The old film and camera maker has never been the most forward thinking of companies. But they have been working hard to reinvent themselves in hopes of remaining relevant. First, by diversifying away from film and moving into print, and then adding digital photography. Finally, they turned to licensing their brand to a wide range of consumer electronics, including digital imaging products. Now, they are at it again with Kodakcoin, a new Kodak cryptocurrency.
Kodakcoin – A New Revenue Stream for Photographers
At CES this week, the Kodak cryptocurrency was announced, Kodakcoin. Along with that is KodakOne, a new platform that helps photographers maintain rights to their images. It’s a rights management platform that can be utilized with new and archival images. Kodakcoin ties into it as a new way to get paid for licensing those photos or selling them outright. Included in the KodakOne platform is web crawling to secure the IP of the photographers. It scours the web for unlicensed use of images and when it finds them, gives the photographers a channel through which to license that usage and get rewarded in Kodakcoin.
Kodakcoin will go through an SEC Regulated Initial Coin Offering which means they will be regulated like securities. For the ICO, only accredited investors or those with a million or more in person wealth will be allowed to purchase them. But Kodak is working on setting up a new kind of marketplace where those Kodakcoins can be used for the purchase of services. There are few solid details on how it will all work.
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Will a Kodak Cryptocurrency platform work?
Whether or not this actually works the way they hope, remains to be seen. Many are skeptical about it and state that the blockchain technology won’t really solve the unlicensed image problem or even apply to it at all. However, they might be able to embed something in all images sold through their platform that includes a specific site where the image is licensed for Kodak cryptocurrency and that information can also be in the blockchain as part of the transaction. Then if they find the image on a different site they might have a basis for determining licensed use. The real issue is probably going to be selling photographers on it and getting them to use the Kodak cryptocurrency if it’s difficult to spend on things like, paying the bills.
KashMiner Making Money off Bitcoin
The company is also getting into the Bitcoin cloud mining business with what they called the KashMiner. They’re working on installing dozens, soon hundreds, of Bitcoin miners at their headquarters and then plan on selling slivers of the processing power to consumers. At the very least, it’ll cut down the heating bill during those cold Rochester, NY winters (where the HQ is located).
Introducing their own Kodak cryptocurrency wasn’t enough, so they doubled down and will now also attempt to make money by branching out into Bitcoin mining operations. Luckily, they have their own power plant and that plant has had extra capacity for years. So why not start using the energy generated to generate revenue? Seems like a solid plan since they say that it costs them about four cents per kilowatt hour. That’s far cheaper than you or I are paying.
Considering that at one point, the company was on the verge of utter collapse, they seem to be more willing to take a few risks now and again. These risks may or may not pay off in the long run, but it’s best to reserve judgment until the systems are in place and operational.