Kodak shares soar after unveiling blockchain initiative

Kodak announces KodakCoin

Shares in Kodak (NYSE: KODK) soared on Wednesday, after the US technology company announced plans to enter the cryptocurrency market.

Kodak revealed on Wednesday it was teaming up with Wenn Media Group, a London-based firm, to bring into motion an initial coin offering (ICO).

KodakCoin, as it will be named, is set to be part of a wider blockchain initiative, which the company is working upon to help secure photographer’s rights to their images.

“It is critical photographers know their work and their income is handled securely and with trust, which is exactly what we did with KODAKCoin,” commented Wenn’s digital chief executive Jan Denecke.

He added: “Subject to the highest standards of compliance, KODAKCoin is all about paying photographers fairly and giving them an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a new economy tailored for them, with secure asset rights management built right in.”

Despite their growing initiation into the mainstream, cryptocurrencies remain highly divisive. Various industry insiders such as JP Morgan (NYSE:JPM) boss, Jamie Dimon and Chief economist for Dutch Bank INGA, Teunis Brosens have dismissed the so-called ‘bubble’.

This is amid concerns that the unregulated currency could be exploited by criminals on the dark web.

Market leader, Bitcoin (CURRENCY:BTC) has seen a remarkable rally in 2016, surging past $12,000 back in December, compared to $1,000 at the start of the year.

Moreover, its nearest rival, Ethereum, continues to push through record highs. As it stands, the currency hit above $1,300 on Wednesday morning.

Nevertheless, in December, leaders within the European Union and the UK announced plans to crackdown on Bitcoin and the like, in a bid to counteract money laundering and tax evasion.

Kodak was founded back in 1982, and became well-known for its range of disposable cameras.

However, with the ubiquity of smartphones in recent years, it has increasingly struggled to compete. Accordingly, back in 2012 the company filed for bankruptcy.

Shares in Kodak rallied amid the announcement. As of currently, shares are up 117.60 percent as of 11.57AM (GMT), as investors react.