Not one to be left behind, Kodak recently announced their decision to hop on the cryptocurrency bandwagon with their own currency for photographers: KodakCoin. It’s not as hokey as it sounds, we promise.
It’s easy to make fun of Kodak, the Blockbuster of film companies, for buying into the cryptocurrency world, but their motive isn’t as bizarre as it first appears.
KodakCoin is actually a virtual token that will be used on Kodak’s new photographer platform, KodakOne. The idea behind the platform is that photographers can register their work and monetize any cases of copyright infringement, all through the KodakCoin system.
KodakCoin itself is based in the same foundation as Ethereum, and the KodakOne platform uses the same blockchain technology that we’ve come to expect when dealing with cryptocurrency.
As far as KodakOne goes, most of the authentication process is autonomous. Once photographers have uploaded their work and records of fair use, KodakOne searches for instances of unauthorized uploads and then requests payment from the uploader. The payment is processed in KodakCoin, and photographers are left with 60 percent of the resulting currency while Kodak and Wenn Digital share the other 40 percent.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this whole affair is the effect that merely announcing KodakCoin had on Kodak’s stock. After revealing KodakOne and the accompanying KodakCoin at CES on Tuesday, Kodak’s stock hit a high point that more than doubled their previous stock value. This goes to show how infatuated our culture is with cryptocurrency at this point, but it also raises some questions about Kodak’s true motives: is KodakCoin a legitimate enterprise, or a Hail Mary pass?
Kodak’s official stance on the matter is that their move into cryptocurrency represents their initial business goal: to provide photographers with a stable, supportive platform that places their needs and concerns above those of similar venues. On the other hand, sources virtually everywhere have been quick to skewer Kodak for what appears to be an obvious bid for relevancy in an era unsuited for the dinosaur of a company.
There’s no telling where KodakCoin will take the aging company, so for now, these speculations will have to do. KodakCoin goes public on January 31st of this year.