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What is Upland: An NFT Game with Fiat Rewards

Launched in July 2018, Upland (UPX) is a non-fungible token (NFT) trading game where users can trade virtual real-estate using native UPX tokens or fiat money. Within its metaverse, users can buy virtual real-estate that corresponds to a real-world address. Data on the token price and token supply will become available as the project matures.

upland

What Is Upland?

Upland is a metaverse game that leverages blockchain technology for users to trade NFTs with its UPX tokens, thereby forming a virtual economy. The Upland blockchain and token are developed by the EOS blockchain team. The game is built on the EOS blockchain, which boasts a suitable permission system and processing speed for mass usage. UPX is a token built on the EOS blockchain as well.

What is the UPX token used for?

Furthermore, UPX is only purchasable in-game. The token is minted during monthly rewards distribution to users who are holding property, as well as when users buy UPX with USD to purchase properties. As a result, when users need more UPX to buy properties, token supply increases.

In Upland, users can purchase virtual real estate that reflect real world addresses. This way, Upland NFTs are scarce because real world addresses are limited. The pricing of NFTs is determined by the liquidation of the UPX market. In other words, the supply and demand of UPX affect the NFT prices.

What Does Upland Offer?

The Upland game is quite user-friendly so gaming enthusiasts and cryptocurrency beginners alike can easily join. It’s available on PC and mobile platforms. Players get the chance to earn real money at the same time. The monetary value will encourage users to play because most systems in traditional games do not let users earn money. To participate in the game, users simply need to provide their email addresses and complete their first mission to receive 3 thousand UPX as a starting bonus. After that, they will need to buy UPX tokens to acquire the in-game real estate.

The in-game assets are in the form of NFTs. This way, users can prove that they truly own the properties and no third party can change or remove them as the owners. Furthermore, Upland provides value to its NFTs in different ways. Currently, Upland players can sell the assets they own within the game for USD. Users can also treat their NFTs as collectibles and keep them forever. Others can purchase in-game properties based on the real-world properties that they have an emotional attachment to.

How Does Upland Work?

upland Overview of player’s in-game interaction

Overview of player’s in-game interaction (Source: Upland.me)

The figure above demonstrates how users can interact within the game. Basically, users obtain UPX tokens with fiat currency, buy virtual properties, collect earnings, upgrade their properties to increase earnings, and trade their properties for fiat.

  • Token usage: The sale of assets is the only way to cash out UPX tokens. Some users may choose to sell their properties in exchange for fiat. On the other hand, Upland releases UPX tokens monthly as incentives for users holding their assets. The monthly earnings are sent to the users’ UPX accounts.
  • Real estate trading: Within the game, users can use UPX tokens or fiat money to buy real estate NFTs. They need to verify their identity before selling assets for fiat. When users successfully sell their real estates, the fiat earnings can be transferred to Paypal from their digital wallets.
  • Property collection: “Collection” is the name of a quest designed by the game creator. The return on UPX tokens is boosted when players acquire all properties under a selected collection. However, completion of a collection becomes harder to accomplish because some properties are limited or expensive. Users may have to negotiate with the owners to buy these rare properties.
  • Property hunting: Upland has a marketplace for users to purchase real-estate NFTs. Each user is also given an explorer robot to discover new areas within the game. Moreover, the marketplace enables users to sell assets and respond to offers.

Journey from visitor to Uplander

Journey from visitor to Uplander (Source: Upland.me)

Since the NFTs are kept on the EOS blockchain, tokens can be staked for users to enjoy more of the network’s functionalities. The staking costs on EOS are offset in different ways based on a user’s tier within the game. The tiers are called “Visitors” and “Uplanders”.

  • Visitors: For visitors, Upland has multiple EOS accounts for guest users to experience the game. If a guest user is inactive for seven days, the game will recycle the account for other visitors to use. Recycled accounts are cleared of ownership of tokens and real estate. However, users may choose to renew their guest accounts to continue exploring the metaverse.
  • Uplanders: A user’s status upgrades to an “Uplander” when the value of their tokens and real estate reaches at least 10 thousand UPX tokens. When a user has above 10 thousand UPX, they will receive a registered EOS account. As a result, NFTs will be wholly owned by that user as per the blockchain record.

Who Is Behind Upland?

Dirk Lueth is a co-founder of Upland. Lueth has been working in the technology field for almost two decades. He has also worked as an advisor for multiple startups. Moreover, Lueth has also co-founded multiple startups with venture capital investment institutions, which amounted to millions of USD.

Mani Honigstein is another co-founder of Upland. Honigstein has been involved in the gaming industry for more than a decade. In the past 20 years. Honigstein has also worked in the CEO and advisor positions in multiple technology organizations.

Idan Zuckerman is the third co-founder of Upland. In the past, Zuckerman has worked as an analyst in IT for three years. He has also worked as a vice president of product for eight years and vice president of R&D for six years in various gaming companies.

What Is the Future for Upland?

The pandemic shifted the world increasingly online, as we now see more gatherings, weddings, and graduations held virtually. This recent trend also encouraged major companies to develop their own metaverses, such as Epic Games, Facebook, and Microsoft. Therefore, Upland has much to gain in the future as metaverses gain traction and enter the mainstream.

Future for Upland NFTs

Regarding NFTs, Upland sold one of their NFTs for $23 thousand USD last year. The prices of the NFTs will likely increase when the game becomes more popular. Moreover, Upland has several plans for NFT development. Other than real estate, they plan to add NFTs that imitate real-world objects to the game. For example, virtual cars, shops, and collectible cards.

Additionally, users are able to build real estate and develop rural areas within the game, just like in the real world. Moreover, brands will also be able to replicate their services from reality into the virtual world of Upland.

Most of Upland’s real estate NFTs right now are created based on locations in the US. Therefore, Upland intends to have a franchise business model where NFT-based properties worldwide are available in the game. The pricing of property in Upland will be determined by market conditions of the virtual and real world.

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In terms of development, Upland plans to make the NFTs portable to other blockchains. For governance, decisions will become more decentralized as the in-game economy and ecosystem grow. Moreover, Upland intends to develop its API exclusively for third-party developers to provide a better user gaming experience.

Conclusion

Upland is a game for players to acquire NFT-based properties which are mapped to real-world locations. The number of NFTs available is limited due to scarcity of real world addresses. In Upland, users can use fiat money to buy the native UPX token to acquire these virtual properties. Multiple factors impact pricing of in-game NFTs. These include UPX liquidity, real-world market conditions, and the availability of the properties.


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