Kodak bitcoin miner on display at CES 2018

A Kodak Blockchain Project licensee has displayed the Kodak KashMiner during CES 2018, with plans to split the proceeds with customers on mining bitcoin.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

The Kodak KashMiner

(Image: Corinne Reichert/ZDNet)

A Kodak-branded bitcoin miner labelled the "KashMiner" has been displayed at the photography company's booth at CES 2018, with Kodak Blockchain Project licensee Spotlite Energy Systems of California showcasing the product.

According to the Kodak licensee, an upfront payment of $3,400 for a two-year contract would lead to bitcoin production value of around $375 per month at current bitcoin value.

The partnership would provide the licensee with half of the resulting $9,000 made over the 24-month period.

Bitcoin production would reach around $25 per day on the Kodak Bitcoin HashPower Upfront Payment Plan.

The Kodak-licensed bitcoin miner was showcased on the same day that Kodak announced its own KodakCoin cryptocurrency utilising blockchain security technology, which it said is aimed at enabling image rights management for photographers.

See also: CES 2018 special coverage (CNET)

The camera company's "photo-centric" cryptocurrency is being launched under a licensing partnership with Wenn Digital, and will also involve a blockchain-backed image rights management platform called KodakOne.

In an interview on the sidelines of CES 2018, Wenn Digital CMO Bruce Elliott told ZDNet that Kodak and Wenn have had a team of 20 people working on the KodakCoin project for "months and months".

"We can get a photo, lock it into our blockchain, then we can sort of assign the IP [intellectual property] to the individual, then we can look through the entire internet and find where that photo is being used, and if it's not being used correctly, then we can reach out to them with an automated system that says, 'hey, you might not have known that you're using this photo without a licence, why don't you get a licence to that', and then that money comes back and gets paid back to the photographers, and that whole transaction happens with that KodakCoin cryptocurrency," Elliott told media at CES.

Elliott added that the companies have taken a highly regulated approach to its project and initial coin offering (ICO).

"We're US companies, we're not from some far-flung place ... it's our company here in the US that's issued it; we've filed with the SEC; we've put all of our regulatory pieces in place; we're not a startup, either, so because of the companies we've brought together, we have revenues, we've got staff, all those things already, and now we're going to fill out this platform. And then we have the trusted platform of Kodak, so you put those things together and we think that really differentiates us," Elliott explained.

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While the ICO will be offered to investors on January 31 in the US, the UK, and Canada, Elliott said investors from other countries will be chosen depending on interest.

"We've got really strict anti-money-laundering, know-your-customer credential processes, so we can take from international markets but we just didn't want a gazillion coming in, so we're just keeping it really tight," he added.

Kodak CMO Steven Overman said the KodakCoin project is an extension of the photography company's mission since its founding in the late 19th century to "empower photographers".

"Today's announcement is really exciting for us, because we've got a terrific partner in Wenn Digital and it enables us to bring a mission that we have been passionate about since the origins of the company into the future with one of the most disruptive and innovative technologies there is," Overman said.

"Oftentimes when these technologies are innovated, and I think about blockchain specifically, they can often be seen as investment vehicles. And the fact that with Wenn Digital we're putting this technology innovation in the service of creative people I think is historic and exciting.

"I think that's why there's been so much interest today. It's a very pragmatic application of blockchain and its power to empower and securitise anything an individual creates and brings to the marketplace."

Overman added that the cryptocurrency is a means or vehicle for monetising the KodakOne registry.

"We have a roadmap of technologies and services we'll be offering to photographers, filmmakers, and other creative people, and we'll have more to say about that in coming months," he told ZDNet.

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