Cryptocurrency and gambling are the same thing according to some critics — but a new “Initial Coin Offering” from CoinPoker is bringing the two together in an online gaming service. is an online poker program based on cryptocurrencies — and built on blockchain technology to ensure a fair game and safety of funds.

The Initial Coin Offering or ICO, managed by DigitalX (ASX:DCC), will launch on Friday, offering 165 million tokens in in-game currency called CHP.

An ICO is like an initial public offering — but instead of offering shares in a company, an issuer offers digital tokens that can be traded on cryptocurrency platforms or for digital services.

Gamers have been quick to cash in. The cryptocurrency has surpassed expectations in its pre-sale and pre-ICO rounds – 100 million CHPs were sold in just six days in November and, as a result, less than one third of token allocation is left for the ICO.

But the news comes as bitcoin crashed today, sending crypto stocks plunging – DigitalX down 12 per cent in lunchtime trade.

Poker legend and CoinPoker advisor Tony G said the platform will revolutionise online poker, with Blockchain technology giving players confidence in the security of the game.

“CoinPoker is the platform that all poker players around the world have been waiting for. It offers immediate, transparent and secure transactions from every corner of the globe,” he said.

A series of opening tournaments are slated for the month, the last of which will give away a Tesla S as a grand prize, worth upwards of $100,00.

The CoinPoker mobile app is in advanced development, with more than 20,000 software downloads and more than 30,000 unique users registering on its website.

While it is the only site to use the CHP token at present, professional crypto investor Sonic Zhang said there wide-reaching potential.

“It is possible that CHPs could become the valuable utility token for use in the entire emerging crypto gaming industry, as well as other projects,” he said.

But they’re tough on users trying to play the system.

“CoinPoker has cracked down on people using multiple accounts,” said CoinPoker’s Head of Security Michael Josem.

“We closed a number of accounts that were being used by the same people, and that is just the start of the measures we are taking in order to reduce the risk of cheating.”

Gambling and ICOs are nothing new, a report from Credit Suisse in August found a high number of gaming and gambling companies have used the mechanism to raise money.

They wrote that gambling companies such as casinos have a lot to gain from blockchain and cryptocurrencies… starting with anonymity.

“Demand for anonymous gambling is evident in the relatively high usage of pre-paid cards – such as the paysafecard- on gambling websites and in consumer behaviour surveys,” the report said.

“Gambling with cryptocurrencies – as opposed to fiat money – can currently be conducted without the need to provide identification documents, or in some cases, without the need to create an account.”

CoinPoker will open its ICO at 10am on Friday, January 19 until January 26, unless all tokens are sold prior.