How the company Kodak got involved in a dubious game with crypto currency

In the distant past Eastman Kodak was an advanced technology company. She hired the most highly qualified engineers of her time and put on the release of patents and the development of new chemical processes. As a result, she managed to create a global industry for the production of cameras and films. In the heyday of Kodak, 145,000 people worked for the company.

However, the era of digital photography has bypassed Kodak, and today we can talk only about the former glory of the company, whose headquarters is still open in Rochester in the state of New York. Many patents are sold, the buildings are leased or destroyed, and since the company filed for bankruptcy in 2012, it continues to go to the bottom.

Now the company, whose history is 130 years old, is trying to revive, however small the chances are. On the way to this goal, Kodak made a bet on crypto-currencies. This is a daring game that has inspired some investors, discouraged others and raised questions about how prudently Kodak chose business partners. Among them — photo agency paparazzi, a promoter — the owner of a penny stocks and a company offering a device called «magic machine making money.»

This month Kodak transferred the rights to its name to the digital currency of KodakCoin. It is advertised as «crypto currency, designed to help photographers and agencies improve their control over copyright on images.» In addition, Kodak received a license for a device for mining bitcoins. It is called Kodak KashMiner and is intended for the mining of Kodak’s proprietary crypto currency (but it is also promoted as bitcoin-miner).

Following the announcement of new projects, the price of Kodak shares increased by more than 200%, after which it practically did not go down. The new course of the company is partly due to the fact that the blockade plays the role of a magic talisman on the modern exchange market. Investors are trying to make money from the popularity of bitcoin or etherium, and many companies that have barely made ends meet have managed to dramatically change their destiny (at least for the time being) by simply adding the word «blocky» to the title or announcing the launch of a new crypto-currency venture project , not related to their previous activities. The most striking example of this kind is the Long Island Iced Tea, whose capitalization tripled in the evening after it changed the name of the brand to Long Blockchain.

Such adventurous steps attract the attention of regulators. Recently, the chairman of the SEC Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, said that the agency «is closely watching the published reports of open companies changing their business models in order to benefit from the promises of benefits that the distributed registry technology is supposed to bring.»

Kodak — the most famous company with a long history, entered into a crypto-currency game. This step caused a lot of criticism. Almost immediately, critics attacked the company’s plans, branding them with unscrupulous «wiring for money.»

However, the director of Kodak Jeff Clark believes that the company’s ideas are quite feasible. According to Clark, the technology of the blockade attracted his attention last summer. Then he realized that she was able to solve the eternal problems of photographers: the need to confirm the rights to images, track violators of copyright and receive payment.

Clark says:

The new currency is created not by any firm for the production of canine feed. It’s about solving the problem of managing the rights to digital products. Kodak has been working on this for many years.

If the company plans to be implemented, the photographers will be able to upload images to the KodakOne platform, create a license for each image, and find copyright infringers on the network. Instead of dollars, customers will be able to pay photographers coins KodakCoins.

It is expected that ICO KodakCoin, which was originally planned for Wednesday, January 31, will collect at least $ 20 million (on Tuesday evening, the KodakCoin website reported that the ICO is postponed for several weeks, as it is required to verify the credentials of potential investors). However, it is not clear what the collected funds will go to and why it is impossible to create a similar system without a blockage. There is a more pressing question: why should photographers want to receive payment in digital tokens, not cash?

Talking with the leaders of KodakCoin, I never received any intelligible answers. As for the white paper KodakCoin, it is a collection of loud phrases and foggy graphics, and not a detailed statement of the announced intentions.

Here it should be clarified: the management of digital copyright — a serious issue for photographers, and the blockade theoretically able to become an attractive solution. But the specific characteristics of KodakCoin give cause for concern.

First of all, despite the name, KodakCoin is not a project of Kodak. The new project is the company WENN Digital — located in California, a branch of the British photo agency, which specializes in licensing paparazzi photos. Under the terms of the license agreement, Kodak will not receive any direct profit from the ICO. The company will get a minority stake in WENN Digital, 3% of all issued KodakCoin coins and deductions from future profits.

