By Noel Randewich
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters)
Shares of Eastman Kodak Co <KODK.N> more than doubled on Tuesday after the one-time leader in photography became the latest company to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon
The storied Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement it is launching a cryptocurrency called “KODAKCoin” for photographers, part of “KODAKOne,” an image rights management platform in a licensing partnership with WENN Digital.
The platform uses blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other digital currencies that have surged in recent months and raised fears of a price bubble.
The stock was last up 92 percent at $5.95 in midafternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, off an earlier high at $6.65.
The film pioneer founded over a century ago has struggled to transform itself into an imaging software and technology company. Kodak was a Dow Jones Industrials <.DJI> component until April 2004, and its stock has slumped 90 percent since it emerged from bankruptcy in 2013.
Several other companies in recent weeks have been rewarded with sharp rises in share price after announcing their transformation into cryptocurrency businesses
“This is getting ridiculous,” said Dennis Dick, a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas. “From a fundamental point of view, none of this makes sense.”
Riot Blockchain <RIOT.O> shares have tripled since October when the former biotechnology firm changed its name and said it was revising its business focus to bitcoins.
Soft drinks maker Long Island Iced Tea has more than doubled since it said it was shifting its focus to blockchain technology and changing its name to Long Blockchain Corp <LBCC.O>.
Also on Tuesday, Inpixon <INPX.O> surged 9 cents or 40 percent to 31 cents per share after the data analytics company announced it would adopt blockchain technology.
WENN Digital belongs to WENN Media, which provides photos to websites and media.
(Reporting by Noel Randewich, Editing by G Crosse and Matthew Lewis)