Decrepit Old Technology Co. Puts On Blockchain Costume, Is Amply Rewarded For It

Nothing says the future like a Rochester-based film dinosaur.
By Mariuszjbie (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Not making this mistake again! By Mariuszjbie (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Kodak invented the digital camera. It’s true: In 1975, Eastman Kodak developed the first digital camera. It then promptly threw it in the trash, thinking (rightly) that it would kill its film business and (wrongly) that no one else would come up with the same idea. Long story short, Kodak filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and stopped making film, anyway.

Now, Rochester may be a half-empty frozen industrial wasteland, but they do occasionally receive word from the outside world in upstate New York. Kodak’s executives have learned of the fintech startup that acquired “a Blockchain-empowered solutions provider” and saw its market cap jump 25-fold. It has heard of the beverage company that changed its name from the already misleading Long Island Ice Tea Corp.—its thirst-quenchers are of the virgin variety—to the even more misleading Long Blockchain Corp. that saw the same thing happen. It knows the anyone who’s spent 10 minutes at 200 West Street and launches any kind of venture with “crypto” in the name gets nine figures in funding, possibly from Peter Thiel. And it doesn’t care what Warren Buffett or Jamie Dimon or the SEC or the Grand Mufti of Egypt or President-elect Oprah Winfrey has to say about it as long as it works, which it depressingly and predictably still does.

Shares in Eastman Kodak Co. more than doubled after the former camera and film heavyweight said it would launch the Kodakcoin, “a photocentric cryptocurrency to empower photographers and agencies to take greater control in image rights management.”

What does all that gobbledygook mean? Nothing, of course. Who cares? No one!

The move comes as investors snap up virtually any asset related to digital coins or the blockchain technology that underpins them -- no matter how tenuous the tie. Microcaps previously involved in sports bras, fruit juices and teas have made the move and been rewarded with spikes in their share prices.

Kodak Surges After Announcing Plans to Launch Cryptocurrency Called ‘Kodakcoin’ [Bloomberg]