Kodak is an iconic brand that is synonymous with photography itself. They’ve produced some of the best films preferred by the best photographers over the world. But after the digital era kicked off, we’ve seen Kodak to continuously decline. The 130-year old company, however, announced Tuesday that it is going to use blockchain technology in order to provide photographers with its own digital currency called KodakCoin.
KodakOne is a website considered to be the new economy for photographers. This allows them to license their work and receive payments. Kodak Coins will serve as tokens in this platform. According to a press release, Kodak mentioned that the purpose of the digital currency is to “empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management”.
Right after the announcement, Kodak’s shares have doubled last Tuesday. It closed at $6.8 last Tuesday. In addition to this, Kodak was also trading 5.8 percent higher in the after-market.
Combining Old and New Technology
Blockchain technology makes use of its online ledger that tracks transactions. Since it doesn’t need third parties to confirm transactions, it has emerged an area of interest by different companies including banks and financial institutions. And since this technology has the ability to provide an alternative and secure payment option, companies such as Kodak is now looking to embrace its potential benefits.
In fact, Kodak isn’t the only company that has adopted Blockchain technology. Blockchain technology has been able to increase public interest, especially for struggling companies. Listia, for instance, a peer-to-peer marketplace for exchange goods has been able to raise $11 million and amass 10 million registered users in 2009. However, in the past year, cutting its marketing budget and experiencing slower growth, the company has explored the use of blockchain tech.
Listia made their very own cryptocurrency called Listia Credits wherein people can trade and buy goods on their platform using the digital currency.
Over the last months, we’ve seen publicly traded companies selling shares for a very cheap price experience a sudden spike in their value just by adding blockchain and Bitcoin into their name.
Could You Be Holding a Worthless Currency?
Is it a possibility that you are holding a worthless currency? In fact, this isn’t far from reality. Cryptocurrencies are volatile and it also lacks legal protection. Both startups and investors could be holding a worthless digital currency in the end. However, many ICOs today have raised funds using this type of scheme.
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of cryptocurrency and payments company Ripple, mentioned that “If you have a business and a business model and you’re trying to figure out how to put a token in it, that’s the wrong way to think about it”.
He also added that “If there is a usefulness of a token and it has utility, then people are going to demand a usage for that. But don’t retrofit your business to try to offer a token to raise capital because the traditional capital markets are not interested in what you are doing”.
Is this the right move for Kodak? Are photographers even going to find a use to their cryptocurrency?