Kodak, a company best known for its high-quality photography equipment, revealed an interest in the digital currency market earlier this month. Cryptocurrency has been steadily growing in popularity ever since its release—but why has Kodak taken an interest?

A quick overview of cryptocurrency

cryptocurrency is, in essence, just digital money created from code (as opposed to physical money created from machines). Because the money is digital, it is independent of any given government, which allows the cryptocurrency economy to be totally separate from any single authority.

The entire economy is regulated by a network of over 9,500 computers scattered across the globe.

Cryptocurrency was first introduced in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin. When the system launched in 2011, one Bitcoin was worth approximately thirty cents. Today, a bitcoin is worth a little less than $11,192. Reports by CBS News and the New York Times provided much of the information used in this article.

The appeals of the currency are simple—it’s fast, secure, irreversible, and pseudonymous. You can send any sum of money to any individual in the world at any given moment, and they will receive it almost instantaneously…and none of it can be traced back to you because there’s no central database that records or collects any of your data.

Kodak’s involvement in the digital economy

Kodak, in collaboration with WENN Digital, is launching their own cryptocurrency, KODAKCoin, alongside an image rights management platform known as KODAKOne. According to their official statement, the goal is to use the platform in conjunction with KODAKCoin in order to encourage photographers and photography agencies alike to exercise more control over their own image rights.

Photographers will be able to easily and securely manage, license, and sell both new and archived work directly through KODAKOne. The system will further take advantage of the decentralized nature of the cryptocurrency market to also manage licensing infringements, making it significantly easier for photographers to notice when their work is being used without prior consent or payment.

Kodak’s official announcement states that their primary interest is in making licensing more fair to artists. Ideally, KODAKOne and KODAKCoin will make it extremely difficult for people to illicitly steal, claim, or redistribute images while simultaneously making the process highly efficient for the artists themselves.

Ultimately, Kodak’s interest in cryptocurrency should come as no great surprise; the company has always been deeply involved in the technology industry and has been consistently dedicated to providing high-quality innovation ever since they avoided bankruptcy in 2013. The initial coin offering for KODAKCoin won’t open until January 31, but Kodak’s stock shares have already more than doubled since their initial announcement, indicating strong early enthusiasm for the company’s proposal.