Atari SA's blockchain business is taking a turn for the weird this week. Today the company announced that it is prematurely ending its joint venture with ICICB group, who had manifested as Atari's partner in licensing the brand name to hotels and casinos and running the Atari-themed Ethereum-powered cryptocurrency Atari Tokens.
This conscious uncoupling between the two companies means that we won't be seeing any Atari hotels any time soon, and will result in a write-off of €11 million that will appear on the company's next financial report.
Does this mean the French company is getting out of the cryptocurrency craze? Absolutely not! It announced that before the company terminated the joint venture agreement, its blockchain team took a snapshot of the current value of Atari Tokens, and token holders will be able to exchange their cryptocurrency for currency of equal value from its next chain.
Tokens acquired after that snapshot was taken will not be eligible. It also advised token-holders that even though it shares a name with the token, it should not be looked to or expected to provide guidance on the token's value.
"Despite the termination of the Joint Venture, Atari remains enthusiastic about the potential for blockchain initiatives and continues to establish and pursue strategic ventures and partnerships in the space," the company stated in a press release.
Atari Token saw minimal success as a financial asset. After it became tradable, its value tanked 70 percent and never quite regained momentum.
What does any of this have to do with Atari's video game business? Great question, that answer is still incredibly unclear. Atari's blockchain division is supposedly working on ways for blockchain tech to work with the Atari VCS, but no major developments have come at this time.
It isn't known yet if Atari's new cryptocurrency will be minted on Ethereum, which is still operating using carbon-spewing proof-of-work algorithms to mint new tokens (Ethereum has been working to transition to far-less energy consuming proof of stake consensus method, but that change keeps getting delayed).