The Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: KODK) is famous for their inability to keep up with the digital revolution. Kodak was once the undisputed king of both film and camera equipment. However, the company fell from grace as they failed to adapt to the introduction of digital cameras. They remain a cautionary tale to other traditional companies that are facing obsolescence. The company struggles on, surviving mostly by licensing their name out to other manufacturers.
In early 2018, Kodak made the announcement that they would be producing a proprietary cryptocurrency. The announcement was inherently confusing, suggesting that the cryptocurrency would be used to enforce the copyright on images. Alongside the cryptocurrency, Kodak also announced that they would be partnering with a third-party to install banks of ‘Kodak KashMiner’ hardware at their New York headquarters. This makes more sense, as Kodak’s Rochester campus included a means of power production.
The ‘KashMiner’ and Vacant Promises
The cryptocurrency community responded quickly to Kodak’s announcement. The chief complaint focused on their statement that the KashMiner hardware would produce $375 a month. This was announced without caveat, as if the mining rig would somehow produce consistent profits despite market volatility. While innocuous on the surface, this suggested poor planning behind the scenes.
In mid –July 2018, Kodak’s partner in the KashMining platform announced that the project was now defunct. The company, Spotlite USA, explained that the hardware had not been approved by the SEC. This led to the partnership ultimately collapsing, and Spotlite now intends to operate the KashMiners independently in Iceland. News is sparser about the fate of KodakCoin itself.
Other Traditional Businesses that Failed at Cryptocurrency
Kodak is not the first business to fail upon entry to the blockchain industry, and likely will not be the last. The Long Island Iced Tea Company famously changed their name to Long Island Blockchain in an attempt to save their business. While this served to buoy their flagging stock prices, their plan to mine cryptocurrency ultimately proved both unfeasible and ill-thought out. They have since been delisted from the NASDAQ exchange.
Recently, Hyundai completed their ICO for a proprietary coin called HDAC. Directly competing with established coin IOTA (MIOTA), HDAC suffers from a wide variety of issues that routinely cause other ICOs to fail. Only 7% of the total supply of coins were offered during the ICO, leaving a huge supply directly in the hands of Hyundai and private investors. This could cause tremendous deflation of value, particularly considering the private investors paid almost 15 times less for their tokens. While traditional businesses can do well when partnered with crypto-only companies, it takes a serious approach and legitimate planning to succeed.
Article By: Adam Stone