1. News
January 11, 2018

Kodak becomes latest company to harness blockchain for use beyond finance

Kodak has become the latest company to embrace blockchain technology with the launch of image rights platform KodakOne, continuing the growing trend of cross-industry applications outside of cryptocurrencies.

By GlobalData Retail

Kodak has become the latest company to embrace blockchain technology with the launch of image rights platform KodakOne, continuing the growing trend of cross-industry applications outside of cryptocurrencies.

The platform, developed in partnership with Wenn Digital, will trawl the internet looking for copyright violations using the open ledger technology. This will run concurrently with a new photo-centric cryptocurrency named KodakCoin, which will be used to instantly pay royalties to photographers.

Using a decentralised, digital public ledger system, blockchain is able to accurately record and track transactions and assets. By registering assets to a blockchain, owners end up with tamper-proof evidence of ownership, making it well suited for businesses such as Kodak, who manage large swathes of digitised intellectual property.

In addition to the well-publicised cryptocurrencies – and its more obvious use in banking and payments – blockchain is applicable in almost every sector that requires fast and secure data management. In healthcare, for example, patient data could be shared securely between hospitals and relevant parties, while supply chain transactions could be made faster and more secure when documented in a permanent, decentralised record.

“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. “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.”

Kodak, the first company to use roll film in its cameras, has struggled to keep apace in the digital age. After filing for bankruptcy in 2012, it announced it would cease making digital cameras and focus on printing and image rights. The move into blockchain technology is a clear push to modernise the latter.

Following the news share prices have surged, up from $3.10 to $10.70 at the time of writing – a 245% increase.

However, critics argue that this success is simply piggybacking off of the hype surrounding Bitcoin, rather than an indication of the technology’s potential at Kodak. Long Island Iced Tea Corp’s stock rose as much as 500% last month, for example, after it changed its name to Long Blockchain Corporation and announced it would shift its primary focus from beverages to the exploration of and investment in blockchain technology.