The two companies hope to grease the skids of digital commerce in the game, so that players and companies can earn money through a new form of monetization based on the commerce of users inside the game.
Linden Lab created Tilia’s digital payment and wallet functions for its Second Life game, which supports an annual trade of around $ 500 million a year, because residents of the virtual world can create digital items and sell them between them. Now Tilia will be implemented in the Monopoly-like Upland game, which is available on iOS and Android.
The Upland game uses blockchain – the decentralized, secure and transparent digital registry – to verify ownership of the digital properties that its users buy in its virtual world, which is an overlay on the real world. To manage money transactions, Uplandme turned to Tilia of Linden Lab, who has a digital wallet and a transaction system that allows players to exchange virtual properties for real money (fiat money, like the U.S. dollar, as opposed to cryptocurrency).
By using fiat money, Upland can stay in compliance with U.S. money transfer regulations, and in this way, players can actually own the digital goods and properties they buy in Upland, said Dirk. Lueth, co-founder of Uplandme in an interview with GamesBeat. If the game stops one day, players will theoretically be able to take their property and move it elsewhere, unlike other games where players do not really own the objects they build or trade.
Available on multiple platforms via a browser or free on mobile, Upland is a virtual layer mapped to real world addresses – currently across San Francisco, and soon to be deployed in other cities and regions. The use by Upland of unique or “non-fungible” tokens allows true ownership of the properties of the game, allowing players to sell or exchange their digital purchases.
Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab, said in an interview with GamesBeat that the company had developed Tilia for Second Life. And it was only recently that it packaged its components and made them available to external companies for use. Uplandme is the first customer to start using Tilia, led by Aston Altman, CEO of Tilia and CFO of Linden Lab.
“With Second Life, we have been managing a virtual economy for a long time,” said Altberg. “We have the most flexible type of game economy in the world that exists in a game, including the ability to withdraw real money. Last year, Second Life users collected more than $ 65 million and
we have gross domestic product of more than $ 500 million annually worldwide. Over time, we have had to meet all of the regulatory requirements related to the fact that it is about money transfer between users. And so we acquired all the licenses that transfer money licenses and all the states to do this and created the entity Tilia to perform this service. “
Tilia provides services and infrastructure that meets US regulatory requirements, including the fight against money laundering, sanction monitoring and fraud prevention, allowing users to take advantage of their digital products. As Tilia’s first third-party customer, Upland worked closely with the Tilia and Second Life teams to provide feedback and help shape Tilia’s offering.
“We realized that this would be a great opportunity for us to offer service to Tilia’s services, and so this is the path we are starting here with Upland being the first customer,” said Altberg.
Tilia Pay will be implemented in the Upland game in the coming weeks, allowing players to sell their virtual properties in exchange for real currency in the game market.
Uplandme was founded in 2018 by serial entrepreneurs Lueth, Idan Zuckerman and Mani Honigstein. The company launched its closed beta version of Upland in June 2019 and has between 1,000 and 2,000 active daily users for Upland. Uplandme has 22 employees and is based in Mountain View, California. The company raised $ 3.3 million.
“We are using this new Linden Lab service to allow players to really see the true value of their digital products in their in-game purchases,” said Lueth. “We sell properties that are based on real world addresses and currently we live in San Francisco. You can buy these virtual properties and start playing Upland. “
As in some sort of virtual monopoly, you need to acquire three properties that are related in one way or another, and then you can start collecting more rent on the properties. You are paid in the game currency and you can cash in that currency in US dollars using Tilia. You can also earn in-game money through treasure hunts.
The game is built on top of the EOS blockchain, and this helps adoption among cryptocurrency fans.
“What we lacked was the power for people to be able to extract value from the game because we firmly believe that we are a new kind of game, where people can actually get their assets out of the game,” says Leuth . “We had to find a way to get the fiat money out, and that’s how we started working with Tilia.”
Leuth said it would have taken Uplandme a lot of time and money to do what Linden Lab had already done with Tilia. Altman said it had taken more than three years to obtain state licenses and several million dollars. Tilia manages 1.5 million transactions per day with Second Life.
“The key thing that no one else has is that we have the ability to insert a value wallet stored in a platform, which is almost like a bank account, into your game, which can hold US dollars, or fiat, as a second wallet full of virtual tokens, which is what most games have, “said Altman.” We allow players to use their USD wallet or virtual currency wallet to pay products in the game, to exchange between them, then finally to extract this profit, because we can send it directly to this bank account by bank transfer, on the same day on Paypal or an escrow account as they prefer. “
Over time, Leuth wants to evolve Upland from a real estate trading game to a parallel world that exists in a virtual space.
“Soon people will be able to develop their land and develop businesses,” said Leuth. “People can make things like virtual cars, sell them and make money. It could confuse the real world. “