Cameron Chell, chief consultant for the KodakCoin project, said that the original offer of coins was a «fateful moment» for Kodak and the new project should lead to a «renaissance» of the company. However, the reputation of Chell, the Canadian entrepreneur and the lecturer-motivator who once opened the public to Tony Robbins, is not flawless. In 1998, Chell, accused of violating the rules of the Canadian stock exchange Alberta Stock Exchange, agreed to a five-year ban on work on the exchange and paid a fine of $ 25,000. The head of the company, in which he worked before starting cooperation with Kodak, was accused of fraud , after which the company was closed with shame.

In response to questions about these episodes, Chell noted that he was «young, inexperienced and irresponsible», but «learned a lot since 1998 and is now trying to behave in a way that does not give rise to such hasty judgments.» The Kodak spokesman did not respond to a request to comment on Chell’s identity and did not say whether he knew about the above episodes.

In recent years, Chell began to submit himself as an expert on the blockade. KodakCoin, he calls his largest project to date. Chell is the chairman of Appcoin Innovations, which until last year was registered as the literary agency Redstone Literary Agents, and then turned into a consulting firm offering a «ready-to-use set of services for the development and implementation of blockade and crypto-currency technologies» (I quote the company’s documentation).

According to the SEC, Appcoin Innovations, which is engaged in OTC trading, whose shares are worth a penny, in 2015 and 2016 did not receive any profit. The company must receive 20% of all KodakCoin coins issued and some of the funds from the ICO (if it is successful, it could be millions).

Now consider the coins themselves. We can assume that this digital currency will be publicly available. However, due to regulatory requirements, «kokak-koiny» will only be available to accredited investors in the United States. An accredited investor is defined as a person whose net asset value is $ 1 million or more, or having an annual income in excess of $ 200,000. How many of your acquaintances are possessed by crypto-currency photographers millionaires? Even if photographers meet all the requirements for participants, there may be problems with the waste of «kokak-coins» and their transfer into cash. The SEC warned investors that it may be difficult for them to resell assets placed through a closed subscription and they will have to keep them «indefinitely».

According to the representative of KodakCoin, the company hopes that its tokens will eventually be in free sale, and in the future it will be able to release tokens of other types that are not subject to such restrictions. White paper KodakCoin reports that token owners can receive other benefits, such as part of KodakOne’s profits and access to a niche in the market, and then they can spend KodakCoin coins to buy cameras, studios and trips. However, there is no guarantee that all this materializes.

In addition, it seems that the experts on crypto-currencies are not too impressed with Kodak KashMiner — the device for bitcoin mining, which this year was advertised at the consumer electronics exhibition in Las Vegas. The device advert says that the two-year lease of this device, «performing complex mathematical calculations,» will cost users $ 3400. Half of the coins, wooed through Kashminer, will be returned to Spotlite, a company licensed to use the Kodak name, and users will receive the remainder.

While we have little imagination of how the work with KashMiner will look, however, renting an installation can be a waste of money. At an exhibition in Las Vegas, potential users of KashMiner were promised that in two years they will be able to earn on the mining of bitcoins using a $ 9000 device. However, experts say that this is an unrealistic estimate, because over time the process of mining will only become more complicated. In addition, according to them, KashMiner is just a renamed version of the popular device for mining bitcoins, which you can safely buy for an amount less than the cost of rent.

All this: the «pedigree» of KodakCoin, the currency itself and beautiful, but indistinct arguments about its potential — makes you think and points out the possibility that the declared task will prove inadequate for Kodak.

The original material Kevin Roose (Kevin Roose) published in the New York Times

George Soros: Blochein is able to help refugees, although the crypto-currencies are a typical bubble

The billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland that he found a new tool for helping refugees: it’s about blocking technology. Fortune.com writes about this.

Answering the questions of the participants of the event, Soros said:

Technology blockade can find a positive application. Through it, migrants can communicate with their relatives, and also save money and carry them with them.

The billionaire did not explain how he was going to use the blockade for this purpose. Note that the Open Society Institute (Soros Foundation) last year issued a grant of $ 100,000 to the Center for Human Rights at Carnegie Mellon University. The Center, which monitors the observance of human rights, is studying the prospects for using blockade in its activities.

Theoretically, migrants moving from country to country can save savings in crypto-currencies instead of fiat money. However, Soros refused to recognize the value of crypto-currencies, saying that the main motive for their creation was «the desire to evade taxes.» In his opinion, crypto-currencies can potentially become an «instrument in the hands of dictators.»

