The KodakOne platform and its bespoke KodakCoin cryptocurrency seeks to provide photographers with a powerful revenue stream along with a platform for protecting their work with a digital rights management service. Before Tuesday's cryptocurrency announcement, the historic camera powerhouse's stock price had sunk more than 70% over the previous year.
The company's stock was trading $7.05 a share at press time, up $3.95, or 127.4%. But Kodak's new project, which involves a rights-management system for images and a related cryptocurrency, appears to be a serious effort to use a blockchain to solve a real problem.
The 130 year-old company said on Tuesday it has used blockchain, the technology underpinning popular digital currencies such as bitcoin, to create a new platform for digital photography with its own digital currency, called KodakCoin.
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Blockchain is a ledger where transactions of digital currencies, like bitcoin, are recorded.
The rights management service will continuously crawl the web to keep track of how images registered in its system are being used online.
Shares in iconic film company Eastman Kodak rose by 133 per cent on Tuesday as the company announced plans to put out a cryptocurrency built on blockchain technology that will help photographers share and licence their work in exchange for payment. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers. "These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that". Rich Cigars, a tobacco company, and Vapetek, an e-cigarette firm, each declared they were suddenly blockchain businesses.
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KODAKOne will be launching this week, and the KODAKCoin initial coin offering will be opening on January 31st, 2018.
Embracing the relatively new phenomenon of digital currencies and blockchain has become a sure-fire and controversial way for companies to remake their images - and boost their share prices.
"With KodakCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and, for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform", Kodak said.
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