The Eastman Kodak Co. will conduct a token sale for its long-awaited KODAKCoin beginning May 21. The sale will target accredited investors and aims to raise $50 million for the development of a blockchain platform. The New York-based company has already held a presale in which it raised $10 million from investors.
The KODAKCoin will be the native digital asset for KODAKOne, a blockchain platform that aims to empower photographers by giving them greater control over image rights management. KODAKOne was developed by Wenn Digital, a Venice, California-based company in which Kodak has a minority ownership.
Complying With Regulations
Kodak’s ICO, which had been initially planned for January, was delayed in order for the company to comply with regulatory requirements, the chairman and co-founder of KODAKOne revealed in an interview with Reuters.
We really took a step back and decided that we would ensure that all T’s were crossed and I’s dotted before we embark on a public sale. We wanted to make sure that we got it right.
The KODAKCoin will be offered via the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT), an instrument that makes the process legally compliant with the SEC. SAFT is an investment contract that’s offered for tokens that may be commodities in the future. This contract assures investors that such tokens will be delivered once the platform is developed, and that the tokens can then be used. SAFT is based on the premise that the SEC will not classify the tokens as securities at that point. SAFTs are issued to accredited investors, which means that the companies issuing them don’t need to register with the SEC. SAFTs were first issued last August by Protocol Labs, the company behind decentralized file storage platform Filecoin. Others have picked up on them, including popular messaging app Kik and Mark Cuban-backed eSports betting company Unikrn.
Taking Advantage Of The Hype?
While blockchain technology offers a real solution to the challenge of digital rights management which has troubled artists for decades, eyebrows have been raised over Kodak’s decision to shift its focus to the blockchain. This is especially so because of the recent trend of many companies changing either their names or their main activities in order to align themselves with blockchain tech and take advantage of the hype and attention the industry is getting. These companies include Long Island Iced Tea Corp, which changed itself to Long Blockchain Corp and tripled its value overnight; and Bioptix, which changed to Riot Blockchain. This has made the SEC take a particular interest in such companies, and it has even warned such companies that they will come under intense scrutiny.
After announcing the move, Kodak’s stock price began to appreciate almost immediately. According to the New York Times, the stock rose more than 200% to over $13, but it has since corrected and currently stands at just over $5.
While its application of blockchain tech holds much promise, all we can do is wait and watch the progress.