Although i heard about Upland gaming platform for quite long time in the crypto-community, i was a bit hesitant and busy to start using it and the latest competition announcement from Igor Tomic #UplandPublish0x Writing Contest and Twitter Giveaway: $1,000 in ETH Rewards! left me also indifferent for quite a long time assuming that it was another boring 5-year old tutorial competition that I have never been a good teacher to participate. Yet, one day, after reading the article again, I was motivated from the so-called Doubled Welcome Bonus of 6,000 UPX (Upland's native token) welcome promotional reward that was supposed to be given to anyone registering in the game through the competition's referral link and I have decided out of curiosity to give it a go to find out more about the platform.
--> Claim Your Doubled Welcome Bonus of 6,000 UPX ($6 worth) - Start Playing Upland NOW! <--
Upland is an EOS blockchain-powered metaverse similar to SandBox virtual world that allows users to own virtual properties that are mapped to real-world addresses.
In fact, each property block is a unique NFT (Non-fungible token) that can be bought, sold, and traded for profit using the in-game native token called UPX. And these NFTs can be valuable and rare - for example, the NYSE building in Manhattan was auctioned for 23,000,000 UPX, or $23,000 USD and recently the Grand Central Train Station will be auctioned too in a reverse auction style as the platform prepares already to expand to the Brooklyn area.
The user has the capability of purchasing UPX packs in exchange of US Dollars or cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, Dash or Litecoin, but it should be well noted that UPX token can only be used for the in-game NFT transactions (the purchase & sell of virtual properties) and not as a crypto-currency without any sign of decentralized blockchain that verifies the ownership of the UPX tokens from the users, having zero monetary value outside the platform. With the current value of main cryptocurrencies and their potential, it is advised NOT to spend any money on the platform, unless the user is either too wealthy in real life or interested only in the fun side of the game.
Still, Upland has an active partnership with Tilia Pay, a monetary agent used for verifying transactions between virtual currencies and fiat money, regulated from the majority of US states. Tilia Pay also supports SecondLife's Linden virtual transactions and theoretically it allows Upland's users to trade NFT properties for US Dollars, making Upland a metaverse that allows the conversion of a digital asset value into a real-world value form, such as fiat currency.
The only connection of Upland with the crypto-world is the fact that all virtual properties are being registered internally in the EOS blockchain, ensuring the true ownership of the digital assets for the user. Once the user trades a property, the transaction is being registered in the EOS ledger forever. Yet, the user has no actual interaction with the EOS blockchain, any benefit or reward from it.
As a digital landowner in Upland, the user earns a monthly yield of UPX coins that can be used to purchase more properties from other users. However, soon the user will be able to construct commercial and residential buildings on these properties, as well as to launch real in-game businesses!
Upland was launched initially in San Francisco, CA in 2019 and soon was expanded to Fresno, CA region. Most recently the platform has been also expanded to the Atlantic coast opening 2 New York City, NY regions, Manhattan and Brooklyn with the planned addition of new cities in the near future.
Initial Game Setup
After registering and verifying my email, it even took me few days to actually login in the website through my browser and start to familiarize myself with the platform as it took me some time to gain interest on it.
I chose my Block Explorer which is a kind of game avatar used for the interaction with the platform as a telephone booth and I was given the title of the Visitor in the game which is the initial game rank and the 6,000 UPX promotional welcome bonus in order to start building my portfolio by buying virtual properties on the platform.
The big disadvantage of the Visitor rank is that the user should renew the so called Visa status every 7 days but a daily login removes any difficulty as the user can renew it on a daily basis.
Higher ranks are named as Uplander, Pro, Director and Executive and each of them requires from the user to reach specific property wealth levels. For example, the rank of Uplander unlocks main platform's capabilities such as buying and selling properties aUser acquires the rank of Uplander after accumulating 10,000 UPX either by buying another 5,000 UPX for $4.99 or by accumulating UPX tokens through various in-game activities and achievements such as the daily property income, Upland Pignatas in-game treasures and most significantly with the completion of numerous property collections. The standard property collections available for every city in the platform include::
1. NEWBIE (Owner of 1 property), with a reward of 800 UPX and an 1.1x income boost.
2. KING OF THE STREET (Owner of 3 properties on the same street), with a reward of 950 UPX and an 1.3x income boost..
3. CITY PRO (Owner of 5 properties in the same city), with a reward of 1200 UPX and an 1.4x income boost.
It should be noted that each property belongs to a specific collection but after receiving the collection reward, the user has the flexibility to move the property to the next collection.
