Shares of Eastman Kodak stock were soaring Tuesday after the company announced a new #cryptocurrency initiative.
The company unveiled a licensing partnership with Wenn Digital to launch an image rights management platform called KODAKOne and a photo-centric crypto currency called #KODAK Coin.
The stock price opened at $3.10 a share Tuesday and rose as high as $7.65 after the announcement was made at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. When the stock market closed at 4 p.m., shares were trading at $6.80.
In a release, the company said the KODAKOne platform will be an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archival work that they can then license for use.
The company describes KODAK Coin as “a new economy for photography,” which will allow photographers to receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, sell their work confidently on a secure block chain platform.
The system will be open to both professional and amateur photographers.
Initial reactions from financial analysts were mixed.
CBS Marketwatch said Kodak was “boarding the block chain bandwagon,” hoping to capitalize on the crypto currency trend to boost its stock price.
Bloomberg said, “The move comes as investors snap up virtually any asset related to digital coins or the block chain technology that underpins them — no matter how tenuous the tie.”
The Financial Times was more blunt in its criticism, calling it “Kodak’s last desperate bid for relevance
Encryption, which has been a part of information technology for 25 years is now experiencing an expansion of its use. Bitcoin has been the number one crypto currency out of 1375 different encrypted currency chains. Now that Kodak has entered this market we have 1376. This writer believes Kodak’s entry will gain in popularity because it is focused upon a specific industry, which is photography. Could Kodak’s new currency be the beginning of a new trend, where different services have their own currency? This appears to be the new reality.
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