Atari has just announced something that will surprise all the gamers out there who grew up on its consoles and games. The company made a big unveil today and while it's not a new console or game, Atari will actually be minting its own new type of cryptocurrency. The new altcoin type will be called "Atari Token" and no, it isn’t trying to take on Bitcoin.
Atari Token won't be worth real money apparently, however, it will be used on a new digital entertainment platform to buy content like video games, music, and movies. The deal was inked by Atari SA, the French firm now holding all Atari properties and Infinity Networks.
Technically Atari isn’t implementing the new cryptocurrency, but instead it has exchanged a "long-term license" to use the Atari name, in order to allow Infinity Networks to create a blockchain-based platform for the Atari Token to be used to purchase digital content. The blockchain-based platform will be a storefront essentially, according to reports.
Atari has also taken a minority share in Infinity Networks in exchange for use of the Atari brand name. Atari also gets future royalties and earnings from the new platform. The real question in many minds is how exactly this will work. It doesn't cost money to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency, at least not in the sense that you pay directly it, unless of course you actually decided to purchase it. Typically, the costs are in hardware used for mining and electricity to run mining rigs.
It's not clear how the Atari Token storefront will make money if the cryptocurrency is presumably minable for free, aside from hardware startup costs and power. There is no word on when Atari Token and its platform will launch. The most popular cryptocurrencies right now are are Bitcoin and Ethereum and it has been an extremely volatile ride recently, dropping below $7,000 per Bitcoin after trading for close to $20,000 per coin only a few weeks ago. We'll have to wait and see how this new venture for Atari shapes up, but it's an interesting and novel application of cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies to be sure. Interestingly enough, shares of Atari SA surged north of 60% and were set for a breakout on news yesterday that the company is getting into cryptocurrency.