Kodak's Stock Doubles After It Reveals Its Own Cryptocurrency, KodakCoin
Kodak is jumping on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.
FORBES, January 9, 2018 by Lauren Gensler
The storied camera company's stock jumped 130% on Tuesday after it said it was launching its own cryptocurrency and a platform that leverages blockchain.
The new currency will be called KODAKCoin, which the company said will empower photographers to take greater control over their images and the rights attached to them.
It's also launching an image rights management platform that leverages blockchain technology called KODAKOne, where photographers can register their work and license it to others.
“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,” said Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke.
He added: “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 is just the latest company to experiment with digital currencies. As the price of bitcoin has soared 1,300% in the course of the last year, many businesses have looked for a way to get in on the action in some way.
Long Island Iced Tea Corporation's stock skyrocketed last month when it said that it would shift its primary focus from beverages to the exploration of and investment in blockchain technology and change its name to Long Blockchain Corporation. A biotech company changed its name to Riot Blockchain and its stock quadrupled.
Many have raised concerns about the mania surrounding bitcoin, suggesting that the monster run-up in the currency has resulted in a bubble and that prices could come crashing down.
Kodak, which was founded in 1888 and put cameras in the hands of everyday Americans, has struggled to transform itself into a modern-day photography company. It filed for bankruptcy protection in 2012 and emerged the next year as a leaner company with a focus on commercial imaging. Yet, its stock has shed 80% since then. Its largest shareholder remains Blackstone's GSO Capital Partners, which helped to backstop the company during bankruptcy.
Kodak's initial coin offering will open on January 31.