Atari may be a retro gaming brand, but it's looking to get involved in the latest big tech trend. As reported by Bloomberg, the company has unveiled plans for its own cryptocurrency called Atari Token, to be followed by another called Pong.
"Blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionize, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions," Atari Chairman and CEO Frederic Chesnais said. "Our aim is to take strategic positions with a limited cash risk, in order to best create value with the assets and the Atari brand."
Atari Token will be used for a blockchain-based digital media platform being developed as part of a deal with Infinity Networks, Ltd. As part of the deal, Atari also took a 15% stake in Infinity Networks, but granted it a long-term license to use the Atari brand. Atari said it is pursuing additional deals where it will take equity in a company in exchange for a license to its brand and a minimal cash payout.
As for its other blockchain ambitions, Atari is looking to incorporate cryptocurrencies into its gambling business. The company has already partnered with Pariplay, Ltd. for a series of online slot machines using Atari brands like Pong and Asteroids. Later this year, the pair hope to launch a new casino platform allowing players to bet with fiat currency or a variety of cryptocurrencies. Atari will also roll out a second cryptocurrency, Pong, specifically for use on its gambling sites.
The news seems to have gone over well with investors. Atari shares were trading for $0.52 on the day it first announced its cryptocurrency ambitions, and are now trading up 52% to $0.79 as of this writing, a little over a week later.