Kodak to launch cryptocurrency, stock pops 125%

Ivan Schwartz
January 10, 2018

While many new companies and startups are "clawing" their way to capital and success, some old "giants" such as Kodak are also on their way to disrupt their business models and hopefully, gain market share in their respective industries.

Eastman Kodak has gotten a lift after announcing an effort that uses the hot cryptocurrency technology to help photographers get paid.

The companies are launching blockchain technology with KodakOne and KodakCoin.

KodakOne, the rights management service, is created to allow photographers to track how their copyrighted images are being used on the internet.

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. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Before Tuesday's cryptocurrency announcement, the historic camera powerhouse's stock price had sunk more than 70% over the previous year.

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Kodak is a technology company focused on imaging.

Shares of Kodak skyrocketed on Tuesday after the company announced that it is set to enter the cryptocurrency market through a partnership with WENN Digital that will allow photographers to monetize their work in a new way. 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.

WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke said KodakCoin will be "subject to the highest standards of compliance" and 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".

The coin will come into being via an Initial Coin Offering or ICO on January 18 for accredited investors in Canada, the US and elsewhere, but shares in the company immediately shot up on the news.

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