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article imageKodak pictures itself as a cryptocurrency developer

By Ken Hanly     Jan 10, 2018 in Technology
Venerable camera maker Eastman Kodak (KODK) decided it would stay relevant by entering the cryptocurrency business. After the announcement, its stock price on Tuesday more than doubled.
KodakOne: managing image rights on a blockchain
Kodak is to team up with WENN Digital a blockchain developer and will launch a cryptocurrency and image licencing tool that the two companies claim will help photographers manage images and image rights.
The two companies will develop the KodakOne platform as a tool to allow photographers to "register and license their work using an encrypted, digital ledger. Users will also be able to accept payment for their work using a new cryptocurrency called KodakCoin."
Jeff Clarke CEO of Kodak said: "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."
Kodak sees the new platform as providing photographers with a new means of gaining revenue and protecting their work.
A recent article describes how the system will work: "With the help of blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create adigital ledger where ownership rights will be registered. Both professional and amateur photographers will be able to sell their work confidently on a platform and receive payment in KODAKCoins immediately upon sale. KODAKOne platform provides means of control in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the system."
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,”
Kodak to launch an ICO to raise funds for project
The new services are to be launched and funds raised by an initial coin offering(ICO) a format used by many crytpocoin startups.
New services will be launched via an ICO, on Jan. 31.
Announcement boosts stock price
Kodak's (KODK) stock has shed almost 70 percent of its value over the last year but by Tuesday afternoon its price had surged 135 percent to $7.32.
At the close on Wednesday, the price had risen even further to $10.70.
Investors appear to be paying little attention to warnings about the riskiness of buying cryptocurrencies or participating in ICOs. The SEC warned investors last December to exercise caution in investing in cryptocoins or ICOs.
Kodak trying to reinvent itself after bankruptcy
Kodak was once a leader in the camera industry, providing film cartridges and paper as well as cameras. Although it produced digital cameras, it did not thrive and eventually went bankrupt six years ago. When it emerged it focused on digital printing and packaging but was still struggling.
No doubt Kodak is embracing cryptocurrencies and the blockchain in part to show it is relevant in these times. It remains to be seen whether this will work but at least the KodakOne platform seems to be related to the company's core interests. Only time will tell whether Kodak will thrive because it has embraced the blockchain technology.
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