Troubled Kodak ICO confirms 21 May launch date
The disastrous and largely successful-to-date Kodak ICO has found a launch date.
Kodak's bankruptcy in 2013 has become a cautionary tale, warning businesses against sitting on the sidelines or actively pushing back against disruptive technology in their industry, rather than going with the flow. In the case of Kodak, its undoing was the obviously-poor-in-hindsight decision to double down on camera film in response to digital cameras sweeping the market.
Since then its name has been prostituted to any project that wants to buy an air of respectability by tapping into the Kodak name. For example, the Kodak "KashMiner" bitcoin mining machine, sold under a lease agreement which lets people pay $3,400 upfront – about the cost of a typical bitcoin ASIC miner – for the privilege of giving up 50% of the bitcoin it mines. These kinds of shady rent-a-miner schemes often meet unfortunate ends.
This kind of licensing agreement, designed to flay as much value as possible out of Kodak's tattered hide for the purposes of satisfying its creditors, might inevitably see it licensed towards the shoddy end of the product spectrum. After all, reputable and well-backed projects don't need to buy legitimacy.
In this case, the Kodak name is being licensed to a cryptocurrency being created by a paparazzi outlet named Wenn Digital. It previously tried to launch almost the exact same product without the Kodak brand name, but flopped hard enough to call the whole thing off.
KODAKCoin itself is designed to be part of an image rights management ecosystem. This isn't a bad idea in itself and blockchain technology, which allows for the creation and identification of unique one-and-only digital pieces, is probably in a good position to solve it. Although there's no particular reason to limit the system to photographs alone.
Even setting aside the question of whether KODAKCoin is actually a viable idea, the project itself has been riddled with criticism. The KODAKCoin whitepaper has been described as a kind of vague buzzword stew, and one of the project's leading consultants, Cameron Chell, has previously been involved in ventures shady enough to wrap up with arrests and fraud charges. Another key figure in Wenn Digital, Volker Brendel, has been barred from serving as an officer of a public company in Germany.
It's easy to see why they decided to license to the Kodak name, and it has been undeniably effective at drumming up interest. Kodak stock prices rose sharply on news of the coin, and people have actually heard of the project now. Unlike the previous Wenn Digital ICO for the same product, which raised less than $1,000 from less than 10 "investors" before being cancelled, the new Kodak ICO has reportedly raised about $10 million in pre-sales already and is targeting $40 million more.
It has apparently been so successful that the company had to push back the date of the ICO to deal with the surge of interest, and ensure that they were only selling to accredited investors.
The announcement was made on 1 February, saying there would be a delay of "several weeks" for the team to get their ducks in a row. The delay was long enough for one relatively prominent Chinese exchange to bizarrely announce that it would be selling Kodak ICO tokens.
Now, over three months later, a launch date of 21 May has been set, Fortune reports. The launch is expected to take the form of a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT), which lets buyers purchase future tokens which are then only delivered once there's a functional network for them.
KodakCOIN co-founder Cameron Chell points out that his arrangement lets them raise money first, and then work out what the coin will actually do later.
"SAFT is not necessarily locked into exactly what the token has to be," said KodakOne co-founder Cameron Chell to Fortune. "We can figure it out over the course of the next six to nine months."
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO