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KODAKCoin Inks Arena Partnership to Store NBA, NHL Photos

Its initial coin offering is still in progress, but a new announcement indicates that the team behind KODAKCoin is working to put the forthcoming cryptocurrency to use.

WENN Digital – the company that licensed the photo-centric KODAK’s brand for a cryptocurrency and associated digital rights management platform – announced Monday that it is working with Oak View Group to bridge the sports world with the upcoming KODAKOne platform. The idea is that fans and photographers at the six participating arenas, including the San Antonio Spurs’ AT&T Center, can upload and register photos on the site.

“We want to introduce the KODAKOne Platform to a creative audience that we believe will both benefit from its functionality and serve as early adopters,” Jan Denecke, CEO of WENN Digital, said in a statement. The focus, he continued, is on “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.”

The platform, KODAKOne, and cryptocurrency, KODAKCoin, according to WENN Digital CEO Jan Denecke 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.”

Photographers can register their work and store it on the KODAKOne platform. Then, the community of artists engaging with the platform are able to use the KODAKCoin as a means of payment either for licensing or sale under the protection of an encrypted blockchain that tracks ownership and enforces artist rights to content.

At the six participating sports arenas, fans will be encouraged to upload, register and share their live-event photos or videos on KODAKOne and have the opportunity to be rewarded with payments in KODAKCoin.

Dohnanyi said on the partnership that the venues would provide “groundbreaking access to the world of sport and entertainment.” Denecke further added that the arenas were a “natural” place to start given “the millions of fantastic live event photographs generated each year at OVG’s Arena Alliance venues.”

The OVG Arena Alliance is a membership alliance of world-class venues reaching over 65 million consumers each year combined across major cities in North America. Oak View raised $100 million in a funding round earlier this year.

Prudential Center, home of the New Jersey Devils, image via Shutterstock.

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KODAKCoin Fundraising to Begin Later This Month

A sale of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs) for KODAKCoin – the forthcoming digital rights token bearing the name of imaging company Kodak – is set to begin later this month.

The offering, which is limited to accredited investors, will start on May 21, WENN Digital announced on Thursday. Kodak licensed its brand to the firm for the project, which involves a digital rights management platform that has its own built-in cryptocurrency.

KODAKCoin and its planned sale were first revealed in January, but an expected start date of Jan. 31 was delayed for what was originally said to be a several-week period.

The SAFTs are being sold at $1 apiece, according to WENN. The company’s intention to sell SAFTs rather than tokens directly was revealed in a paper published back in March.

As explained in a previous CoinDesk feature, SAFTs are investment contracts designed to be sold to accredited investors as a means of funding development, similar to the way equity changes hands in traditional venture capital. In a SAFT sale, no tokens are offered, sold or exchanged – instead money is exchanged for paper documents that promise access to a future product.

WENN said the sale will be conducted through a platform called Cointopia and that it will be managed by Pickwick Capital Partners and Exemplar Capital.

“We are excited to offer the SAFTs and the rights to the underlying KODAKCoin in a manner structured to fully comply with an exemption to the SEC’s registration requirements,” said Jan Denecke, WENN’s CEO, adding:

“Our goal with this offering is utmost security and transparency, working to bring digital tokens to investors by adhering to industry best practices and in a manner that we hope instills public confidence in the crypto space.”

The sale announcement comes days after a cryptocurrency exchange claimed that it was hosting the KODAKCoin ICO, an assertion that a representative for KODAKCoin called “fraudulent.”

Kodak image via Shutterstock

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Fraudsters Take Aim at Investors in Controversial KodakCoin ICO

A representative for the company behind the long-in-the-making KODAKCoin initial coin offering (ICO) has accused a Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange of “fraudulent” behavior by claiming that it will host the token sale.

According to a page on the Hong Kong-based exchange LBank.io, the platform’s ICO section said it is about to open the KODAKCoin token sale on Friday, May 4 at 20:00 Beijing time, or 12:00 UTC, which will end at the same time on May 11.

But platform behind the digital rights management-focused coin first unveiled in January says that isn’t true.

In an email response to CoinDesk’s request for comment, a spokesperson for KODAKOne called the information “neither authentic nor accurate.”

“It has come to our attention that more than one fraudulent websites have been promoting the sale of KODAKCoin. This information is neither authentic nor accurate. All factual information regarding the availability of an ICO to accredited investors will come directly from KODAKCoin and its authorized representatives.”

The rep went on to say:

“To clarify, WENN Digital is only offering the SAFTs and the underlying KODAKCoin in exempt transactions to ‘accredited investors. Offers and sales of the SAFTs and the underlying KODAKCoin outside the United States will also be made in accordance with the laws and regulations of the relevant jurisdictions.”

