With new funding Unsplash takes blockchain to photos

By Tarmo Virki | photos | February 16, 2018

As CoFounder has to thank Unsplash for some of the most amazing photos in the magazine over the years, the firm’s $7.25 million funding round was the startup news of the week for us.

“Blockchain technology is a perfect fit for Unsplash. The existing online stock marketplaces simply brought the old print model online. Unsplash and OST will utilize blockchain to create the new model and the new currency for photography,” Simple Token’s CEO Jason Goldberg wrote about the investment. Simple Token (OST) lead the investment round.

There are over 400,000 photos on Unsplash that have been downloaded more than 310 million times. At 12 photo downloads per second, Unsplash is part of more creative acts than any of the centralized stock image media companies.

“By setting images free, Unsplash has created exponentially more value for more photographers vs. pay-per-use stock photography marketplace,” Goldberg wrote.

Unsplash founder Mikael Cho assured the investment would not mean adding bitcoin payments into the system.

“The funds being invested today will be going toward defining a new economic model around photography. It won’t be a model where photos are going to be paid for with cryptocurrency. It will be a model that leverages the unprecedented distribution Unsplash photos gain to bring as many opportunities to contributors as possible while maintaining the open, free-to-use principles of the community. We’re looking to design a model that works equally well for both photographers and creators,” Cho said in the blog.