Inspired by the board game “Monopoly”, Upland started out and continues to work as a property trading game based on the real world and blockchain technology which ensures true ownership of virtual properties, digital goods and assets. Players buy properties in one of the open cities in Upland. Once they become owners, they start earning a yield on these properties which they can increase by completing collections of properties with the same characteristics. The yield serves in Upland the purpose to set in motion engagement and economic activities between players.
Today Upland goes far beyond property trading: Players can build structures on their properties, run and operate shops, race cars, hunt for treasures, socialize in cafes, and participate in many other activities. It is an economic system where players
Upland’s main objective is to create a stable economy where the “invisible hand” of markets defines the movement of prices and the flow of trade. The dynamic supply and demand of digital goods in combination with incentives and self-interest of individual actors eventually impact Upland’s GDP and economic growth. Like any other economic system, Upland continues to evolve and potential features are implemented over time as they are being planned, developed and tested for incentivation to stimulate positive economic activity and to avoid potential threats to the stability of the overall economy.
As a working principle, Upland, the operator, applies a gradual transition of its control to the community. Over time, some of the decentralization decisions will be directly integrated into the technology platform while some others might be delegated to community representatives or independent foundations over time.
This approach allows for a balance between the benefits of decentralization, such as distributed fairness, transparency, and security, and the need for agility and user-friendly experiences via centralized efforts. For example, to advance decentralization, Upland facilitates active participation by the community through governance mechanisms and decision-making frameworks via so-called home addresses that serve as a base for voting rights. Important decisions in the past have touched economic topics such as the vote to approve or disapprove the White Paper for Sparklet (Link).
Upland offers different currencies that carry different utility functions
UPX is Upland’s core medium of exchange to facilitate transactions to purchase virtual properties, digital goods and assets. UPX is denominated at US$ 1 for UPX 1,000, a fixed exchange rate at which players can buy it in return for fiat via credit card, PayPal and in-app purchases or selected cryptocurrencies. UPX is not tradable on external exchanges and within Upland. Upland the operator, does not buy UPX back from players. However, depending on the agreement, Upland buys UPX back from some brand and development partners who meet certain requirements and under certain terms. UPX has an infinite supply and is continuously minted as players purchase it.
Spark is Upland's utility token for the creation and powering of non-living objects including buildings, map assets, vehicles, and NFTs designed for immersive indoor display such as wearables, furniture, and FIFA World Cup goal video spotlights. Spark can be either staked, i.e. allocated to a task for the duration that it takes to complete. Or, in the near future, Spark can also be spent, i.e. used to achieve an outcome, depending on the use case such as producing certain digital goods like “Legits”.
As of October 2023 Upland is working to make Spark tradable outside of its platform via a Token Tradability Event. With this event, there will be a finite supply of 1,000,0000 Spark token that are mirrored to 1,000,000,000 so-called Sparklet tokens that will be issued on Ethereum. For more information see the White Paper (link).
Stem will support life in Upland but hasn’t launched yet.
Upland, the operator, uses a set of methods and interventions to protect the stability and sustain the growth of Upland’s economy. They (not a complete list) shall incentivize certain behaviour by the different actors, close or remedy potential loopholes, shield the internal economy from external effects, correct imbalances between subsidies in form of yields for virtual property ownership, rewards, spending behaviour and insufficient velocity in the exchange of value. Monetary instruments include for example the modification of the structure and size of yields for properties, collection and other rewards.