The KODAKCoin sale was expected to begin at the end of January but was instead delayed for what was initially said to be several weeks.

Most recently, WENN Digital, KODAK’s partner in developing the cryptocurrency, is pitching the sale to be conducted by way of Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs), which brands the coin to be a utility token and can only be sold to “accredited investors.”

According to LBank.io’s token sale page, would-be investors can purchase KODAKCoin at a 1:1 ratio with tether or USDT, the dollar-pegged cryptocurrency tied to crypto exchange Bitfinex. The exchange’s page claims that there is a funding hard cap of 8,000 ETH.

Data from CoinMarketCap shows that the LBank.io is currently the ninth-largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume in the world, with over $421 million worth in transactions during the past 24 hours.

While LBank.io has not yet responded to CoinDesk’s requests for comments, its website indicates that the firm was founded in 2017 and is currently based in Hong Kong

Kodak film image via Shutterstock

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Kodak Could Earn $5 Million for ICO Brand Licensing Deal

New details have emerged about Kodak’s cryptocurrency licensing deal.

According to the company’s 10-K annual report for 2017, published on March 15, the company was paid $750,000 in cash by WENN Digital, which is developing KODAKCoin and the related digital rights management platform.

Additionally, Kodak received 50,000 shares of WENN common stock, which the report said was worth $1.25 million.

Further, Kodak is set to receive 3 million KODAKCoins following the completion of the yet-to-be-finished initial coin offering, which, as reported previously, was delayed (though a private pre-sale is said to be in progress). Those tokens will be valued one year after they are received, though the total assessed value will not exceed $3 million, according to the filing.

The payments will count as a form of upfront royalties, Kodak said, explaining in the filing:

“The cash, deemed value of the WENN stock, and deemed value of the Tokens serve as an advance royalty to be credited against sales-based royalties in the future … The advance royalty is non-refundable. No future sales-based royalty payment will be due until the advance royalty has been depleted.”

Going forward, Kodak will receive 3 percent of any tokens issued by WENN if the total number of coins is greater than 100 million, according to the report.

In early February, the KODAKCoin team said the ICO was “moving full-speed ahead,” even though “in light of the increased worldwide regulatory interest in ICOs,” the project’s backers were moving to ascertain the token sale’s compliance with relevant regulations.

“This phase will last for a few weeks, after which we intend to sell KODAKcoins to eligible investors,” the team said then.

Last week, the KODAKCoin team released a “light paper” that indicated there are still questions as to whether the regulators will ultimately classify the token as a security, which could lead to trading restrictions following its launch.

Kodak film cartridge image via Lenscap Photography / Shutterstock

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KODAKCoin Backers Warn SEC Could Restrict Token Trading

A new “light paper” released for the forthcoming KODAKCoin sale states that the token could see “significant” trading restrictions should the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) deem it a security.

KODAKCoin – which is being developed by a firm called WENN Digital using the brand of the onetime photography giant, and is set to form part of a new digital rights management platform – is being sold by way of a Simple Agreements for Future Tokens (SAFTs), as detailed in the paper.

Included in the paper is a long disclosure stating that while WENN Digital is pitching the token as a so-called “utility token” – which would, at least conceptually, keep it from being deemed a security by SEC standards – the company acknowledged that the U.S. regulator may make a different determination.

The firm wrote:

“While WENN Digital intends for the KODAKCoin issuable under the SAFTs to be classified as utility tokens rather than securities tokens, WENN Digital will be required to make a final determination of the tokens’ status as one or the other prior to the time that the KODAKCoin are issued pursuant to the SAFTs. In conjunction therewith, WENN Digital may decide to seek formal or informal input from the staff of the US Securities and Exchange Commission. If it is ultimately determined that the KODAKCoin are ‘securities’ for purposes of the Securities Act, the KODAKCoin will be subject to significant restrictions on resale and transfer in the absence of registration under the Securities Act unless an exemption from registration is available.”

The disclosure is a notable one, given that the SEC is said to be probing SAFTs as part of a wider investigation into ICOs.

As it stands, the exact timeline of the sale remains unclear, given recent delays, and the white paper doesn’t include any specifics on that front.

On the project’s official website, a message dated February 5 states that “the ICO is moving full-speed ahead.”

Kodak image via Shutterstock

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Kodak's Blockchain Pivot Is A Sham, Investment Manager Says

One hedge fund manager isn’t buying Kodak’s blockchain pivot.