Soros was objected to by other forum participants. Among them was the investor-patron and businessman Nawal Ravikant:

Bitcoin is a means of freeing mankind from the power of oligarchs and tyrants, camouflaged under a scheme of rapid enrichment.

Speaking at the Davos forum, 80-year-old George Soros said:

Crypto currency should not be called currency. This is a delusion and a typical bubble, based on, like any bubble, lies misunderstanding.

Soros explained that the currency implies the ability to be a stable means of preserving value, which bitcoin is completely devoid of. According to him, the «currency», whose price per day changes by 25%, can not be used to pay wages, for example, as the size of the salary per day may decrease by 25%.

The word «Bitcoin» can get in the dictionaries of the Russian language, together with the «HYPE»

As reported by the agency «Moscow», the Institute of Russian language. V.Vinogradova of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) admits that the new Russian dictionaries will include such words as «hip» and «bitcoin».

The position of the scientific community was commented on by the well-known philologist, leading researcher of the sector of theoretical semantics of the Institute Irina Levontina, the author of dictionaries, monographs and popular books about new trends in the Russian language. According to Levontina, these words still have little chance of being included in educational dictionaries, but they can be found on the pages of dictionaries of other categories:

If we talk, for example, about the educational dictionary of the Russian language with a dictionary of 5,000 words, then neither «hayp» nor «bitcoin» will obviously get there. If we have a dictionary of new words or a dictionary of foreign words, especially a large one, then the situation is different: it is very likely that we will see these words there. There is a great chance for these words to get into large (by 30,000 words or more) explanatory dictionaries of the Russian language, but the question is when it is worth doing: still do not wait a year or two, letting the word settle, it would be reckless. The dictionary does not only contain a reference to a word, but a range of its meanings and the usual contexts of use, and that they take time to form.

Levontina noticed that there is no official body in Russia dictating what words should be present in the dictionaries, and such a decision is solely the prerogative of the author’s collective.

It is worth noting that the words «bitcoin» and «hip» have long been firmly established in the language. They can be heard even from the lips of senior officials: for example, last summer, presidential aide Vladislav Surkov publicly used an expression such as «useful HYIP».

The closest in meaning to «haypu» Russian word is «hubbub». The expression «inflate the HYIP» is close in meaning to «raise a hubbub.» The word implies information or media noise, more often in a positive sense. We can say that «HYIP» is an admiration reaching a degree of hysterics. Other words close in meaning are the originally Russian «hype» and came from the French «hype».

It is noteworthy that the words «bitcoin» and «hip» took the second and third places respectively in the ranking of the ten main words of 2017, issued by the Center for Creative Development of the Russian Language. The word «crypto-currency» along with «toxic», «battles, doping», «fake», «visa-free» and «harassment / harassment» also fell into the top ten.

Bitcoin with ears: Japan has created the world’s first crypto-currency pop group

Japanese music bands AKB48 and Morning Musume — yesterday. The true sign of our time was the new pop group Kasotsuka Shojo, about which debut is the publication of the publication Quartz.

Team Kasotsuka Shojo (the title is translated as «Crypto-currency girls») was recently launched by the Japanese entertainment company Cinderella Academy, which produces several popular bands.

The appointment of a new musical project is to educate the public about crypto-currencies through songs. Each of the eight participants wears a bright mask with fluffy ears and presents a certain crypto currency: bitcoin, ether, Ripple, etc. It is not entirely clear what the relation of the mask and the dresses of the participants have to the blockade or crypto-currencies. But they correspond to the spirit of anime and cosplay.

The leader of the group eighteen-year-old Rara Naruse (she symbolizes bitcoin) appeared on the web with such a comment:

We want to use the entertainment genre to inform people that crypto-currencies are not only a tool of speculation, but also a wonderful technology that will determine the shape of the civilization of the future.

The official website of the group reported that the fee for tickets for the debut concert, which was held on Friday, January 12, in Tokyo, was taken exclusively in the crypto currency. The first song of the band called «I, the moon and crypto money» contains references to warnings that regulators have issued in recent weeks. This is a kind of mini-lecture on security in the crypto-currency area, telling how to counteract scammers.

Bitcoin is recognized in Japan as a legal currency. In the recent past, the share of the Land of the Rising Sun accounted for most of the volume of global bitcoin-trading. The Tokyo BitFlyer Exchange is one of the largest in the world. The analytical note issued recently by the Japanese financial holding Nomura informs that last year’s jump in the price of bitcoin will increase the growth of Japanese GDP by 0.3%.

