Earlier this month, the popular photography company Kodak announced about launching its own blockchain platform KODAKOne along with its own cryptocurrency known as KodakCoin, in partnership with WENN Digital. The major aim of this initiative was to create a “new economy” for photographers and democratize the photography process thereby establishing a fair licensing process in place.
Photography artists across the globe can store and share their work on KODAKOne blockchain and receive payments in the form of KodakCoin. This move will empower the photographers and agencies to have a better control over their content in image rights management.
However, the launch of the much-hyped $20 million Initial Coin Offering (ICO) for KodakCoin which was earlier supposed to be held yesterday on Jan. 31 has been delayed further. According to the statement given by the company, the delay in the launch is because the company might need a few more weeks time to get to know their customers better and make sure that the investors are actually accredited in the U.S.
The statement reads: “Given the large interest in the KODAKCoin ICO and the steps that we need to take to verify the ‘accredited investor’ status of each interested investor, we expect this process to take several weeks.” Well, Kodak’s recent announcement has not been received well by investors as its stock tumbled by over 13% on indices.
Moreover, popular news publication The New York Times has remained quite critical of Kodak’s plans to venture into the blockchain space. The publication has questioned the photography over its investigation practices. The publication says that Kodak’s entry into the crypto space, which it calls as a comeback, is laden with a lot of questionable decisions regarding its business partners which includes “a paparazzi photo agency, a penny-stock promoter and a company offering what has been called a “magic money-making machine,'” says the NYT.
However, later responding to the allegation of Times, Kodak chief Jeff Clarke said that the company has been now disconnected from the photography industry which has led him to venture in the blockchain, in the first place. Clarke said: “This is not a dog food company that’s creating a currency. This is a real solution around digital rights that Kodak has been involved in for many years.”
Moreover, there have also been rumors that the photography company was trying to take advantage of the existing euphoria surrounding cryptocurrencies. Since it has announced its plans of venturing into the blockchain, the company’s stock has appreciated by thrice the amount. The U.S financial watchdog, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that it is closely observing the current scenario around the crypto space and is scrutinizing companies involved in its activities.
Last week on Jan 22, during one of his speech, SEC chairman Jay Clayton called-out for public companies that “shifted their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology.”
Having said everything, if KodakCoin, as it has been projected, is a very beneficial project for photographers as it will solve the industry-wide issue for them. Blockchain offers them quite a secured platform to protect their individual work and get rewarded for it.