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KodakOne Blockchain Beta Test Sees $1 Mln in Content Licensing Claims

KodakONE has reportedly generated over $1 million in licensing claims for image rights during a limited beta test of its blockchain-based platform.

KodakONE — the developer of a blockchain-based image rights platform licensed by photographic industry giant Kodak — has reportedly generated over $1 million in licensing claims for image rights during a limited beta test of its platform. The news was reported by blockchain news source Breaker Mag on Jan. 8.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the KodakONE Image Rights Management Platform is an image copyright protection, monetization and distribution platform secured via blockchain. While the project is not run by the Eastman Kodak company itself, the industry stalwart has made RYDE Holding (formerly Wenn Digital) an official brand licensee.

When Kodak first announced its partnership with then-Wenn Digital, the company’s shares surged to a high of $13.25, with onlookers criticizing the move at the time as a bid to cash in on the ICO and blockchain hype.

RYDE, together with ICOx Innovations, has overseen the design and development of the KodakONE Platform and its KodakCoin token. The latter is an ERC-20 token, which also uses components of the Stellar blockchain as middleware. The KodakONE platform, meanwhile, uses a hybrid blockchain infrastructure with Ethereum, Stellar and Hyperledger technology.

This October, KodakOne launched its beta Post-Licensing Portal (PLP), which uses an intelligent web crawler and image recognition technology to enable rights holders to track their images and rights infringements.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology enriches image data and can predict licensing value based on similar registered images, with the platform also allowing rights holders to license image usagee retroactively, in a bid to turn infringers into lawful customers.

According to Chell, of the $1 million in revenue generated during the PLP beta, KodakONE will pocket around $400,000.

In the future, the platform reportedly aims to integrate the KodakCoin token for instant license settlement, as well as deploying smart contracts for license management at scale.

KodakONE co-founder Cam Chell told Breaker Mag that within the current photographic industry, even professionals are only managing to collect licensing fees from 20 percent of the market at most, due to the prohibitive costs of manual management. By harnessing the granular automation provided by smart contracts and blockchain, the platform reportedly aims to monetize that remaining 80 percent.

As reported, KodakCoin was registered with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), using an instrument called the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (SAFT), which limits sale to accredited investors.

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Philippine Securities Regulator Postpones ICO Regulation Release

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission isn’t ready to issue final initial coin offering regulation, meant for release in 2018.

The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) is not ready to issue final initial coin offering (ICO) regulation. The legislation was meant to be released before the end of 2018, English-language local media The Philippine Star reports on Dec. 31.

The aforementioned article attributes the delay of the release to a request by different stakeholders for further time to look at the draft ICO rules. The PSEC has reportedly revised anew the proposed regulation by taking into account different shareholders’ input.

In the draft guidelines, the regulatory body established that the tokens emitted during an ICO may be classified as securities, and “therefore, these should be registered with the Commission and necessary disclosures need to be made for the protection of the investing public.”

The PSEC also stated in the draft that the sale of security tokens to less than 20 people in one year, or the sale to banks, investment houses, insurance companies and pension funds can be exempted from registration.

When asked why the entity is willing to regulate ICOs instead of banning them like in China, PSEC chairperson Emil Aquino answered that the technology has its advantages, The Philippine Star wrote.

As Cointelegraph reported in April, the Philippine’s government decided to allow 10 blockchain and crypto companies in the Cagayan Economic Zone.

And in July, news broke that three cryptocurrency exchanges were granted licenses to operate in the aforementioned special economic zone.

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Crypto Analyst: Ethereum (ETH) Investment Thesis is “Questionable”

Although the crypto market, in general, has undoubtedly had a bad year, some digital assets have had it worse off than others. Bitcoin’s (BTC) ~83% decline from its all-time high is mere peanuts, especially when compared to the 94% loss that Ethereum (ETH) has undergone. ETH has fallen so far from its high horse that the market capitalization of XRP, Ripple’s go-to asset, has surpassed that of Ether. While many optimists believe that this discrepancy is a buying signal for Bitcoin’s former right-hand man, so to speak, a handful of analysts have declared that the asset’s harsh drawdown is justified.

