Unikrn sports platform is working with ZED RUN horse racing game to bring horse betting to the blockchain of the Ethereum. The game is based on the standard non-fungible token (NFT) first made famous by the CryptoKitties of Dapper Labs.
Digital racehorses with unique attributes, trading history and winning records–all with bloodlines named for crypto luminaries such as Nakamoto, Szabo, Finney and Buterin.
Unikrn CEO Rahul Sood said: “We’re trying to bridge the gap between modern-day wagering and blockchain.”
The horses can be purchased on ZED and exchanged on the platform of Unikrn with each piece of data monitored via theERC-721 standard of Ethereum. Just 38,000 horses will ever be produced on ZED–but users will be able to breed horses from their own stables. In fact, according to Sood, one ZED stallion sold for 50 ether, worth about $11,000 depending on market conditions.
The first race, as reported by Yahoo Finance, is expected to debut in two or three weeks, sood said.
Traditional horse racing is dominated by an older crowd that shares a passion for the track but has bad platforms for gambling, Sood said. Unikrn thinks that two groups-eSports fans and horse bettors, can be merged on one platform. For perspective, according to TwitchTracker, one billion hours of eSports were viewed on Twitch alone in January 2020 with some four million viewers.
“You can own a horse,” Sood said. “Your horse can win prizes and your horse can gain notoriety. We’re catering to a very broad audience, not just young people.”
In May 2019 Unikrn launched crypto betting for popular games such as Fortnite on Twitch streams. Sood said Unikrn has four million users with an average of 160,000 gamblers across its various products who can use either cryptocurrency or cash.
The near-on-demand aspect of virtual horse racing and the multitude of locations where an event can take place are digital features that best traditional racing, Sood said. Two examples of potential race tracks Sood has provided were the Las Vegas Strip or Sydney Harbour Bridge. However, traditional tracks can accommodate only a handful of horses, while Unikrn can support hundreds of horses at once.
As of now, players in 41 U.S. states can bet on themselves, while fair betting is still in the works awaiting agreements with local casinos. Unikrn is available in 43 countries around the globe for betting too. “In the U.S., betting on sports is regulated state by state. In order to get a license, you have to own a land-based casino or be partnered with them,” Sood said.
Unikrn monitors user information, including past races, for self-betting to create custom betting odds against the house itself, Unikrn. Bets can be put in USD or the platform’s nativeERC-20 token, UnikoinGold (UKG). Certain cryptos can be stored on the network and can also be converted back and forth to UKG, Sood said.
Unikrn opened in 2014, raising $10 million in venture funding from, among others, Binary Capital, Ashton Kutcher and Mark Cuban. In late 2017, the company held a public token sale of $40 million for UnikoinGold.