The next entry in our series of ICO case studies tells the story of a photography brand that joined the cryptocurrency revolution.

Many, many individuals and organisations want a piece of the cryptocurrency pie. Morgan Stanley has tentatively embraced it; Atari intends to use it to revive its flagging fortunes; rappers, somewhat inexplicably, are completely in love with it: Akon is launching ‘Akoin’ to build a city in Senegal; Ghostface Killah expects CREAM to take over half of the market by 2020. Good luck to them both.

So when you hear about Kodak launching its own cryptocurrency, it’s natural to respond with some scepticism. And yet, when you hear the idea behind it, you wonder why the company didn’t do it before.

What are KODAKOne and KODAKCoin?

 KODAK’s ICO is comprised of two distinct elements: KODAKOne and KODAKCoin.

The former effectively serves as a blockchain-based digital ledger of rights ownership for photographers, with the aim of creating a sustainable, trustworthy token-based community for the global image economy.

Via KODAKOne, professionals can register new and archive work, which they can then license through the platform – which provides ongoing protection of their intellectual property. It also supplies ‘kick-starter’ opportunities for start-ups and service providers.

Using KODAKCoin, photographers can receive payment for licensing their work as soon as it’s sold. No waiting for overdue invoices to be paid, and no more worrying about when and how their work is going to be stolen: the blockchain technology allows them to sell their images confidently and securely.

Who was behind it?

 Well, Kodak. The Kodak. So, what compels a 120+ year-old photography brand to enter the volatile world of cryptocurrency?

It’s simple: its primary offering – cameras and other imaging products – had been rendered obsolete by the advent of digital cameras and smartphones, and it had to offer its customers something new. KODAKOne and KODAKCoin are an opportunity to rejuvenate the brand of a business that has in recent years suffered declining sales, encroaching irrelevance and even bankruptcy.

Quite apart from anything else, KODAKOne and KODAKCoin represent a serious effort from an established business to modernise its offering – and that deserves some credit.

How much did it raise?

Kodak got the attention of 40,000 potential investors and is projected to receive three million KODAKCoins as soon as its ICO is complete. The announcement of this ICO during the Consumer Electronics Show caused the company’s share price to double in a single day.

Why was KODAK’s ICO a success?

 A solution to a real problem

Copyright infringement is rampant in the world of digital photography – one famous photographer even sued Getty Images for violating her copyright on over 18,000 images. KODAKOne provides a potential solution to this problem for photographers, ensuring that they get paid promptly for every use of their work.

A reputable team and an established brand

 It’s Kodak. THE Kodak. The Kodak of ‘Kodak Moment’ fame. Its commercial fortunes may have flagged, but its name still carries weight.

A technological solution to a technological problem

With KODAKOne and KODAKCoin, the company has leveraged the power of blockchain technology – conventionally associated exclusively with cryptocurrency – to create a trusted global image archive. The speed, convenience, and reliability of this technology protects the rights and the economic potential of each photographer.

Strong media relations

Announcing your ICO during CES is a pretty baller move – and the company followed up with coverage in Inc, Coindesk, and The Sun, amongst many others.

The results of Kodak’s ICO are – as of this writing – yet to be fully processed and understood. But even if the results aren’t quite what we expect, the strategy deserves serious praise.