- Part 1: KodakCoin announced, stock price rockets
- Part 2: KodakCoin restrictions, the KashMiner scam
- Part 3: KodakCoin presale, prehistory, hot takes and harsh realities
- Part 4: Kerrisdale Capital’s crypto pre-mortem for Kodak
- Part 5: The KodakCoin ICO Light Paper
- Part 6: KodakCoins on sale, and the Reg A+ escape route
- Part 7: The KashMiner that never was
The shambling remains of what was once beloved photographic film company Kodak have announced an ICO! It had the desired effect on the stock, inflating it to the dizzying heights it enjoyed three months ago:
“Listen, a bunch of you out there have obviously programmed your algos to buy any stock that looks sideways at the words ‘blockchain’ or ‘cryptocurrency’. Please, stop it,” begged Kadhim Shubber at FT Alphaville.
But what magic will the Kodak ICO light the world with? Why, they’re going to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management!
Utilizing blockchain technology, the KODAKOne platform will create an encrypted, digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers to register both new and archive work that they can then license within the platform. With KODAKCoin, participating photographers are invited to take part in a new economy for photography, receive payment for licensing their work immediately upon sale, and for both professional and amateur photographers, sell their work confidently on a secure blockchain platform. KODAKOne platform provides continual web crawling in order to monitor and protect the IP of the images registered in the KODAKOne system. Where unlicensed usage of images is detected, the KODAKOne platform can efficiently manage the post-licensing process in order to reward photographers.
That is: a stock photo site, in the manner of Shutterstock or Getty Images, that does pre-emptive web searches for image usage — there’s no way they’re going to run their own crawler when Google, Bing and TinEye exist — which will store the data on a blockchain for … reasons, okay:
“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 democratize photography and make licensing fair to artists. These technologies give the photography community an innovative and easy way to do just that.”
Per the standard ICO pitch:
- State a problem.
- Claim that ICO tokens can, somehow, solve it.
- There aren’t any other steps.
The photographers won’t get paid in actual money, but in KODAKcoin. Those reusing the photos buy KODAKcoins to buy the photos, these are passed to the photographer (minus a percentage), then the photographer exchanges the KODAKcoins for real money, er, somewhere. Bet you not Kodak.
I know photographers who’ve spent thousands on equipment to get literally tens of pounds a year from Getty Images — but even that strikes me as an obviously better deal.
The stock photo platform doesn’t appear to exist yet. But they bothered calling the lawyers, and are selling this to “accredited investors from the U.S., UK, Canada and other select countries. This initial Coin Offering is issued under SEC guidelines as a security token under Regulation 506 (c) as an exempt offering.” 506(c) means they’ll be checking every purchaser’s eligibility and doing all of this properly. So at least that’s in order.
They’ve already flubbed the naming — Kodachrome therefore Kodacoin, obviously — but they did release the development version of kodakcoin.com a bit early, before they put up the “Coming Soon” splash. Craig Burley got screenshots before they took it down:
Their partner in this endeavour is a company called WENN Digital:
WENN Digital, in partnership with Kodak, is the creator of the KODAKOne platform and the KODAKCoin cryptocurrency. WENN Digital is an experienced development and operations team with deep expertise in proprietary blockchain development, big data, copyright law, AI-enabled image recognition and post licensing monetization systems.
That’s quite the impressive portfolio for a company that’s existed since November last year.
WENN Digital has a strategic relationship with the Deloitte Analytics Institute in Berlin and the Deloitte Blockchain Institute in Munich.
Further, WENN Digital leverages the market position of its 30-year old subsidiary WENN Media, which works with approximately 2,500 professional photographers.
WENN Media is a company that has indeed existed for thirty years — it’s the London office of World Entertainment News Network. It’s not clear if WENN Digital is claiming to have bought its parent; other coverage indicates the relationship you’d expect.
WENN Digital’s live operational copyright infringement management system is delivering revenues to photographers worldwide today and will form Phase 1 of the KODAKOne platform.
This is a claim of operation in the present day, though the Google search API is easy enough to use in a program.
The Chief Marketing Officer of WENN Digital is Bruce Elliott, who also runs App Coin Innovations, who are running Kodak’s ICO. Cameron Chell of WENN Digital is also from App Coin. App Coin owns 7.5% of WENN Digital.
You will be gobsmacked to hear that this is not the stupidest idea Kodak have announced today. I present to you: the Kodak KashMiner — with a K — a bitcoin cloud mining scheme:
And yet that's still only the second stupidest thing to come out of Kodak *today* pic.twitter.com/zdly8ASECl
— Garrett Serack🤠 (@fearthecowboy) January 9, 2018
Kodak also detailed plans to install rows of Bitcoin mining rigs at its headquarters in Rochester, New York.
Customers will pay up-front to rent mining capacity.
They’re doing the mining using spare capacity at their in-house coal-fired power plant:
Let none mistake all of this for the flayed and tattered hide of a once-respected company being pumped full of gas by shonky chancers. These are respectable businessmen.
The ICO itself launches on 31 January. You know the bubble will last until then. BUY! BUY! BUY! (Not investment advice.)
Update: The KodakOne ICO advertising site is up! As I said: “all payments will be made in Kodak Coin.” No white paper, but you can sign up for a “lite paper.” (I know that several people including me have requested it, none have received it as yet.) No prospectus for the security offering. Also has “artificial intelligence technology” for added buzzword compliance.
Update two: Our story continues in Kodak pt 2 — in which KodakCoins may not be tradeable, and the KashMiner is a standard Bitcoin cloud mining scam!
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