Published: Wed, January 10, 2018
Markets | By Rosalie Gross

Kodak Launches Cryptocurrency, Stock Soars

Kodak Launches Cryptocurrency, Stock Soars

The former will be a photo-centric cryptocurrency, and the latter will be an image rights management platform.

Kodak will use a blockchain, which is the technology behind bitcoin, to track the online use of photographs licensed through its system.

Share value in Kodak popped on the news, climbing almost 120 percent to $6.80 as of writing. Kodak was a Dow Jones Industrials .DJI component until April 2004, and its stock has slumped 90 percent since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2013.

Kodak's CEO says the move is less about joining bitcoin and other companies in a trending field and more about helping those in the photography industry take control of their work.

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The companies are launching blockchain technology with KodakOne and KodakCoin. The platform will also continually scan the web to monitor and protect the artist's IP and assist them in dealing with illegal use of their work.

The film pioneer founded over a century ago has struggled to transform itself into an imaging software and technology company. Further, WENN Digital leverages the market position of its 30-year old subsidiary WENN Media, which works with approximately 2,500 professional photographers.

In partnership with Wenn Digital, Kodak on Tuesday announced the launch of the KodakOne image rights management platform and KodakCoin, a photo-centric cryptocurrency created to "empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management". The site sells some works of art for more than $100,000, and it depends on its blockchain to collect payment and to offer a record of ownership.

"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", Wenn Digital CEO Jan Denecke said in the statement. Their ICO will begin on January 31, 2018, and is open to accredited investors from the U.S., U.K., Canada and other select countries.

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