Kodak's Blockchain Pivot Is A Sham, Investment Manager Says

A hedge fund with short position in Kodak does not believe the image firm will use blockchain technology to save itself.

AccessTimeIconFeb 8, 2018 at 7:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:32 a.m. UTC

One hedge fund manager isn't buying Kodak's blockchain pivot.

In a research report released Wednesday, Kerrisdale Capital alleges Kodak's blockchain effort isn't genuine, going so far as to call it "a last-ditch stock promotion gambit for a company hurtling towards bankruptcy." Kerrisdale holds a short position on Kodak's stock, and is known for giving strong opinions on public stocks that could move prices.

As reported by CoinDesk, Kodak announced an initial coin offering (ICO) on Jan. 9 in an effort to apply blockchain technology to solve copyright issues faced by photographers. The news was followed by a 37 percent jump in the company's stock, and a period of heightened performance.

However, in Wednesday's report, Kerrisdale Capital said its research leads it to believe that Kodak won't be able to compete with other blockchains startups, because "it's staring at the possibility of default and a debt restructuring in the next 12-18 months."

As such, the hedge fund argues that Kodak lacks the technological capacity and the funding to realize its claimed KodakCoin technology and thus transact and store images over a blockchain.

Addressing its separate plans to enter the mining market as well, the firm furthered its argument that the return of investment on Kodak remains questionable.

The report reads:

"Kodak's cryptocurrency ploy hits all the major buzzwords – blockchain, smart contracts, distributed ledger, ICO, etc. But look through the PR spin, examine the true merits of using blockchain for the proposed service, and it's obvious the project is poorly thought out and will never work as promoted."

As of press time, Kodak has not yet responded with comments.

Kodak films image via Shutterstock

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