Kodak just launched its own KodakCoin, a cryptocurrency for photographers. As soon as the news was announced, Kodak’s stock (KODK) jumped up, and as of this writing, its stock price is $5.02, a 60 percent gain. The initial coin offering (ICO) of the currency named KODAKCoin will open at the end of the month.
KodakCoins will work as tokens inside the new blockchain-powered KodakOne rights management platform. The platform will supposedly create a digital ledger of rights ownership that photographers can use to register and license new and old work. Both the platform and cryptocurrency are supposed to “empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management,” according to the press release. The digital currency is meant to create a new economy for photographers to receive payment and sell work on a secure platform.
Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a press statement, “For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who’ve long struggled to assert control over their work and how it’s used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem.”
But while Kodak’s proposed blockchain-powered platform and virtual coin sound good on paper, it’s not clear why the photography company needs to use blockchain to achieve its goals, rather than just create another social media platform instead. It appears that Kodak, like the other tea and vape companies that received media attention last month for making the abrupt leap to the blockchain, could just be trying to capitalize on the current cryptocurrency mania.
KodakCoin’s initial coin offering opens on January 31st, under SEC guidelines as a security token, and it’s open to US, UK, Canadian, and other investors.
Kodak has decided to launch a cryptocurrency, especially for photographers. The currency which will be launched in partnership with Wenn Digital will be part of KODAKOne—an image rights management platform which is a joint project between these two firms.
The tokens will be open to accredited investors from the US, UK, Canada and other select countries. “This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506(c) as an exempt offering,” the company added. However, it is not clear how much Kodak seeks through this ICO.
Kodak and Wenn Digital expect KODAKOne platform to “create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform,” utilizing the blockchain technology. The blockchain is the technology which powers digital currencies like bitcoin and many others.
“For many in the tech industry, ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ are hot buzzwords, but for photographers who have long struggled to assert control over their work and how it is used, these buzzwords are the keys to solving what felt like an unsolvable problem,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke.
Using KODAKCoin, photographers will be able to trade the rights of the photograph in a “secure” way. Additionally, the KODAKOne platform will provide “continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system,” the company said.