previous owners.”

for every season turn turn turn

For my part, and having spent almost 30 years in the domain of product development, I find it fascinating that a woman that all but names herself an asset of the intelligence community (in an opt-ed article in the New York Times) was able to garner prestigious awards and massive international media coverage in recognition of delivering: no actual app. 🤔

I’ve worked for Fortune 1000 (Tektronix and Xerox) as well as various highly-prestigious software engineering companies (Tripwire, Tenable, etc), and in my experience a firm has to pay for a heck of a lot of PR influence AND deliver a product to earn even a fraction of the coverage that Bitnation received.

And yet…the same engineering team responsible for delivering the app departed (n 2018), restructured, delivered and continues delivering stepwise improvements upon its own “governance” app for over four years….with zero media interest.

It paints a picture of how the media works, you know?

Or rather: it appears there are some who are granted something like a hall pass that affords them media coverage that could never be purchased, not even with the actual product that’s presumably of interest, implying an overlap between the media and the intelligence community which erodes perceived media credibility.

And finally, the following video represents the current state of our app (circa November 2022), which is now a third-generation software rewrite from our codebase as it existed in 2018, not a single line of which is related to the original Bitnation “Pangea” code, (which was released under MIT licensing).



Kent Dahlgren

Product management fix-it guy. World-famous people skills. Extremely small hands. (edit) marketing lady says I’m also supposed to say “CEO of software company”