Wednesday, January 10, 2018

A Blockchain Business That Actually Might Make Sense

Shares in Eastman Kodak more than doubled on Tuesday after the company announced it was launching a blockchain business.

Kodak announced that it was partnering with WENN Digital to create an encrypted digital ledger of ownership rights for photographers, using blockchain.

If any use comes out of the blockchain, it is going to be uses like this rather than e-currencies.

Protection of intellectual property rights for photographers via the blockchain, sounds like a winner to me.

The partners will also create an e-currency, called KODAKCoin, that can be used to pay photographers when an image they have created is used. But this sounds more like a token with limited use to me.

Great stuff.



  1. The blockchain is cool for some applications but I believe its benefits and applicability have been exaggerated due to technological faddishness.

    In this case, tell me why a blockchain implementation of IP registration is superior to a simpler and more efficient centralized web service and database, say operated by Kodak? I don't see the material benefit from decentralization here, and blockchains have significant inefficiency and scalability issues.

    This question is real and not merely rhetorical. I'm open to a rationale that makes sense.

    1. If you store identical data in multiple locations there are security benefits because there is no single point of failure risk. In addition, you no longer have to rely on a single arbiter, but rather have decentralized verification. Further, transactions are immutable, so there is no ability for a single entity to delete or change what is recorded.

  2. Will you be adding this to the aggressive/speculative portion of the EPJ portfolio?

    I grew up in Rochester, NY, so Kodak has a special place in my heart.

  3. Creative Chain does this much better:

  4. I have been trying to figure out if one can separate the crypto-currencies from their associated technologies. Using Bitcoin as an example, if the blockchain works for an application, it is because miners verify transactions, and they do this in exchange for payment in Bitcoin. If Bitcoin ceases to have value, who will do the verification? Conversely, if a lot of verification is being done, then a lot of Bitcoins are being issued (mined), which means there is growing demand to use Bitcoin for other purposes (miners have to eat).

    In any event, this new business model would be problematic from a libertarian perspective, because it is against the NAP to physically enforce "intellectual property rights."