In a research report released Wednesday, Kerrisdale Capital alleges Kodak’s blockchain effort isn’t genuine, going so far as to call it “a last-ditch stock promotion gambit for a company hurtling towards bankruptcy.” Kerrisdale holds a short position on Kodak’s stock, and is known for giving strong opinions on public stocks that could move prices.

As reported by CoinDesk, Kodak announced an initial coin offering (ICO) on Jan. 9 in an effort to apply blockchain technology to solve copyright issues faced by photographers. The news was followed by a 37 percent jump in the company’s stock, and a period of heightened performance.

However, in Wednesday’s report, Kerrisdale Capital said its research leads it to believe that Kodak won’t be able to compete with other blockchains startups, because “it’s staring at the possibility of default and a debt restructuring in the next 12-18 months.”

As such, the hedge fund argues that Kodak lacks the technological capacity and the funding to realize its claimed KodakCoin technology and thus transact and store images over a blockchain.

Addressing its separate plans to enter the mining market as well, the firm furthered its argument that the return of investment on Kodak remains questionable.

The report reads:

“Kodak’s cryptocurrency ploy hits all the major buzzwords – blockchain, smart contracts, distributed ledger, ICO, etc. But look through the PR spin, examine the true merits of using blockchain for the proposed service, and it’s obvious the project is poorly thought out and will never work as promoted.”

As of press time, Kodak has not yet responded with comments.

Kodak films image via Shutterstock

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KodakCoin Token Sale Delayed By 'Several Weeks'

The initial coin offering (ICO) for the Kodak-branded cryptocurrency, dubbed KodakCoin, has been delayed.

The public sale was originally supposed to launch on Jan. 31, as previously reported by CoinDesk, following a pre-sale during which 8 million KodakCoins were sold.

Per the statement, the delay is being attributed to an extended process of verifying that those trying to invest are actually accredited in the U.S., meaning that they have a net worth of more than $1 million or an income of at least $200,000.

The statement continued:

“Given the large interest in the KODAKCoin ICO and the steps that we need to take to verify the ‘accredited investor’ status of each interested investor, we expect this process to take several weeks.”

The project is the result of a deal between Kodak and WENN Digital, and is intended to serve as the underlying token for a decentralized photo rights management platform (and as pointed out by Ars Techina, the project appears to be traced to an earlier, similarly-structured project called RYDE coin).

Kodak’s pivot to blockchain led to rumors that the company was trying to take advantage of the current investor atmosphere around other firms, many of which have seen their stocks double or triple after announcing pivots related to the tech. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said last week that it plans to scrutinize such moves more closely.

Market data shows that, in the wake of the delay announcement, Eastman Kodak Co. share prices have fallen. Per Google, the stock’s value is down more than 15% as of press time.

The Jan. 31 statement also warned investors against fake KodakCoin ICO pages appearing on Facebook and other websites, and that investors would not be able to purchase tokens outside the company’s official platform.

Clock in sand image via Shutterstock

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Kodak's Cryptocurrency Is Already Being Presold

The company licensed by Kodak to use its name in conjunction with a new cryptocurrency has already begun pre-selling it ahead of a public initial coin offering (ICO).

Vancouver-based Global Blockchain Technologies Corp. announced today that it is investing $2 million in KodakCoin, the initiative announced yesterday by Kodak and WENN Digital, which is licensing the former’s branding. WENN Digital, which is developing the digital media rights platform that was unveiled yesterday, is managing the sale of the tokens.

“The Company has subscribed for all 8 million Kodak Coins that were available in the Pre ICO Stage I. Stage II Pre ICO opens tomorrow January 10th,” the firm said in a press release. “The Coins are being offered by WENN Digital, in conjunction with its licensing partnership with Eastman Kodak.”

Kodak said yesterday that the public sale of its cryptocurrency, which will be open to accredited investors (including those in the U.S.), is set to begin on Jan. 31.

Kodak’s unveiling sparked global headlines yesterday, which continued into today after it and WENN Digital unveiled the “Kodak KashMiner.” That announcement, made at the CES tech trade show in Las Vegas, also sees the U.S. firm licensing out its brand.

Yet the quick moves have stoked some speculation that Kodak is moving to take advantage of the buzz around blockchain, particularly among publicly-traded companies that have seen their financial fortunes soar thanks to investor hunger for anything touching the tech.

All the same, Kodak’s stock price has soared since yesterday’s announcement. Data from Google highlights that the stock is up more than 75% today alone, rising above $11, having begun the week just over $3.

Image Credit: Vega Gonzalez / Shutterstock.com

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is an independent media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. Have breaking news or a story tip to send to our journalists? Contact us at news@coindesk.com.