December 29, 2021

It's All About the Economy

Going where no metaverse has gone before - Upland enters the next chapter of establishing a self-sustained economy…

Upland is quickly becoming an economic powerhouse, consistently setting records in active users as well as the secondary market trading activity. In just the past 30 days, players have traded a whopping 330k properties for a combined value of 6.2B UPX ($6.2M USD), all of this alongside players earning a staggering $600k USD via the NFT-to-USD program (over $2.6M USD earned by players since the program’s launch). The rate at which players exchange value in terms of UPX and USD, or “Monetary Velocity,” is rapidly growing, which indicates that the Upland economy is thriving with activity. 


As we prepare for this new phase of the economy, we are working on a variety of updates to strengthen the value of UPX and support the growth of the metaverse. These changes include UPX transfers, the first adjustment to property earnings, removal of the $10k sales cap, cooldowns on collection rewards, a cap on uncollected earnings, and login Spark rewards. These are exciting economic developments that will usher Upland into a new era, however, the core of this economic revolution is none other than Metaventures! 


The Upland team is actively preparing for the arrival of the Block Explorer Shop beta, which will allow a select group of players to start selling their Block Explorers in virtual shops throughout the metaverse. The Block Explorer Shop Beta will most likely hit the metaverse over the course of the coming week. 


“Play-to-earn” in Upland is taking on a whole new meaning as these economic developments will enable an entirely new way to interact with and benefit from the Upland economy. 


TL;DR

  1. The Upland Economy is Entering a New Phase
  2. Metaventures, the Block Explorer Beta Begins SoonTM
  3. Economy Updates; UPX Transfers, Earnings Adjustment, Collection Bonus Holding Periods, $10k Sales Cap Removal, Login Spark Rewards, Uncollected Earnings Accumulation Cap

Not a reader? Here is a breakdown from X1TheGamer and General Mort


What are Metaventures?

"Metaventures" is an all-encompassing term for player-owned shops in the Upland metaverse. Metaventures will exist for every category of NFT in Upland including Block Explorers, Legits, Structure Ornaments, Outdoor Decor, Portal-Uploaded NFTs, and much more. Eventually, any willing player will be able to open their own store in Upland to engage customers with both UPX and USD, further strengthening the "Play-to-Earn" model. 


The goal of Metaventures is to encourage players to leverage their in-game assets, creative skills, and ingenuity to create lucrative opportunities in the Upland metaverse. We’re just getting started, but eventually, there will be a diverse set of Metaventures that enable players to sell their own in-game content, act as a broker on behalf of other players, lend in-game assets, and more!


The Block Explorer Shop Beta

The first type of Metaventure to launch in the metaverse will be Block Explorer Shops, starting with a closed beta period for players who were selected early on in the year. This trial period will give us an opportunity to test features and measure performance in order to better prepare for the global release for all players.


While this trial period is active, Block Explorer Shops will not be subject to any additional fees beyond standard marketplace transaction fees. However, once Metaventures are opened to the public, all in-game shops will be subject to the “Venture Dues,” which means that all shops will pay a variable monthly fee in UPX.

Looking ahead to the launch of vehicles in Upland, we wanted to share a bit of news about some new utility for Block Explorer NFTs. Rather than introduce a new category of NFT, we will be adding trainable driving traits for all Block Explorer NFTs in Upland, meaning that Block Explorers will act as the actual drivers for vehicles in the metaverse. While we can’t share more details at this time, this added utility creates unique value for Block Explorers, further bolstering every Uplanders’ asset portfolio.


How it Works

Metaventures will be identifiable on the map with orange markers; similar to how properties are displayed (green, blue, etc.). At the appropriate zoom level, players will see a 3D pawn that hovers above the structure in addition to a button indicating where Metaventures are currently active, allowing the player to click into the shop and view its inventory. 



Once inside, players will see a shop with custom branding created by Metaventure Owners. Players can select each item to view additional details such as the current owner, mint number, series name, description, and more. After making a purchase, the NFT will automatically be transferred to the buyer and earnings will be deposited to the Metaventure owner. Please note that it may take up to 5 minutes for the blockchain transaction to fully execute. 


Near-Term Features

Initially, Metaventure entrepreneurs will only be able to list their own assets for sale in UPX, soon to be followed by the ability to list assets for USD. In addition, we are also working on the ability to list items on behalf of other players, enabling shop owners to act as a broker in the metaverse.


