Niantic, the developer of the popular augmented reality (AR) game Pokemon Go, has partnered with payment company Fold to launch an AR experience that allows players to earn Bitcoin in a virtual environment that the company calls “real world metaverse ”. The feature is currently available for users of the Fold app to play in beta so they can earn Bitcoin and in-app benefits by exploring their physical environment. Niantic is working to expand this experience, backed by Coatue’s recent investment of $ 300 million (approximately Rs.2,234.7 billion) in the company.
“This is the easiest and most fun way to get your first bit of Bitcoin,” said Will Reeves, CEO of Fold. “Everyone can do ours [Fold] App to earn Bitcoin and other rewards by exploring the world around you. It has always been important for us to make it easy for everyone to participate in the Bitcoin economy, regardless of education or technical know-how. “
Instead of finding rare creatures in the world around you, Fold users can discover and collect Bitcoin and other prizes around them, thanks in part to Niantic’s AR platform technology. Every 10 minutes a new block of fresh bounty is dropped near a player. Once a block is claimed, the user earns satoshis, a type of cryptocurrency, among other in-app rewards. However, there is also a factor of luck, as you could lose your Bitcoin winnings if, for example, you stumble upon a “poison pill”.
Those interested in spinning the feature don’t need to own a fold card to play the game, although cardholders will receive additional boosts and prizes. Once the game is fully released, customers can also hide and trade Bitcoin.
The Pokémon Go developer’s vision for the Metaverse is very different from the one that Facebook aka Meta is promoting, which aims to connect users in VR. Niantic founder and CEO John Hanke actually posted a blog post earlier this year stating that this virtual reality approach popularized by Ready Player One is a “dystopian nightmare”.
Niantic’s vision is to create an “ever-evolving AR map of the world” to “bring the real world to life with information and interactivity,” Hanke said at the time. Coatue’s funding is aimed at expanding Lightship ARDK, Niantic’s advanced technology that was licensed to other developers earlier this month.
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