Ever wished you could own property, try your hand at real estate, or build an NFT collection?
If you answer “yep,” “why not?” or “hell yeah” to any of the above, then Upland could be your next blockchain-based addiction begging to happen.
Upland is an NFT metaverse, kind of like The Sandbox and Decentraland, but with a few major differences.
What makes Upland different than other metaverses?
Upland’s claim to fame is that its in-game map is based around actual real-world properties. Instead of a whole new digital universe, it’s more a parallel digital universe, which is part of what makes it fun.
You can theoretically buy an NFT version of your own property, your favorite landmark, your enemy’s house, or whatever.
The catch is that Upland is still very much in its infancy and, in order to make the properties actually worth anything, only a few cities have yet to be released.
At the moment, they include larger cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Detroit, Nashville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Chicago, and a few more.
The guys behind Upland seem pretty on point when it comes to using real-world economic data to create a solid virtual economy, so they’re being careful not to release too many cities at a time.
Every NFT property sale in Upland is minted using the joys of blockchain technology. So, basically, it allows you to become a virtual property flipper without having to worry about any of the chores that come along with actual property flipping.
Upland is still super new
The fact that Upland is still in its development stage is probably both its biggest pro and con.
On the downside, there’s still not as much to do in Upland as there is in metaverses like Decentraland. At the moment, it’s still more like a virtual monopoly game where you roam around flipping properties for cash.
That said, some people have used it to make some serious cash. Some of the most enthusiastic players have holdings worth hundreds of thousands of real-world dollars.
There are also treasure hunts, a few NFT stores that have popped up, and in-game challenges where you can win prizes. But it’s not yet the kind of place you can expect to see Justin Bieber perform live in virtual concert, just in case you’re into that kind of thing.
One of the upsides, of course, is the hope of getting in early on the next big thing. The developers have all kinds of cool plans for Upland’s future. The more people join, the more property values will hopefully continue to rise.
Let’s talk costs
While Decentraland and The Sandbox are both built on the ETH blockchain, Upland is built on EOS. So, rather than dealing in ETH, you have two different options when it comes to buying and selling.
One of them is simply using USD, which cuts out the worries of having to calculate the corresponding value of any given crypto. You can also use Upland’s in-game token, which is known as UPX.
While UPX is not an actual cryptocurrency, you can purchase it with either crypto or USD. Or you can earn it by completing in-game challenges or making sales.
The absence of an in-game crypto token comes with its own set of pros and cons. While there’s no possibility of UPX suddenly skyrocketing and making you an overnight millionaire, it’s not going to suddenly tank and make you an overnight homeless guy either.
UPX’s other major plus is that it’s still a hell of a lot cheaper than the cryptos used in other metaverses. One UPX equals out to roughly a penny, so you can realistically buy a lot of it without draining your life savings.
Much like in the real world, the prices of properties in Upland depend largely on their location.
If you’re digital property hunting in Los Angeles, for instance, you could still expect to pay several grand for a major Hollywood landmark. But if you’re just looking for a killer house in Hollywood Hills, you can still get one for around 30 bucks.
If you’re willing to set up shop in the San Fernando Valley, prices get even more reasonable, with many of them still hovering under $10.
The same can be said for costs across different cities.
Buying property in places like Detroit, Cleveland, and Kansas City is generally going to be a lot cheaper than in San Francisco or Manhattan.
How To Check Out Upland
If the whole set-up sounds interesting, then check out Upland for yourself either through the game’s app or right from your browser.
When you first enter, you’ll be given a little avatar called a block explorer that will roam the city of your choice. Careful selecting which city you start in, because if you decide you’d rather go to a different one, then you’ll have to take a virtual plane or train.
At that point, you’ll want to check out a few tutorials to learn how to go about building your blockchain-based empire.
A tragic amount of personal experience