The Kodak Eastman Company has partnered with WENN Digital to develop 2 new products known as KodakOne and KodakCoin. According to Kodak, these new products will solve problems with copyright infringement for images and also be able to pay them with their own cryptocurrency. Kerrisdale Capital’s Sahm Adrangi is not buying their promises and believes their products are just an attempt to capitalize off of the hype surrounding digital currencies like bitcoin and others. While Kodak Eastman is insisting that photographers will not mind being paid for their work in KodakCoin, Sahm Adrangi’s thoughts differ entirely and think they will only be interested in receiving real cash.
Their KodakOne system supposedly will work by storing protected images in a large database and using the blockchain technology to search for the images of photographers that are being used illegally without a license. Once these images are found and linked to the individual or organization that is using them, KodakOne will send a request that they compensate the artist for their work. Sahm Adrangi thinks the system just plain won’t work and is a silly concept. The type of technology that would be required just isn’t there yet without being inefficient and bulky.
When Kodak made the announcement, their stock prices jumped by around 400% from just over $3.00 a share to $13.28. Less than a month later, the prices have dropped to just above $5.00 a share and are expected to keep on the downward spiral. Sahm Adrangi also suspects that Kodak will be investigated in the very near future by the SEC for possible insider trading after it came to light that members of their board had granted themselves shares of Kodak right before KodakOne and KodakCoin were announced. One of Kerrisdale’s experts, a former lawyer for the SEC, thinks this investigation is inevitable.
Additionally, Kodak has delayed the launch of KodakCoin for questionable reasons and news outlets such as the New York Times and CNBC are reporting on the story. Investors and tech experts want to know why KodakOne can’t be done without using blockchain and what they are doing with the money that is being raised.