Kodak, the former photography giant that has fallen on hard times in recent years, may be regretting their foray into the world of cryptocurrency. The company, whose share price hit an all time high of $94.75 in 1996 but has since crumbled to a low of $2.30, is being sued by contractors and an outsourcing agency for unpaid invoices on its KodakOne project.
The invoices total more than $125,000, with this happening just five months after its Kodak KashMiner experiment collapsed with no devices ever operating.
Kodak launched the KodakOne and KashMiner projects at the 2018 CES technology trade fair in January to great fanfare. The announcement was so lauded that it generated a 120% rise in share price, but ran into problems just three weeks later when the need to comply with SEC regulations pushed completion of the ICO back to May. Issues with the KashMiner came to light soon after when it emerged that the only way customers could expect the promised returns of $375 per month was if the price of Bitcoin hit an average of $28,000. The project was swiftly buried.
KodakOne, a platform where photographers can license their work on the blockchain, seemed to be faring better, announcing partnerships and apparently developing the platform. Behind the scenes however, the picture seems to be very different.
Unpaid Invoices and Contractor Unrest
The latest issues emerged Tuesday when news broke of a number of contractors filing lawsuits against Kodak, accusing them of non-payment of wages. The total of unpaid invoices is purported to be around $125,000, with one developer, Armel Nene, taking the unusual step of going public with his experiences. Nene claims that by October “the full blockchain team had now resigned, the big data team left and the partner agencies had stop working with them” and the company has since taken to “publishing fake information on the internet” regarding the status of the platform. The person working on the code for the platform, he says, is “keeping the code as a ransom to the money they owe him”. Kodak have since denied this and say they have put the matter into the hands of their lawyers
Kodak is a long way from being the only established name to involve itself with blockchain and cryptocurrency. Sadly, for now it seems that the only solid connection between them is the fact that Kodak’s share price has spent the whole of 2018 undoing the gains it made last winter.