Kodak’s Stock Price Doubled

Following an announcement that the historically influential photography company will launch a new blockchain product, Kodak shares more than doubled in price on Tuesday. Kodak is the latest company to revive interest in itself and see its shares surge after making an announcement related to blockchain technology, which is behind cryptocurrencies including bitcoin and ether.
Steven Sasson
Kodak says it will use a blockchain, the technology behind bitcoin, to track the online use of photos licensed through its system.

Kodak’s new project, which involves a rights-management system for images and a related cryptocurrency, appears to be a serious effort to use blockchain technology to solve a real problem. Kodak wants photographers to register their photos with its new blockchain platform, designed to track down unlicensed images so the photographers can get paid for their work. The system is designed to allow photographers to track the use of their copyrighted images on the internet.

Kodak says its service will continuously crawl the web to keep track of uses of images registered in its system. When it comes across unlicensed uses, the service will help photographers get paid for their work. Tracking the ownership of artistic works traded and used online could end up being one of the main uses for blockchains in the real world.It can be difficult for collectors to verify the authenticity of a piece of art, especially those bought online, and for artists to restrict the use of their works or ensure payment for their use.

Kodak’s image-rights project, which it developed in partnership with the blockchain-development company Wenn Digital, will use a new cryptocurrency called KodakCoin. When photographers license their images through KodakOne, they will be paid in KodakCoin, which they can then exchange for dollars.

KodakCoin will go on sale January 31 via a fundraising technique called an initial coin offering, through which the company will sell a set number of coins.

A beta version of KodakOne will launch in Q4 2018, and a full commercial version will go live in Q2 2019.