Shares of iconic game maker Atari, a company which helped lay the early foundations for computerized gaming, have grown by over 60 percent since the company announced a new cryptocurrency project on February 8.
Atari acquired a 15 percent stake in Gibraltar-based blockchain company Infinity Networks “without cash disbursement,” which was announced by press release through Nasdaq Global Newswire on February 8.
Atari and Infinity Networks have announced a new cryptocurrency project called the Atari Token, which they expect to underpin a blockchain-based digital entertainment platform. Atari made comments about developing a blockchain project also called Atari Token to be used for in-app game purchases. It has not been revealed whether the new Atari Token will have the same functions.
The press release quoted Atari CEO Frederic Chesnais as saying that “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.”
Additionally, Atari has also announced that it is expanding its relationship with online casino gaming company Pariplay Ltd., which has a license to use Atari games and characters. The partnership is aimed at expanding the use of digital currencies in online casino gaming.
The rapid rise in Atari’s stock price after the company’s announcement of a cryptocurrency project has drawn comparisons to an initial coin offering (ICO) announced by Eastman Kodak Company. Eastman Kodak’s share price climbed 245 percent in just two days after the company announced it would be working with a company building a blockchain-based platform for digital photo rights and royalties to roll out the the KodakCoin.
However, Kodak’s planned January 31st ICO was delayed, as Kodak announced that it would require more time to vet investors in order to abide by strict US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) laws which were supposed to govern the ICO. No new date for the ICO has yet been announced.