Shares of Kodak skyrocketed on Tuesday after the company announced that it is set to enter the cryptocurrency market through a partnership with WENN Digital that will allow photographers to monetize their work in a new way.
The camera giant’s new KODAKOne image rights management platform utilizes blockchain technology in order to set up an encrypted digital ledger designed to give photographers the ability to register and license their work within the platform.
Meanwhile, KODAKCoin, which is similar to other cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, will allow photographers to be paid with a digital currency when their photographs are used.
Kodak and WENN Digital’s new photography-based cryptocurrency and blockchain system are designed to help photographers benefit monetarily in a world where images are shared and used online more liberally than ever before.
The KODAKOne system will constantly crawl the web in order to find instances of registered images being used without the proper license.
“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,” Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a statement.
The initial KODAKCoin offering will open on Jan. 31 and will be open to accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada, and other countries.
Shares of Kodak soared over 41% after the KODAKCoin announcement. Before Tuesday’s cryptocurrency announcement, the historic camera powerhouse’s stock price had sunk more than 70% over the last year.
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