Blockchain-based social virtual reality platform High Fidelity has raked in $35 million to fund its new gaming platform, which will allow its users to build decentralized VR worlds. The platform, which is still being developed, will be based on the EOS blockchain.
Galaxy Digital Ventures, a blockchain investment firm founded by Wall Street veteran Mike Novogratz, led the fundraising round with a contribution of $20 million. Other, lesser contributions were made by Breyer Capital, Vulcan Capital, IDG Capital Partners, and Blockchain Capital.
The millions represent a positive moment in the world of VR gaming, which has struggled to maintain the interest and attention of gamers and investors alike. High Fidelity said that it will be using the cash raised in this latest fundraising round to grow its research and development efforts, as well as to build its team and open offices in Seattle.
Building the Metaverse on the EOS Blockchain
Along with thousands of gamers, techies, and futurists, High Fidelity shares in a vision of a future in which the ‘real’ world and the virtual reality world are closely intertwined: the so-called ‘Metaverse.’
While blockchain technology is most often spoken about in the context of industries like banking and supply chain, it turns out that the security features and decentralized nature of blockchain make the combination of VR and DLT (distributed ledger technology) rather advantageous. In other words, blockchain could be a major building block for the Metaverse. Games could provide the much needed user experience to help blockchains gain mass adoption.
Sam Englebardt, head of strategic partnerships at Galaxy Digital, told Reuters that “virtual reality may be the first killer app for blockchain. It’s a global phenomenon that fundamentally requires a trustless consensus mechanism for currency, property and identity.”
Blockchain Could Allow VR Users to Really Own Their Virtual Possessions
Indeed, many VR developers envision the blockchain as a means for users to really ‘own’ their digital possessions. Ownership of items can be tracked and secured on the blockchain; identity information can also be kept secure via blockchain technologies.
This is what High Fidelity CEO Philip Rosedale is hoping to build. “VR must be decentralized, including deeply using blockchain technology,” he told Reuters.
Morten Rongaard, CEO of reality gaming group Reality Game Clash, agrees. “My vision is for gamers to be able to truly own their character, their weapons and their resources,” he wrote in an article for Newsweek. “They should be able to trade, sell and buy securely using the blockchain.”
Rongaard also mentioned that “That is instead of taking a risk on platforms such as Steam, where so many users have lost money and have spent thousands of dollars building up a profile that they don’t even own and have no control over.”
Additionally, virtual currencies have been a vital part of many online gaming universes for years. Games like World of Warcraft have economies that are completely powered by virtual tokens that can either be acquired by completing in-game tasks or purchased with fiat currency.
Indeed, Rosedale believes that the benefits of blockchain has the power to push High Fidelity to be “as big as Earth and beyond,” he told Wired. “We are about to leave the real world behind.”
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