What’s Next for Kodak? Cryptocurrencies
Once upon a time, Eastman Kodak was riding high, becoming nearly synonymous with both film and photography. Unfortunately the new millennium has not been kind to the company, leading Kodak to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012. However, as displayed at the recent Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the company has a new comeback strategy: blockchain.
Kodak says it plans to launch a new digital currency called KodakCoin. This coin will actually be part of a new platform known as KodakOne, which aims to help photographers manage their digital use rights using blockchain. As Kodak’s site explains, “The KodakOne image rights management platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform.” Royalties from this platform will then be paid in KodakCoin, with the company saying, “KodakCoin allows participating photographers to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform.”
But that’s not all; Kodak apparently has another crypto trick up its sleeve. According to CNBC, Kodak’s CES booth was also displaying a Bitcoin mining machine it intends to lease out. Dubbed the “KashMiner,” the device was created by Spotlite who is licensing the Kodak name. The plan is to lease each machine for two years at a price of $3,400 plus half the profits made from mining coin. By Kodak’s estimates, the machine will result in a $375 per month ($9,000 over the two years) profit for users. However, that figure is being criticized by many due to the volatility of Bitcoin, the increase in mining, and several other factors. Despite these concerns, Kodak’s stock price has more than tripled since announcing KodakOne, KodakCoin, and the KashMiner at CES.
With few details to speak of just yet, it’s hard to say whether KodakCoin and KodakOne will be as successful as investors seem to expect. That said the application of blockchain technology in this case is quite interesting and coupling that with a cryptocurrency makes a lot of sense. As for the KashMiner, its prospects don’t seem as promising. Still, seeing a seemingly down and out company like Kodak set to rebound on the back of cryptocurrency and blockchain just shows how these technologies are making a major impact in the mainstream.