Kodak and WENN Digital have announced the launch of the KODAKCoin, a cryptocurrency designed to give photographers and agencies the ability to take greater control over image rights management, alongside the new KODAKOne image rights management platform.

At the time of writing, the announcement has tripled the value of Kodak shares. Sitting at $3.10 before the announcement, it has shot up to $10.80.

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KODAKOne is based on blockchain technology, and creates an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to archive and licence their work. KODAKCoin complements this launch by allowing secure crypto payments for photo licences realised through the platform – for both professional and amateur photographers.

KODAKOne  monitors and protects the IP of the images registered, managing the post-licencing process if an unregistered image is detected.

“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,” said Kodak CEO, Jeff Clarke.

He added: “Kodak has always sought to democratise photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”

Read more: New Swiss taskforce created to design blockchain and ICO regulation

“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,” said WENN Digital CEO, Jan Denecke.

Denecke added: “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.”

The ICO will launch on 31 January for accredited investors in the US, UK, Canada and other select countries, and customers will pay up-front to rent mining capacity on the KashMiner.

The KashMiner operation will be run by Spotlite, a licensee that had previously teamed up with Kodak to use its brand to market LED lights. This has created quite the controversy, as the exorbitant prices to mine these coins greatly overshoot the potential to make this money.

The move looks to be positive for the company so far, which since the move to digital photography had been struggling to keep up with the competition. This clearly highlights the growing momentum and hype that any cryptocurrency-related innovation currently has. Another interesting example is the rise in share value that Long Blockchain experienced after its changed its name from Long Island Iced Tea.

by Henry Vilar
Henry is Junior Reporter at IBS Intelligence, follow him on Twitter or contact him at: henryv@ibsintelligence.com
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