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Kodak's crypto pep

Kodak stocks have skyrocketed after the pre-digital dinosaur decided to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon.

The former photography giant is launching new blockchain platforms KODAKOne and KODAKCoin, in partnership with WENN Digital.

KODAKOne will be an "image rights management platform", the company said in a statement to the market.

It would help photographers register new work and archive their existing work, which they can then license within Kodak's new platform.

KODAKCoin, meanwhile, is positioned as a "a photo-centric cryptocurrency" which allows photographers and agencies to "take greater control in image rights management".

The main benefit of the Kodak's new digital currency, according to the company, is that photographers can "receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale".

It would also allow them to "sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform".

As for what blockchain is, it is a digital ledger which records cryptocurrency transactions, with bitcoin being the most famous one.

"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.



Kodak's return from the grave

Kodak seems to be following the footsteps of struggling beverage-maker Long Island Iced Tea Corp, which tripled in value after a simple name change to "Long Island Blockchain Corp" in late December.

Long Island said its plan is to focus more on exploring and investing in blockchain technology — while continuing to make its iced teas for supermarkets. 

 

Since filing for bankruptcy in January 2012, Kodak has slowly begun to re-invent itself.

Luckily for Kodak, it managed to obtain a $US895 million rescue package from investment banks JP Morgan, Barclays and Bank of America in June 2013.

This allowed the embattled company to repay debts to its secured creditors and, within three months, relist on the New York Stock Exchange.

It no longer makes cameras and now considers itself a "technology company focused on imaging".

Shares in Kodak have plunged ten-fold since its rebirth.

After hitting $US36.88 in January 2014, Kodak's stocks plunged to $US3.10 (on December 29, last year).

However, after the KODAKOne and KODAKCoin announcement, its shares more than doubled to $US6.80.

 

Kodak and others are entering the cryptocurrency market amid warnings that the entire industry is a bubble waiting to burst.

The creation and use of such digital currencies is unregulated in most countries, and often these transactions are difficult to trace.