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Enter the IditaVerse: Virtual Currency and Tokens for the Last Great Race

Mar 17, 2022 | Finance, Media & Arts, News, Tourism

The crowd claps and cheers on Mike Williams Jr. as he leaves the start during the Ceremonial Start of the 2016 Iditarod.


Just as Brent Sass was winning the 50th running of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, organizers launched the IditaVerse, a virtual platform centered on two initiatives: IditaCoin and commemorative non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

A 21st Century Fundraiser 

The race is wrapping up its first half century with innovations that were inconceivable when the first Iditarod was run in 1973.

IditaCoin is a cryptocurrency, abbreviated DGZ, based on the Solana blockchain, a distributed ledger that tracks the value of a limited inventory of 10 billion virtual tokens. The Iditarod Trail Committee brought together a world-class team of blockchain experts, architects, and best-in-class technology for this project. IditaCoin is meant to generate funding not only for staging the race but for animal welfare grants and financial support for the rural communities that share the heritage of the Iditarod.

“While many charitable organizations focus on campaigns asking for crypto donations, at the Iditarod, we have been creating a new way to use cryptocurrency as a self-sustaining resource,” says Iditarod CEO Rob Urbach. “Our mission is to create the most exciting, useful canine coin in the market, and we want to launch this exciting new venture by offering it first to Alaskans and the Iditarod Nation.”

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The first batch of 200 million DGZ are being offered at a pre-launch price of 0.15 cents apiece, approximately half the price of the expected public listing. All IditaCoin pre-sales are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Purchasers do not need to be a crypto trader or knowledgeable about crypto to participate. IditaCoin pre-sale lots can be purchased using credit card, bank transfer, or USDC, a type of stablecoin.

The Iditarod Trail Committee notes that IditaCoin is the first Alaskan-owned cryptocurrency that they know of. Ravn Alaska’s FlyCoin, launched last year, is technically owned by its California-based parent company.

The Iditarod’s second initiative, the Iditarod5000 NFT collection, allows purchasers to claim ownership of a unique collectible symbol of the event. NFTs are rare digital objects created using blockchain technology to “mint” exclusive versions for purchase. Each purchaser will be able to have their own unique vista of the race when they purchase an Iditarod5000 NFT. Each token is branded with the 50th anniversary logo of the Iditarod.

Like IditaCoin, revenue from the NFT helps sustain the race, provide support to entities involved to ensure the race’s future, and fund dog welfare programs. The sale opened just as Brent Sass crossed the finish line on Tuesday.

Both IditaCoin and the Iditarod5000 NFT are accessible through the IditaVerse website at iditaverse.io.

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In This Issue

Making History

May 2024

The track of oil and gas development in Alaska shows the footprints of bold companies and hard-working individuals who shaped the industry in the past and continue to innovate today. The May 2024 issue of Alaska Business explores that history while looking forward to new product development, the energy transition for the fishing fleet, and the ethics of AI tools in business.

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