Becoming an Uplander is essential to the future development of the user in the game since there is no need for visa renewal and the user has true ownership of the acquired NFT properties which can be traded with other users. My plan after all is to accumulate these 10,000 UPX through in-game activities in order to reach the rank of Uplander too.
My initial decision to remain in the rank of Visitor without buying any worthless native token pack, still gave me the possibility to use that welcome bonus of 6,000 UPX and buy a virtual property in one of the 2 available Californian cities San Francisco or Fresno, although Manhattan, NY is also available in the game. Yet, as a true Californication admirer the initial options of San Francisco and Fresno were a good fit.
First option was the San Francisco featuring the Golden Gate with properties costing a bit less that 6,000 UPX for the new users.
According to Wikipedia, San Francisco, officially named the City and County of San Francisco, is a cultural, commercial, and financial center of Northern California and the 16th most populous city in the United States. It covers an area of about 46.89 square miles at the north end of the San Francisco Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, making it the second most densely populated U.S. city.
San Francisco was founded on June 29, 1776, when colonists from Spain established the Presidio of San Francisco at the Golden Gate and Mission San Francisco de Asís a few miles away, both named for Francis of Assisi. The California Gold Rush of 1849 brought rapid growth in the city, making it the largest and wealthiest city on the West Coast at that time.
In World War II, San Francisco was a major embarkation port for the US Forces in the Pacific War Theater but after the war, the confluence of returning servicemen, significant immigration, liberalizing attitudes, along with the rise of the "hippie" counterculture, the Sexual Revolution, the Peace Movement growing from opposition to United States involvement in the Vietnam War, and other factors led to the Summer of Love and the gay rights movement, cementing San Francisco until today as a center of liberal activism in the United States.
Although it's strong liberal connections, San Francisco managed to keep its wealthy and capitalistic character originated from the Golden Rush of the 19th Century and today it is the headquarter location of 5 major US banking institutions and various hitech and fintech global companies such as Levi Strauss & Co., Gap Inc., Fitbit, Salesforce.com, Dropbox, Docker, Reddit, Dolby, Airbnb, Yelp, Pinterest, Twitter, Uber, Lyft, Mozilla, Wikimedia Foundation and Craigslist. Ripple the company behind XRP token is also based on San Francisco and Apple Inc. is situated in the nearby Palo Alto.
As a result, San Francisco has the highest salaries, disposable income, and median home prices in the world as well as the highest median rents. In 2019, San Francisco was the 7nth-highest-income county in the United States, with a per capita personal income of $139,405 and as of September 2020, San Francisco was ranked 8th in the world and 2nd in the United States on the Global Financial Centres Index.
San Francisco is also a popular tourist destination, known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the former Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, Fisherman's Wharf, and its Chinatown district.
The surrounding Bay Area of San Francisco, is home to numerous educational and cultural institutions, such as the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), University of San Francisco (USF), San Francisco State University (SFSU), the Stanford University in the nearby Santa Clara county, the de Young Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the SFJAZZ Center, and the California Academy of Sciences.
For the in-game San Francisco area, there are numerous local property collections as follows:
4. SAN FRANCISCAN (Owner of 3 properties in San Francisco), with a reward of 800 UPX and a 1.2x income boost.
5. SUNSET (Owner of 3 properties in the SUNSET neighborhood in SF), with a reward of 900 UPX and a 1.3x income boost.
6. MISSION DISTRICT (Owner of 3 properties in the MISSION DISTRICT in SF), with a reward of 1,300 UPX and an 1.4x income boost.
7. MISSION ST. (Owner of 3 properties on MISSION ST. in SF), with a reward of 2,600 UPX and an 1.75x income boost.
8. PACIFIC HEIGHTS (Owner of 4 properties in the PACIFIC HEIGHTS neighborhood in SF), with a reward of 3,100 UPX and an 1.8x income boost.