After these features are deployed, each entrepreneur will also have the freedom to manually set commission rates for other players who wish to list their items in their store. For example, the shop owner can collect a 5% commission on sales of other players' NFTs, which will be paid to the shop owner at the time of purchase.

Updates to the Upland Economy and Monetary Policy

The arrival of Metaventures means that the Upland economy is rapidly maturing, which highlights the need to reexamine economic mechanisms to support the tremendous growth of the metaverse. While the following changes won’t be going live just yet, we wanted to prepare the community for the following updates so they can adjust their strategies accordingly.


UPX Transfers

Soon, players will be able to transfer UPX directly to other players in Upland! This feature will first launch as a 3-month pilot program to ensure fair use of the mechanic. All players who wish to transfer UPX will need to be KYC’d, and each transaction will be subject to the 10% community pool fee (5% for each party). Some additional restrictions may be added to prevent fraudulent activity and maintain the health of the economy.


UPX transfers are strictly meant to support in-game activities which do not involve the exchange of currency. Among these activities are UPX payments for Upland-related services, augmenting of in-game trades, community initiatives, and gifting or tipping in UPX. 


Property Earnings Adjustment

UPX is the bedrock of the Upland economy, and it’s critical that we uphold the strength of UPX as an in-game currency. Property earnings were initially designed as an incentive to kickstart the economy, however, now that the economy is thriving and UPX transfers are on the horizon, it’s important to reexamine the distribution of these rewards. 


Per the Upland whitepaper, “The more decentralized transactions occur, the less the economy needs to rely on centralized subsidies. Therefore, Upland expects that payouts via the pools will decrease in the future.” As such, base yearly property earnings will be adjusted to 14.7% (from 17.3%) in approximately 1 month; we will give a clear heads up before this change takes place.


To ensure the health of the economy, these values may be adjusted (up, down or unchanged) on a regular basis–starting with a quarterly review process–based on market conditions and economic activity. Long-term, the Upland team plans to delegate this authority to an independent third party to ensure the fairness of UPX distribution.


$10k NFT-to-USD Cap Removal

Currently, players are restricted to a maximum of $10,000 for USD-based marketplace transactions, which imposes limitations on economic activity. In order to grow beyond these limitations, we plan to remove this cap to promote more freedom in secondary markets. 


To accommodate this change, any sale above $10k will require the buyer to have a pre-loaded USD balance in their Upland account. So, if a player wishes to buy a property above the $10k cap, they will have to transfer the full amount in USD to their Upland USD account (operated by Tilia) before purchasing.


Collection Holding Requirements for Awards

Collections are one of the core mechanics of buying and holding property in Upland, allowing players to mix and match their holdings to boost their yields significantly. With the large influx of activity, we felt it necessary to revisit these mechanics to prevent current and future abuse of these bonuses. As such, we will be introducing a holding period to collection bonuses, meaning that above a certain reward threshold, players will have to hold the collection for a fixed period of time before they can collect their one-time UPX bonus. 


Uncollected Earnings Accumulation Cap

Upland is moving from a passive earnings model towards a more active earnings mechanism. Consequently, we will be introducing a cap on the accumulation of uncollected earnings. Engaged players have a more significant impact on the economy compared to lapsed players,  as such, we want to ensure that all players remain a working part of the ecosystem. 


Players will now be required to log in and collect their earnings before their accumulated earnings reach a certain threshold; variable by Upland status. This does not mean that Upland is placing a cap on how much players can earn. Rather, it is a cap on how much UPX can go uncollected before it stops accumulating. In other words, if the accumulation cap is 500,000 UPX, earnings will stop accruing until the player claims their UPX. This means that the most engaged players will always have access to their full earnings potential, while lapsed players may miss out on some rewards.


Spark Log In Bonus

Since Spark went live back in June, it has rapidly become a crucial resource for the development of the metaverse. The Upland team is constantly reviewing new mechanisms to allow players to earn Spark for playing the game. In the near future, all players will be eligible for a Spark login bonus. For example, if a player logs in consecutively for 7 days, they will receive a variable Spark bonus; subject to adjustments in balance of supply and demand of Spark. 


This new feature matches our goal of steadily injecting Spark into the economy to incentivize building activity while rewarding the most active participants of the metaverse. Using Spark as a reward mechanism also relieves the pressure on UPX as the sole economic incentive in the Upland metaverse.


Final Thoughts

This is all a lot to take in, but these concepts should help clarify our vision for a thriving metaverse. We are incredibly excited about the future of Upland and are looking forward to this new phase of the economy. Thank you all for your continued support, onward and upward!


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