This week, Warren Buffett addressed the public with another warning in the spirit of «bitcoin will end badly.» It is hoped that such a fate does not threaten the new Japanese pop group.

Bitcoin consumes 30 times more electricity than all Tesla cars in the world

The rapid growth in the price of bitcoin is accompanied by an increase in the amount of energy needed to produce this crypto currency. Mining bitcoins now burns more electricity than all electric vehicles in the world.

As reported by fortune.com, on January 10, experts of Morgan Stanley Bank published a report containing a comparative analysis of the energy needs of crypto-currencies and electric vehicles. According to him, in 2018 the energy requirements associated with bitcoin will grow threefold. For a year, this digital currency will consume more electricity than the entire population of Argentina.

Analysts of the bank predict that this year mining will require more than 125 billion kWh of electricity, that is, the volume that all electric vehicles in the world will reach only by 2025. Last year, bitcoin consumed 36 billion kWh, which is equal to the energy costs of Qatar.

In comparison, all Tesla electric vehicles in service (at the end of 2017, according to the manufacturer, their number was approximately 280,000) consumed less than 1.3 billion kWh per year. According to analysts of the Fortune magazine, each car has, on average, run a mileage of 15,000 miles, spending every 100 miles 30 kWh. Such data experts calculated, based on statistics on cars Tesla Model 3 and Model S, previously provided to the US Environmental Protection Agency.

This means that the extraction of bitcoins last year consumed 29 times more energy than the work of all Tesla cars.

The Internet user, acting under the name of Frank99, published similar calculations on the forum website of the company Tesla, accompanied them with an emotional comment:

It’s just crazy.

In 2016, the amount of energy consumed by all electric vehicles in the world was about 6 TWh.

The reason that mining consumes so much electricity is that the production of each new bitcoin requires solving a complex mathematical puzzle in the course of the cryptographic process carried out by powerful computers. The decision of puzzles is designed to verify bitcoin transactions in the digital registry — the blockbuster. It is believed that most other crypto-currencies require significantly less energy for mining.

According to Morgan Stanley analysts, the production of one bitcoin costs from $ 3,000 to $ 7,000, including energy and equipment costs. Nevertheless, as the bank experts write, «mining is a highly profitable occupation, and if the crypto-currencies keep their popularity, we can expect the growth of global energy consumption for the purposes of mining.»

However, analysts of the bank failed to find out how the price of bitcoins and the cost of electricity are correlated, suggesting that investors buying bitcoins are not interested in the issue of the exact price of coin production. It also follows that, although the crypto currency is surprisingly volatile and sensitive even to the most insignificant news, the price of bitcoin is unlikely to be seriously affected by fluctuations in electricity tariffs. At least, according to experts, this can not be expected in the near future.

At the same time, experts told energy companies how they can raise the value of their assets using crypto currency:

Perhaps they should start accepting payments in bitcoins.

Fast food in Canadian style: chicken and potatoes from KFC for bitcoins

The fast food chain KFC, which is second only to McDonald’s in terms of sales, started selling a new specialty in Canada for bitcoins: a bucket with fried chicken, French fries and other ingredients. It is called — bitcoin bucket. Beginning is experimental and at the same time comic character.

The bitcoin bucket has its own Facebook page, where you can track its price, which is about 20 Canadian dollars and fluctuates along with the bitcoin course.

Just go to the Canadian diner KFC and pay off the crypto currency at the checkout can not. The company takes bitcoins via BitPay on a special page in the network. The bucket is promised to be delivered directly to the customer’s address, for which you need to pay an additional five dollars.

KFC Canada is joking on Twitter:

If Satoshi reveals his identity, our buckler is due to him.
Apparently, the mysterious creator of the bitcoin was left without a treat: at the time of writing this material, the inscription «sold out» hung on the page «bitcoin-bucket».

A tweet of the Canadian branch of KFC also suggested that the company would later accept other crypto-currencies as well.

