Eastman Kodak, the 130-year old company is diving into the cryptocurrency crazy, after announcing plans to launch its own digital coin meant for photographers.
The US company is best known for its photography related products, and is now focused more actively on printing and digital film after filing for bankruptcy, and subsequently recovering in 2013, after it sold most of its patents to companies Apple and Microsoft.
Its will now be using blockchain to create a new platform for digital photography with its own digital currency — which will, unsurprisingly, be called KodakCoin.
Back in the game
According to the company, KodakCoin will become a new economy for photographers to license their work and receive payments. It would underpin an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.
In the official announcement, Kodak reveals how KodakCoin will function as a medium of exchange on the platform. Users will be able to receive payments in the cryptocurrency, as well as pay for rights.
Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a 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. Kodak has always sought to democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”
The company is also creating a new site called KodakOne, which will become a hub of this new economy that will allow photographers to license their work and receive payment. Photographers will be able to license their work and get paid more quickly.
In addition to that, it will also search the internet for unauthorized use of the images.
Kodak plans to host an initial coin offering at the end of January, though it is now yet clear how much the company intends to seek through the ICO. That said, the company said that the token sale would be open to accredited investor from countries including the US and Canada.
Shares of Kodak jumped more than 37% Tuesday, after the announcement, going from $3.10 at open all the way up to $5.50 at the time of this writing.
Embracing the new phenomenon of digital currencies and blockchain has become a surefire and controversial for companies to remake their images. There are several examples where shares of firms doubled simply by adding the word Blockchain to their company name.
Kodak, meanwhile, looks to be working towards creating a new platform in partnership with Wenn Digital, and its experience in photography and brand recognition is almost certain to get the company a good, visible start in whatever endeavor it pursues that makes use of the blockchain technology.
This is the biggest ICO news of the year, alongside the Telegram initial coin offering.
They may be two of many others to come.