Kodak the U.S. technology firm has officially announced to launch its own cryptocurrency. KODAKCoin is a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” intended to intend to be used as payment for photographs. The idea is that photographers could use Kodak’s forthcoming blockchain to register works, with “KODAKCoin” functioning as a medium of exchange on the platform. Users can receive payment in the cryptocurrency as well as pay for rights, according to the company.
In an official announcement, Kodak said the cryptocurrency would underpin “an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers.” Kodak is working with a company called WENN Digital on the initiative.
According to the company, both amateur and professional photographers will be able to sign up to the scheme, which will handle the licensing side for them and will subsequently lead to users being paid in KODAKCoin ‘immediately upon sale’.
Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a statement:
“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. 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.”
The initial token sale will start from Jan. 31 – will be open to accredited investors from countries including the U.S. and Canada. “This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering,” Kodak said.
However, with this announcement, the company rose as much as 90% Wednesday, giving it a valuation of $565 million. That represented a gain of roughly $431 million or 321%.