Published: 14 Dec 2021
What is Upland?
Upland is a metaverse based on the EOS blockchain that blurs the lines between the real and virtual world. It gives users the power to buy, sell, and trade virtual properties mapped to real addresses in the real world. While the virtual properties users collect in Upland don’t have any rights or association to the correlating properties in real life, the addresses do mirror real-world locations. Aside from the address, the virtual properties on this metaverse are also “duplicates” of the real-world properties. In other words, properties within Upland are digital copies of their real-world counterparts, so users can essentially buy skyscrapers or famous sights.
By becoming a virtual landowner, users can build the property of their dreams, open virtual businesses, make new friends, and earn USD or UPX coins (Upland’s native currency). Similar to other metaverse platforms and traditional real estate, there are a lot of opportunities for landowners to monetise their experiences. For example, users can earn returns on properties by reselling their properties for higher prices, collecting fees for visitors, or renting out their properties to earn passive income. The earnings you collect from your property will be sent to your account in UPX.
Since Upland is powered by blockchain technology, you completely own the property you collect in the metaverse. Just like properties in the real world, virtual properties in the platform are unique and cannot be duplicated or forged. Once users purchase a property within the metaverse, it is theirs forever. Besides mapping virtual addresses to real addresses, another thing that makes Upland unique is that it aims to create a wholly digital and realistic economy that shall be controlled by the future instead of focusing on collectors’ value.
History of Upland
Uplandme, Inc. was founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneurs Dirk Lueth, Mani Honigstein, and Idan Zuckerman. As a globally distributed organisation, Uplandme, Inc. has headquarters in Silicon Valley, an R&D centre in Ukraine, and further team members across the US and Europe. Although the company is relatively young, it has grown significantly and garnered a loyal following of players.
In early 2018, Upland started with the idea of an NFT metaverse comparable to Monopoly, where players can buy and sell virtual properties based on the real world. The founders’ vision is to create a metaverse where people can play, socialise, and eventually earn money. Soon after, in July 2018, Uplandme, Inc. was incorporated. The founders then raised a seed round from angel investors and FinLab AG, and they began coding in December 2018. Several months later, in June 2019, the company invited Upland’s first users to try its closed beta, and the first-ever property was minted in the metaverse.
Upland’s open beta was finally released in January 2020, and it has been available cross-platform. San Francisco was the only city available during its initial release, but in October 2020, more locations were introduced. These include Brooklyn, Bakersfield, Chicago, Oakland, and Staten Island. In 2020, Upland also secured a partnership with Tilia Inc. to allow players to sell properties for USD.
In mid-2021, Upland had around 30,000 to 40,000 daily active users. This number is a 1600% increase from the platform’s 2,5000 daily active players in 2020. Thus, Upland is now one of the biggest blockchain games globally, and it’s still growing strong.
Popular Areas in Upland
Upland has specific cities in the United States where players can buy properties. The metaverse has been regularly releasing new towns as its user base grows. Right now, the following cities are in the metaverse:
- San Francisco
- Kansas City
- New Orleans
- The Bronx
As the first and the genesis city in Upland, San Francisco is possibly the most popular among players. Properties within San Francisco, along with Manhattan, have been sold out since the beginning of 2021. Some of the properties in these cities are resold or filled for around 50 to 100 times their minted purchase price. One of the newest additions to Upland, the Bronx, is also pretty popular. Within 10 minutes of its opening, 2,000 properties were minted.
Types of Property in Upland
Properties in Upland are divided into two main categories: minted and unminted properties. Minted properties are already owned by other players, while unminted properties have never had an owner. Each property available in Upland is a non-fungible token. This means that they are unique and cannot be duplicated.
Every property in Upland is colour-coded so that players can understand their surroundings better.
- Bright Green Properties are unminted properties with no owner. In other words, users can buy these properties directly from Upland and become the very first owners. The prices for bright green properties are generated by simulating real-life market conditions in each specific city.
- Dark Green Properties are minted properties owned by other players that are currently listed on the secondary market for others to buy. Unlike prices for bright green properties that are automatically generated to follow real-world market conditions, the prices for dark green properties are set by their owners.
- FSA-marked properties, or the Fair Start Act, was created to help new players get started in Upland. Properties with FSA marks are reserved for newer players. They are typically less expensive than other types of properties.
- Blue Properties are minted properties that are owned by someone else and not listed on the secondary market. However, players who want these properties can make offers to the owners.
- Grey Properties are locked properties that haven’t been opened for players to mint. Additionally, several grey properties in Upland are designed for future Landmark auctions and sales.
Native Tokens Used in Upland
The native token used in Upland is UPX, which is used for a wide range of purposes. Players can use it to buy and trade properties, purchase rare and unique NFTs, and power in-game activities such as marketplace transactions. Every new player is given a small amount of UPX to help them purchase their first properties. All properties in Upland generate UPX passively at a rate of 17.3% of the base mint price. In addition to earning passive UPX from properties, players can earn UPX by trading NFTs and properties on the open marketplace.
Since Upland’s ecosystem is built on the EOS blockchain, almost every action within the game is real transactions recorded by the blockchain. However, UPX isn’t actually a cryptocurrency by definition. The token does live in the blockchain, but it’s strictly a utility token that can only be used in-game to acquire NFT. Therefore, UPX cannot be tradable outside of Upland.
Top 3 Reasons to Invest in Upland
- Owning property means generating passive income – Since every property generates UPX passively, players can simply buy property to generate passive income. The rate of passive UPX each property generates is 17.3% of the base mint price. This means that if a player means property for 100,000 UPX, they will earn 17,300 UPX in the next year. Players can boost this rate by placing their properties in collections.
- One of the fastest-growing metaverses – Upland’s metaverse is one of the fastest-growing on the whole blockchain. In just a year, the number of active daily users of the metaverse increases 1600%, from 2,500 to 40,000.
- Upland reaches a 300 million USD valuation – The popularity of NFTs has been skyrocketing in the past few years, especially during the pandemic. Thanks to this exploding popularity, Uplandme, Inc. reportedly has a 300 million USD valuation. The official investment was led by Animoca Brands, which has raised 138 million USD in funding.