International edition
November 24, 2020

Exclusive interview with Rahul Sood, Unikrn's CEO

"Unikrn and ZED horse racing technology could certainly change the future of sports in general"

"Long-term, ZED horses will develop a genuine emotional life with owners and bettors, even interacting with augmented and virtual reality to bring these horses to life!" says Unikrn's CEO.
United States | 03/11/2020

ZED will use an Ethereum standard that will enable all horse data to be recorded and passed on through blockchain-based genetics and be publicly cross-checked. ZED is preparing to launch blockchain-based races in 2020 with a USD 20,000 prize pool, and a regulated betting launch on Unikrn will follow shortly after complete with a spectator experience.

C

ould you describe in detail what are the disruptive innovations this product is bringing to the gaming industry? What are your short and long-term prospects and expectations for it?

Until now, virtual horse racing is little more than a roulette machine with a poorly rendered, horse-themed loading bar. That’s enough for some bettors, but we know it can be much, much more. Unikrn and ZED are evolving the space by bringing all the key parts of real horse racing together into a single digital platform. You can now own, trade, breed and race digital thoroughbreds, each with its own unique characteristics, history and statistics passed on through blockchain-based genetics. Take the horse you own and make the horse of your dreams, win cash racing them in real digital contests of speed and stamina. 

A ZED race isn’t a random number generator. It’s a bet on something so close to real that you can feel the sweat at the finish line. Unlike other horse races, ZED creates continuity and narrative. In ZED, a racehorse’s history — from its races to its breeding record to its preferred starting gate — carries with it from race to race. Short term, ZED will let anybody get into racing horses and build a community from an emerging demographic to build the next wave of casual racing and gaming fans. Long-term, ZED horses will develop a genuine emotional life with owners and bettors, even interacting with augmented and virtual reality to bring these horses to life!

When is the first race set to debut? Will there be betting options 24/7/365? How are these exactly?

After months of beta testing, ZED is preparing to launch races in 2020 with a USD 20,000 prize pool. A regulated betting launch on Unikrn will follow shortly after complete with a beautiful spectator experience.

Why have you chosen horse racing game ZED RUN for this launch, and what does this imply? For how long have you been working on this product, and how was the path leading to this launch?

Through centuries, ownership of a prize racehorse was a privilege for the super wealthy. ZED is breaking down the barriers for owning, operating and enjoying horse racing - we’re making it fun without all the work.

Could you delve further into the non-fungible token (NFT) standard the game will rely on? What features does this bring? Do you think this product could be a landmark and open doors for new synergies between blockchain and sports betting?

ZED uses the ERC-721 NFT standard, which means all horse data will be recorded on the blockchain that can be publicly cross-checked, such as a racehorses DNA, past performance, name, colour and its family tree. So basically we’re making it possible for users to openly view all the horses available, make offers to breed, trade, and race their horses with or against others. Unikrn and ZED are hyper focused on moving horse racing into the future for now, but this technology could certainly change the future of sports in general.

How is the process through which users can breed horses from their own stables? What are your expectations for this in particular?

Users can breed with their own stables by placing their male racehorse into the stud marketplace (excepting inbreeding, which isn’t allowed). We anticipate a fine balance between a user breeding within their own stables and also in protecting its bloodline. Just like in real horse racing, we expect strong performance horses to fetch higher prices in the breeding market.

What are your strategies and resources to actually draw and combine two different audiences, such as esports fans and horse bettors?

Esports fans aren’t only esports fans, that’s why Unikrn offers esports betting, skill wagering, an online casino and even a traditional sportsbook — Unikrn is a modern esports first entertainment HUB. We know from our site’s usage that there’s heavy crossover between these and other options, and we also know our audience is blockchain-interested (that’s why we accept cryptocurrency deposits and bets). ZED is just a natural extension of what we already offer — a superior experience revolutionizing what used to be the status quo.

Are you currently working on finding partnerships with US casinos for competitive betting? What are your goals and prospects in that area?

We are constantly being approached by a variety of traditional and digital entertainment providers, including casinos and even licensed venue operators. We have some very exciting announcements in the pipeline that will catapult ZED into the mainstream, which we will announce in due course.

Nearly a year ago you launched Unikrn Virtual, enabling eSports users to bet 24/7 on top teams from past rounds competitions. Can we have your assessment of that product so far, in terms of performance and feedback?

Unikrn Virtual is a 24/7 virtual esports feed. Since we launched, we’ve added in thousands of exclusive, never-before-seen contests featuring some of the best esports competitors in history. Fans love to come see our competitors, including all-time champions like Justin Wong and Perfect Legend, play exclusively against hand-picked opponents. You could sit and watch Unikrn Virtual for every waking hour over weeks and still see contests that surprise and excite you, betting on tens of thousands of options. People love it. We love it. We’ll be adding several new titles to Unikrn Virtual this quarter, all of which feature hand-picked professional players duking it out in exclusive rounds. We’ve seen a lot of interest and we’re excited to push the boundaries of what a virtual bet can become.

Leave your comment
Newsletter Subscription
Subscribe to receive the latest news and updates
Enter a valid email
Complete the captcha
Thank you for registering to our newsletter.