Kodak is building their own blockchain. Or rather KodakOne is. With their own token Kodak Coin. Let me try to explain why I think this is an interesting move.
I don’t believe they are building their own blockchain, but they will likely piggy-back on an existing blockchain like Ethereum, which offers features that go beyond just a currency.
They claim Kodak Coin will enable the following features:
- Image registration: register your images on the block-chain. Once it’s on there, everyone can see it and it can’t be taken off again. Used as proof of ownership.
- Rights management: records and confirms ownership and licensing terms.
- Accounting: that’s the currency portion of the blockchain. Like Bitcoin, but with Kodak Coin as the payment token.
- Distribution platform: licensees and licensors can trade images here.
- Post-licensing: they want to build a platform that crawls the web and finds your registered images for legal enforcement.
- Usage tracking: this will allow you to track where your images are used and in which way.
And last but not least one areas that I find especially intriguing:
- Community Marketplace: they want to bring the entire photo ecosystem (travel, models, venues, studios, etc.) onto the blockchain. Creating an entirely new market place based on a new technology is definitly an ambitious goal.
Many buzzwords, blockchain here and blockchain there. For those who are new to the whole crypto currency space, this is probably highly confusing. And KodakOne is clearly riding the crypto train here, which in other places has been in full swing for a while. The meteoric rise of Bitcoin from $800 to now $14000 in 2017 has gotten quite a few people interested.
Let me try to shed some light on this. Kodak Coin is an ICO. An Initial Coin Offering. Like an IPO, but in the crypto space. it’s a token crowdsale. A bit like a Kickstarter, just that you invest some Bitcoin or Ether and in return get Kodak Coin tokens that are will be the lubricant for new services.
Do they have value? They will be sold for a price. And like other crypto currencies, their value will go up as their usefulness rises. So if KodakOne manages to pull off what they claim, Kodak Coin could be used by more and more people for more and more photo-related things and the token’s value will rise with that.
Here are a few examples of recent or ongoing ICOs: SETHER is being developed as a social media currency. Bob’s Repair issued the BOB token “to eliminate review fraud and provide lower pricing in the home repair industry”, it’s basically a home repair platform based on a blockchain. And Insurepal is trying to revolutionize the insurance industry by being a decentralized insurance platform that uses a crypto currency token as a token of trust and endorsement.
Those are just a few examples. They are from different fields, but what they have in common is that their tokens will not only be used on their respective platforms and services, they will also act as an investment vehicle. By buying tokens during their ICOs, you’re taking a bet on their success. If the platforms prove to be useful and find their clientele, your investment could yield big payouts. Or you could see nothing in return, if they tank. Like with Kickstarter. Or with traditional stocks.
Back to Kodak Coin.
They are trying to do exactly the same, but for the photo industry. All the things mentioned above can definitely be recorded on a blockchain. Images can be registered (there have been Bitcion blockchain-based notary services for years), smart contracts are a thing today (Ethereum has been doing it for a while) and bringing different parts of the photography field together on a new type of de-centralized platform has the chance to change this market.
At this point nobody can tell if it will. It’s all in the execution and adoption.
Their ICO is on January 31st. I’ll keep my eyes open.
(update 2018-01-10: spelling, removal of one reference)