Bitcoin Mania Just Made Kodak $431 Million More Valuable

January 10, 2018, 10:43 PM UTC

Bitcoin mania continued to feed the fire fueling Eastman Kodak’s stock Wednesday, after the one-time camera maker revealed a day earlier that it too was jumping into blockchain and launching its own cryptocurrency: the KodakCoin.

Shares of the struggling 130-year-old company rose as much as 90% Wednesday, giving it a valuation of $565 million. That represented a gain of roughly $431 million or 321% since the company said it would use the technology underlying cryptocurrencies, blockchain, to help photographers manage their images rights.

As part of the initiative, Kodak also announced plans to launch the KodakCoin, a “photo-centric cryptocurrency” intended to be used as payment for photographs. The initial coin offering will open Jan. 31.

Kodak’s news follows a string of similar announcements from companies seeking to enter the blockchain world, a move that has been accompanied by an upswing in their respective stock prices. Late last year, Long Island Ice Tea changed its name to Long Blockchain, sending its stock price up six fold. A biotech firm renamed itself Riot Blockchain—resulting in similar gains. A Hooters restaurant investor, meanwhile, said earlier this month that it would use Blockchain for its loyalty program, giving its stock price a 50% jump at the time.

Autonomous Research estimates that about 31 public companies have jumped on the “crypto bandwagon.” And if history is to be followed, more are expected to either add blockchain to their names or announce a blockchain strategy. Autonomous predicts that more than 100 companies will follow this trend in 2018. It compared the recent run in Bitcoin to the DotCom boom. Back then, about 126 companies added to their names at the height of the bubble.

And similarly, after the bubble popped between 2000 to 2001, 57 companies also deleted from their names.

Kodak’s stock pared some of its gains by the end of regular trading hours Wednesday, up roughly 57% since a day earlier, valuing the company at $456 million.