ICO Season Dries Up, DApps Fail To Gain Traction

In early-2017, as Ethereum became a household name in the cryptosphere, investors began to manufacture an investment thesis surrounding ETH. Due to the abounding popularity of initial coin offerings (ICOs), and Ethereum’s ability to effortlessly facilitate such projects, ETH quickly became the de-facto king of token sales. And as such, as the ICO subset boomed, so did the value of Ether.

While ICOs became an industry flavor of the month, so did decentralized applications (dApps), with Ethereum, again, becoming a hotspot for this distinct application of blockchain technology.

Initially, as 2017 came to a close, everything seemed fine and dandy for the originally Canadian project, as investors continued to launch money at Ethereum-centric startups for the promise of ground-breaking platforms.

Yet, once 2018 rolled around, it near immediately became apparent that these startups’ promises weren’t worth their water. Newfangled dApps were underwhelming, with many criticizing such initiatives for missing key functionality and falling victim to glitches. ICOs realized their promises were baseless, before coming under fire from key regulatory agencies — namely the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Related Reading: In EtherDelta Case, SEC Hints Most Ethereum Based Tokens are Securities

In short, the bottom line is that Ethereum, including its ICO and dApp constituents, hasn’t lived up to the test of the dismal market conditions, making lower valuations for Ether sensical. In a recently-published 14-part Twitter thread diving deep into the current state of the Ethereum Network, Alex Kruger, a crypto-friendly markets analyst based in New York, echoed this sentiment.

Kruger, who has expressed cynicism towards altcoins historically, claimed that ICOs got caught up in the “fragrance of easy money,” and began touting outrageous ideas for tokens. Of course, little-to-zero of these ideas came to fruition, creating an environment where there wasn’t valid demand for ETH. As alluded to earlier, dApps didn’t pose much better of a value proposition, as made apparent by the lack of daily users on even the most enticing smart contracts, like CryptoKitties, Augur, or the countless number of decentralized exchanges. Kruger quipped:

“Natural sellers (ICOs, miners, treasuries) will always sell and put downward pressure on price. And for as long as ETH has no natural buyers (catalyzed by promising ICOs and usable dApps), it is a pyramid scheme, always in need of new incoming suckers to keep the price from crashing.”

The Bitcoin proponent, touching on the network value assessment model that is often applied to cryptocurrencies, noted that Ethereum’s fundamentals have gone to “s***,” making its bargain bin valuation rational. Coalescing his points into a single comment, Kruger noted that while Ethereum isn’t dead nor crap, its investment thesis centered around token sales and blockchain-based applications has become “questionable,” due to the trying times catalyzed by the advent of 2018’s bear market.

Kruger isn’t the first to chastise Ethereum. Arthur Hayes, CEO of BitMEX, issued a controversial blog post in August, claiming that ETH could go from “a 3-digit to a 2-digit s***coin.”

Ethereum 2.0 Still Promising

Although many lambast Ethereum for its progress (or lack thereof), the long-standing network still has the potential to reverse its dreary fate in the future. As reported by NewsBTC previously, the network’s Serenity (Ethereum 2.0) upgrade sequence is right around the corner. For those who aren’t in the loop, Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin claimed that Serenity will facilitate “pure PoS consensus, faster times to synchronous confirmation (8-16 seconds), economic finality (10-20 minutes),” and, arguably most importantly, a 1,000x scalability upside.

While Serenity is unlikely to go 100% live during 2019, many are confident that in 2020 or 2021, immense progress will be made towards the project’s long-term goal, hopefully catalyzing some form of global adoption.

Featured Image From Shutterstock

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Crypto Crash Reality Check a Good Thing For The Industry

The long drawn out bear market of 2018 has been very painful for a lot of crypto traders. However, it may be just the reality check the industry needs in building more stability for future growth.

