Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have been exploding in recent months. Bitcoin’s price soared to over $20,000 in December, while other alt-coins rose in price and pushed the global cryptocurrency market cap over $750 billion.
I had a draft post in the hopper for Photography Bay a week and a half ago titled “How Blockchain Technology Could Affect Photography.” I have been digging into cryptocurrency and blockchain for a while now and was thinking forward about a licensing and ownership tracking method for photographs, along with a payment method for photographers. (There are over 1,000 crytpocurrencies in existence today across a wide range of industries and use cases.) Here sits the post in my trash file from when I put it there 9 days ago:
I kept hacking at the posted and ended up trashing it because I thought I was reaching too far and maybe it wasn’t all that relevant as a concept. As it turns out, Kodak was way ahead of me and I would’ve looked like a Nostradamus had I published that post a few days ago.
Kodak is officially moving into the crypto market with today’s announcement of the KODAKCoin, which is “a photo-centric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”
Cryptocurrencies are built on blockchain technology, which provides a secure and encrypted ledger of the transactions that occur on it. Alongside the KODAKCoin, Kodak is launching the KODAKOne platform to “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.”
The KODAKOne platform can be used to sell and license photos, while photographers can use the KODAKCoin for payment. According the Kodak, the KODAKOne platform will provide “continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system.” The detection of unlicensed images online can easily be verified from the blockchain transactions.
So, there are two things happening here – one is a payment method (KODAKCoin) and the second is the underlying use-case technology (KODAKOne) – both of which are built on blockchain technology.
To make this new cryptocurrency and blockchain use possible, Kodak partnered with WENN Digital through licensing agreement wherein WENN Digital brings the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology know-how to the table. The KODAKCoin will open through an ICO (initial coin offering) on January 31. On news of the ICO, Kodak’s shares jumped today from $3.15 to $7.05 at the time of this post.
More info will be available at kodakcoin.com as soon as the site launches. At the time of this post, a placeholder on the site says that it will launch in 24 hours.
More on cryptocurrencies: You can open a cryptocurrency trading account on sites like Coinbase (for the major currencies) or Binance (for the alt-coins – where something like KODAKCoin might first appear). You can also mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies with sites like Hashflare or Genesis.