Eastman Kodak more than doubled its stock price on Tuesday following an announcement that the longstanding imaging company was wading into the crypto world. Kodak announced it will team with WENN Digital, a blockchain developer, to launch their blockchain technology and an imaging licensing tool they believe will help photographers and related agencies to manage their image rights.
Photographers will use the KodakOne platform to register and license their work via a smart contract on the blockchain, while users will be paid using their new KodakCoin cryptocurrency. Company CEO Jeff Clarke noted that while cryptocurrency and blockchain were buzzwords in the tech industry, photographers have struggled to assert control over their work. Now, the blockchain technology will give the photographic community a state-of-the-art way to license their artistic productions without fear of IP infringements.
Kodak was founded in 1880 and is a pioneer in film-based technology. Its new services will be launched through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), through which most cryptocurrency startups are raising funds on January 31, 2018. As cryptocurrency prices soar, many other companies are joining the gravy train. For instance, Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s share price surged over 200% following an announcement that the beverage company would focus on the blockchain technology and change its name to Long Blockchain Corp.
Kodak, together with WENN digital are planning to launch KODAKCoin and their smart-contract enabled blockchain ledger, KODAKOne as an image rights platform. The vision is to build a global image rights ownership ledger.
According to Kodak, amateur and professional photographers may join the program and get paid for their work in KODAKCoin upon the sale of their digital images. Accepting the inevitability of this technology is a step in the advancement of a company that was once synonymous with camera equipment, paper, and cartridges, which entered bankruptcy six years ago before reinventing itself with digital printing and packaging.
Kodak is embracing blockchain and cryptocurrencies to reinvent its image. Will it last? Investors seem to think so, given the surge in Kodak’s stock prices. Kodak’s cryptocurrency is already pre-selling ahead of its Initial Coin Offering with Global Blockchain Technologies announcing it has invested $2 million in KODAKCoin. The company subscribed for the entire 8 million Kodak Coins that were made available in the first Pre ICO stage while the second pre ICO staged opened yesterday January 10, 2018.
Kodak is ahead of the trend with KODAKCoin. Other big businesses getting into the blockchain include Walmart and IBM. In trying to modernize and improve on Food safety and tracking, Walmart is teaming up with Tsinghua University, IBM and J.com to create Blockchain Food Safety Alliance. Researcher Yongli Yu of jd.com believes that by global traceability leaders partnering, their leading brands and customer will enjoy unparalleled accountability at an age where customers are inquiring about the source of their food. He said JD, Walmart, and their partners are developing a blockchain model that will allow access to critical information about food management and its supply chain.
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