What Goes Up Must Come Down

When charts go parabolic it is never a good sign for any asset, digital ones included. The unnatural spikes seen on Bitcoin and across most altcoins during the last two months of 2017 should have been a warning sign of what lies ahead. The hype and fervor were palpable with moons and lambos becoming a reality for a lucky few.

The seemingly unsustainable growth had to come to an end at some stage and January 7, 2018, marked that day in crypto land. After reaching a peak market capitalization of $830 billion things started to turn south in a trend that would last the entire year and beyond. In a crash of over 87% crypto markets plunged to just over $100 billion, a low hit on Saturday.

Many have lost out big time after pumping funds into cryptocurrencies only to see them evaporate over the course of the year. The FOMO train was a hard one to disembark and hodling seemed to be the only option unless prepared to sell at a loss. Channel News Asia spoke to a few traders who were mostly in regret at the moment.

“Crypto is already so cheap. It doesn’t make sense to sell something so cheap and buy something else,” one said. “Of course I look back, I regret it, but there is no way for me to undo that,” added another.

The big purge will be painful for many but it may not be that bad a thing for the ecosystem as a whole. US regulators have been the catalyst behind a lot of the selling pressure as have a number of high profile exchange hacks and ICO scams.

Regulation, however, is needed in moderation to weed out the bad actors and bring a little stability to the industry. Parabolic charts and pump and dump schemes are not conducive to a healthy trading and investing environment. Lower volatility is also far better for the general adoption of cryptocurrencies in daily life.

The focus should no longer be on price but on what the technology can achieve, as suggested by David Lee, a professor at the Singapore University of Social Sciences;

“Prices coming down is a very good thing for the industry. We should not focus on the price. It’s always a cycle … People need to refocus on how much can this technology do, and the answer is a lot,”

Industry leaders such as Binance CEO CZ shares this opinion and has adopted a ‘buidl’ attitude with a focus on developing the technology so that it can serve its real purpose.

Image from Shutterstock

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South Korean Startup Presto to File Constitutional Appeal Against Local ICO Ban

A South Korean blockchain startup has announced its intention to file a constitutional appeal against the country’s ICO ban.

A South Korean blockchain startup, Presto, will reportedly file a constitutional appeal over the county’s ban on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), South Korean economic media outlet Sedaily reports Dec. 6.

Presto claims on its website that it provides a “total solution to development teams from website building to token issuing.” The startup was reportedly trying to run a Decentralized Autonomous Organization-based Initial Coin Offering (DAICO) in South Korea for the first time.

As Cointelegraph explained in a dedicated guide, DAICOs aim to improve the ICO fundraising method by integrating some features of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs).

This fundraising method enables users to use smart contracts to vote for a refund of the funds if they stop trusting the developers or lose faith in the project, Sedaily notes.

As Cointelegraph reported, South Korea banned all ICOs in September last year. Sedaily reports that Presto’s CEO and founder, Kang Kyung-Won declared that the startup has “been hitting a snag as the government and the National Assembly have done nothing over the last one year since the government’s blanket ban on ICOs.”

He then announced their intention to file a constitutional appeal:

“We will ask the court to rule on the ICO ban and the legislature’s nonfeasance.”

Sedaily explains that according to Presto, the ban infringes on “people’s freedom of occupation and property and equal rights and scientist’s basic rights.” Kyung-Won said that given the fast pace of technological development that came with the fourth industrial revolution, “such unconstitutional and pre-modern measures as the ICO ban should not exist any longer.”

South Korea’s stance to crypto regulation stands in clear contrast with other countries like Malta. As Cointelegraph reported in July, Malta has been acclaimed as “the blockchain island” after the local parliament approved three bills that gave the crypto industry unprecedented legal clarity.

The Maltese government is also reportedly working on an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy of which the ultimate objective is to “explore a citizenship test for robots in the process of drafting new regulation for AI.”

That being said, South Korea recently overtook the Maltese crypto exchanges daily trading volume in November according to a CryptoCompare report. In the document, analysts suggest that the reason behind this shift are “competitions, trans-fee mining and rebate programs.”