Note that the initiative of Canadian fast food did not affect the value of Yum! Brands, the parent company of KFC, so it’s not worth asserting that any mention of bitcoin, crypto or lock-up leads to immediate growth of stocks and, as a result, market capitalization.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission laughed at the crypto currency mania

Less than three weeks have passed since the shares of Long Island Iced Tea Corp. grew by as much as 289% after the company was renamed into Long Blockchain Corp., as the agency responsible for implementing US securities laws decided to take its example to armament. On Monday, January 8, Fort Worth, the Texas branch of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), made a tweet on the creative idea:

We think, whether to add to our name the word «block». There is a suspicion that this will increase the number of subscribers by 70,000%.
Since financial regulators have begun to release thematic jokes, it remains only to state: the crypto-currency mania is in full swing. Perhaps, investors can add such jokes to the list of signals that indicate the state of the market.

It is worth noting that the ratio of regulators to digital assets is not always so good-natured. Last year, the SEC collapsed on some crypto-exchange exchanges, and China and South Korea tightened their nuts for traders and miners.

As a result of these measures, the positions of bitcoin, etherium and lightcoin have weakened this week.

Readers’ stories: Dinner at the Michelin restaurant for bitcoins

Autumn and the beginning of winter brought a good return on investment in crypto currency, so before the New Year holidays it was decided to fix part of the profit and spend it on holidays. My crypto-currency briefcase contains 24 coins. Most of them are from the top twenty by capitalization, among which bitcoin (about half of all funds), light, ether, bitcoin cache and other top coins. Very, by the way, pleased ripple, there was a certainty that he would go beyond one dollar and he confidently justified this forecast. Of the remaining coins, bets were made on IOTA, Monero, Lisk, Steem and Zcash. The portfolio of coins by the end of the year brought good figures on profitability, it is possible and even necessary to pause and crypto-currency detox.

On New Year’s holidays decided to go skiing somewhere near Russia and went by car to Finland. Northern nature, good roads and a lot of snow. Suomi, so Finns call themselves Finns, a very hospitable country. Attitude to tourists is excellent — everywhere the visitors are waited by genuine goodwill of the staff, responsiveness and high-quality service. By the way, the authorities of this Nordic country are no less favorable to crypto-currencies.

As early as 2014, the Finnish court classified bitcoin as a payment instrument. A little later, local authorities introduced a tax on the growth of the crypto-currency capital — the so-called. «Tax on wealth.» After that, the first sales of goods for bitcoins followed. For example, in 2016 in Helsinki was sold to the popular among the Finns Tesla model S. The lack of taxes on electric cars, innate care for the environment and high incomes make cars of this class very attractive in the eyes of local citizens. By the way, in Helsinki to meet Tesla, even model X, as a taxi — not uncommon.

In general, Finland is very IT-and a crypto-oriented country. Suffice it to recall the LocalBitcoins (global exchanger) and Denarium (sale of physical coins-bitcoins). Two months ago, the largest Slush conference took place here, at which more than 150 crypto-currency start-ups were presented.

Armed with all these impressions and after skiing in the famous resort town of Himos, we went to Helsinki. In search of a good restaurant with Nordic cuisine for the evening came across one that has a Michelin star. Bitcoin and other coins have grown quite well over the past couple of months, there has never been a high-end restaurant in the restaurant yet, in general they decided to celebrate all the occasions — both holidays and financial success.

If someone has forgotten, the stars of the restaurant for the restaurant are a recognition of the skillful quality of the cuisine of the establishment and the professionalism of the masters working in it. In such restaurants do not serve on the menu, and they are not visited in order to «eat.» They get acquainted with the true local cuisine, its unimaginable combinations and culinary skills of the chef.

«Dinner» in this place lasts from three to five hours. All this time is divided into «chapters», each of which is devoted to a certain culinary delights. Such «chapters» can be from 4 to 9. Within the framework of one «chapter» they present only one dish, before tasting which is sure to tell its history and the expected taste combinations. Portions, by the way, are very small. Each fits one tablespoon. However, their combination, consistency, and apparently seemingly long intervals between «heads» are created in such a way that by the end of this almost theatrical performance, there is neither the feeling of hunger nor the feeling of excessive satiety. But the satisfaction and impressions of the dishes tested and the taste flavors discovered by them remain. For four people, this dinner cost us 650 euros. But it was worth it. I believe in the growth of the cue ball and look forward to a new trip and new impressions from Michelin restaurants.

The name of the restaurant does not specifically disclose, you can easily find it on the net, and also in connection with the strict rules of such establishments, which forbid them in any way to advertise their «Michelin» status.