When Facebook announced it was changing its name to Meta Platforms Inc. META in October 2021, interest in the metaverse skyrocketed. A new internet era appeared on the horizon — one that aimed to merge real life with the digital realm in unseen ways.
But Facebook’s announcement isn’t a reckoning in and of itself. Firms centered on metaverse technologies have seemingly been brewing for years.
This includes Unity Software Inc. U and Fastly Inc. FSLY. Other companies such as UplandMe, Inc. in Silicon Valley, are relatively new to the scene but reportedly making headway nonetheless.
Upland is a mobile-first blockchain metaverse that allows users to buy virtual properties based on real world addresses, build on those properties to increase their value, and sell them to increase their virtual real estate portfolio. Upland says that they have the unique position to attract mass markets due to the fact that the economy is built to be open and inclusive. Different tiers of costs allow everyone to participate in true ownership, which in Upland is virtual property based on real world addresses starting at 4,500 UPX ($4.50) and rising from there. The ultimate goal is to empower the user to play, create, and participate in the economy because the game experience allows them to raise the value of the digital assets they own, which is property in Upland.
Perhaps unlike the majority of metaverses available on the market, Upland is based on real life. The digital assets available through Upland reflect real-life real estate properties, structures, cars and more. Upland reports that users are able to strategize and build entire neighborhoods with one another through the online metaverse and even unlock the potential to earn money.
Upland says it aims to be an entirely approachable branch to the metaverse by prioritizing simplicity and accessibility. With other metaverse platforms featuring land prices in the thousands of dollars, Upland’s properties start out at as little as $4 to $5 for first mints.
As the platform continues to grow, Upland remains grounded in its founding operating principles that benefit the community: Play. Build. Earn. Connect.
Play: Users can become one of the first digital land owners in Upland by purchasing a virtual property mapped to a real-world address. They can even access special rewards by completing signature property collections, participating in daily treasure hunts and competing in live events.
Build: Like the real world, owning a property is only the beginning of establishing wealth on your asset. Upland gives users the ability to develop and construct their own buildings of any kind on their properties. Structures are tethered to the property on which they are built. If the owner of the structure wants to trade or sell their property parcel in the future, their Structure will be included in that sale. This follows real-life logic; if you buy a parcel of land with a building on it, you take ownership of the building as well. Additionally, just as there are high net worth neighborhoods in the real world, players in the Upland community have begun developing entire neighborhoods together to build community value by populating cities with fantastic-looking Structures.
Earn: Users can join an inclusive, virtual economy with the opportunity to earn in the metaverse. Start out by buying property with starter UPX (Upland’s digital currency), then earn a return on your properties and collect fees from visitors. This may sound like a familiar game, as Upland reports that its game is similar to Monopoly. You can also engage in more advanced real estate transactions, flipping some of your properties for profit in Upland’s free and open marketplace. There’s also the opportunity to act on your entrepreneurial spirit, by becoming a business owner in Upland. Metaventures are player-owned and developed shops that they build in structures on their own properties, from which they can sell any asset that they have accumulated through their Upland experience. The vision is to create thousands, if not millions of micro entrepreneurs who will be able to make their (partial) real-world income via the Upland platform alongside traditional brands and businesses who will have complete new ways to innovate at the intersection of the virtual and the real world.
Connect: Socializing with fellow Uplanders is greatly encouraged and though there is a competitive nature to buying up property and building your tycoon status, the Upland community is known for being highly engaged and helpful to newcomers. While community conversation can be casual on Discord and Telegram, it’s mostly focused around learning and sharing game strategies. You can even join Uplanders inside the metaverse’s virtual hangout spaces.
Upland boasts of a strategic play and earn economic model, which seamlessly merges the exploration and future of the metaverse with the fun and entertainment of gaming. To date, players have reportedly earned collectively over $7 million through the Upland virtual metaverse. In 2021 alone, players reported anywhere from 600% to 1.6 million% increases in their Upland net worths. Upland says it maintains a partnership with Tilia that allows users to sell their properties for U.S. currency and deposit their earnings directly into their PayPal accounts.
At a glance, Upland has:
- Minted over 3 million property non-fungible tokens (NFTs) with over 280,000 property owners
- Helped players earn over $7 million collectively
- Recently launched its first car manufacturing brand MV Motors, where players will be able to race, design, manufacture, and trade their vehicles, which will have a wide variety of uses across the Upland ecosystem and create an entire new economy. Leveraging their portfolio of NFT cars, players can earn additional money through activities such as transporting cargo, ridesharing, racing through the open cities of Upland, and more..
- Partnered with National Football League Players Association, the #1 football club in Portugal FC Porto, Manguiera Samba School in Rio De Janeiro, Spirit and Hyperloop
- Recently launched its first international city with Rio De Janeiro which sold out 50,000 properties at a rate of 54 properties per second and 3,230 per minute in just a few hours
- Partnered with Brazilian company Flex Interativa, owned by entrepreneur Fernando Godoy, to expand its operations in Brazil and build immersive 3D experiences in the metaverse, in which brands will be able to start their journey with the Blockchain .gamification, and NFTs in a cost-effective and simplified manner.
Going forward, Upland reports that it plans to continue to expand internationally with more partners and larger cities, as well as introduce new features for cars including ridesharing, transportation, racing, and more player-owned and operated shops titled Metaventures. Metaventures will allow users to build and monetize their own brands within Upland, enabling them to create, manufacture, sell or even lend NFTs and in-game assets.
New users can now unlock a limited-time offer of a 6,000 UPX starting bonus, which is plenty to take advantage of the Fair Start Act new user advantage to buy their first property. UPX is Upland’s in-game currency that players can use to purchase properties and other NFTs. Learn more here.
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Featured photo by Upland