2018 is only 10 days old, but thanks to Kodak we’ve already reached peak 2018. Kodak, in partnership with the blockchain development company, WENN Digital, is set to launch its own cryptocurrency and blockchain-powered platform, KODAKCoin and KODAKOne.
The blockchain platform, KODAKOne, will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archived images that they can then license within the platform.
Photographers can then take part in a “new economy for photography” and using KODAKCoins will be able to receive payment for licensing their work or to sell their work “confidently on a secure blockchain platform”.
“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,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke.
“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.”
Can’t wait for Blockbuster to launch a cryptocurrency pic.twitter.com/E91Se9MJZM
— Seth Fiegerman (@sfiegerman) January 9, 2018
Kodak has been accused of jumping onto the cryptocurrency bandwagon, and if that’s the case then it’s certainly working.
At the time of writing, Kodak’s share price stood at $6.80, which represents a 117% gain.
However, beyond associating itself with an in-vogue technology it’s not clear why Kodak needs a cryptocurrency.
Describing the the companies’ reasons for creating a crytocurrency WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke said: “Engaging with a new platform, it is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin.”
“Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”
In an interview with the BBC, author of Attack of the 50ft Blockchain, David Gerard, also cast doubt on whether using a blockchain platform could really do what Kodak claim.
“Storing the information in a blockchain doesn’t protect your copyright any more than copyright law already does,” said Gerard.
However, given the success Kodak’s crypto offerings are experiencing perhaps it won’t be too long until we see more major brands releasing their own tokens and currencies.
Kodak’s initial coin offering will open on January 31, 2018 and is open to accredited investors from the US, UK, Canada and other select countries.