Kodak Plans to Launch Its Own Photo-Centric Cryptocurrency 'KODAKCoin'

Kodak has entered the world of cryptocurrency with a new photography platform it has recently launched, a decision which should reward the company far greater than many of its other efforts in recent years.
Mario L. Major

series of crushing losses have beset Kodak within the past 15 years, and its many attempts to regain its status as a giant in the film and photography industry have been largely unsuccessful. Struggling not to quietly disappear and become a vestige of the digital age, it has survived on the periphery more or less in recent times, even in the face of waves of global layoffs within this period.

The company may have found salvation, however, with its latest initiative, announced just yesterday: a digital licensing partnership with WENN Digital to create KODAKOne, a platform designed for the sole purpose of image rights management. In an equally smart move, the company at the same time disclosed details about its plans to offer a KODAKCoin cryptocurrency together with the platform. It will essentially allow photographers to register new as well as archived work that can then be licensed via the platform, offering greater protection of their images. In addition, photographers will have the opportunity to conduct transactions on a secure blockchain platform by using the KODAKCoin, which can include either making sales or receiving payment from licensing any of their work.

The company has even pledged to carry out routine web crawling, which will safeguard the IP linked to the catalog of images in the new KODAKOne system. Kodak has put a mechanism in place for compensating photographers in cases of unlicensed use of their work. Kodak is hoping that this latest effort will result in a win-win for the company as well as photographers in the industry (all professional photographers know the frustration of waiting for an unspecified amount of days, weeks, or in some cases months, to receive payment for their services).

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Company CEO Jeff Clark expressed how the decision to create a photo-centric currency was motivated by finding a solution that would help support and translate the company’s creative and artistic vision:

“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.” 


WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke was equally optimistic about the enormous impact the partnership would have in the photography industry: “Engaging with a new platform, it is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin,” he shared. “Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”

We applaud Kodak for embracing a "down, but not out" fighting spirit, and no doubt this decision to plunge the company into the world of cryptocurrency will gain the respect of many business insiders for whom Kodak's only offense over the years has been its seeming inability to simply get with the times.