Seattle-based Esports betting startup Unikrn today announced that it will look to sell $100 million in cryptocurrency “tokens” as part of an initial coin offering, or ICO.
On Sept. 22, the company will sell virtual tokens called UnikoinGold that can be used on its platform to bet on Esports matches. Those tokens can be exchanged for other major cryptocurrencies, such as ethereum and bitcoin, which can then be exchanged for U.S. dollars.
Unikrn is partnering with CoinCircle for the ICO and will use the proceeds to help fund the growth of its business. The company previously raised $10 million in venture funding from Mark Cuban, Ashton Kutcher, Binary Capital, Indicator Ventures, and more.
Cuban said that he plans to participate in the ICO. His announcement in June about the ICO made news partially because he recently said bitcoin was in a “bubble.” Asked about his strategy to participate in Unikrn’s ICO, Cuban told CoinDesk, “high risk, high reward.”
Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood told GeekWire last month that there is a difference between investing in a company and participating in an ICO.
“Venture funding is when you sell a piece of equity to a venture fund,” Sood explained. “Token sales are when you sell a token that works on your platform. It’s not an investment because it’s completely liquid. It’s almost like you are buying a specific currency that you can trade with and use on our platform.”
UnikoinGold is based on the ethereum blockchain, which is similar to Bitcoin, the largest digital currency that is reaching record highs in value. Ethereum is setting transaction records this week, though prices have been steady.
“The decentralized UnikoinGold token breaks down barriers for our users, giving them more autonomy and opportunity to participate on our platform, with flexibility to trade in a more open marketplace,” Sood said in statement today. “Our improved esports betting system is creating a new world of opportunity for cryptocurrency wagering that is legal, safe and fun. Competitive gaming thrives on innovation, risk and reward, and we believe that UnikoinGold is the breakthrough that the esports world has been waiting for.”
Sood said last month that blockchain technology, which provides a decentralized public ledger of transactions that is the core of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, will “completely change the way we do commerce.”
“The beauty of these transactions is that they are fairly seamless across borders,” he said. “The banks need to embrace it. The idea that TCP/IP was to the telephone is what blockchain is to commerce.”
Founded in 2014, Unikrn employs 30 people across offices in Seattle, Berlin, Sydney, and Las Vegas. It was named a Seattle 10 startup in 2015.