9. RUSSIAN HILL (Owner of 3 properties in the RUSSIAN HILL neighborhood in SF), with a reward of 3,200 UPX and an 1.8x income boost.
10. HAIGHT-ASHBURY (Owner of 4 properties in the HAIGHT-ASHBURY neighborhood in SF), with a reward of 3,450 UPX and an 1.85x income boost.
11. NOB HILL (Owner of 5 properties in the NOB HILL neighborhood in SF), with a reward of of 6,000 UPX and an 2.00x income boost.
12. SEA CLIFF (Owner of 3 properties in the SEA CLIFF neighborhood in SF), with a reward of 8,000 UPX and a 2.15x income boost.
13. HAIGHT ST. (Owner of 3 properties on HAIGHT ST. in SF), with a reward of of 8,500 UPX and an 2.20x income boost.
14. LOMBARD ST. (Owner of 3 properties on LOMBARD ST. in SF), with a reward of 8,800 UPX and a 2.20x income boost.
15. MARKET ST. (Owner of 3 properties on MARKET ST. in SF), with a reward of of 9,500 UPX and an 2.25x income boost.
16. EST. 2019 (Owner of 4 inagural properties), with a reward of 11,000 UPX and a 2.30x income boost.
17. FINANCIAL DISTRICT (Owner of 4 properties in the FINANCIAL DISTRICT in SF), with a reward of 18,000 UPX and a 2.35x income boost.
18. ICONIC SF (Owner of 3 iconic SF places), with a reward of of 19,500 UPX and a 2.65x income boost.
19. CROOKED LOMBARD (Owner of 2 properties on the iconic CROOKED part of LOMBARD ST. in SF), with a reward of 30,000 UPX and a 2.75x income boost.
20. PAINTED LADIES (Owner of 2 of the iconic PAINTED LADIES in SF), with a reward of 48,000 UPX and a 2.85x income boost.
21. THE CURATOR (Owner of 3 Museums in SF), with a reward of 100,000 UPX and a 3.00x income boost.
The fact that the cost of the properties reserved for the new users in San Francisco is just a bit less than the 6,000 double promotional welcome bonus advertised on the competition, made me realise that the 6,000 UPX reward wasn't a DOUBLE promotional welcome only for those joining through the Publish0x referral link but actually the welcome bonus that ANY new user gets as initial funds in order to kick-off the game and buy the first virtual property. Still, it can be considered as a fair cost since San Francisco is considered today to be a global tech and economic center and owning a property there is certainly a very good investment.
The 2nd option was Fresno a typical Californian county town.
According to Wikipedia, Fresno (translated in Spanish for 'ash tree') is a city and the county seat of Fresno County, California, United States in the center of the San Joaquin Valley, the southern portion of California's Central Valley.
Named for the abundant ash trees lining the San Joaquin River, Fresno was founded in 1872 as a railway station and since then it has become an economic hub of the whole San Joaquin Valley, with much of the surrounding areas tied to large-scale agricultural production making Fresno the 5th-most populous city in California, the most populous inland city in California, and the 34th-most populous city in the nation.
Fresno is near the geographical center of California in a distance of approximately 220 miles (350 km) north of Los Angeles, 170 miles (270 km) south of the state capital, Sacramento, and 185 miles (300 km) southeast of San Francisco. Yosemite National Park is about 60 miles (100 km) to the north, Kings Canyon National Park is 60 miles (100 km) to the east, and Sequoia National Park is 75 miles (120 km) to the southeast.
Properties in Fresno are much less expensive and for a new user it could cost around 1,000 UPX which it can be very attractive to someone who has a different game strategy and isn't interested of spending all of the provided funds to own a luxurious property in San Francisco area.
As it was mentioned before, a user might opt to use its 6,000 UPX funds and with another 5,000 UPX for $4,99 to raise a capital of 11,000 UPX which is enough to qualify for the Uplander rank. In that way, the user can buy multiple properties in Fresno costing less than 1500 UPX, with 3 of them on the same street in order to complete the King of the Street collection and earn the relevant reward, creating a small collection of properties in Fresno which could provide a better income.
Unfortunately even for the pensioners, the prices of properties even in Fresno have already skyrocketed, with with the most expensive one currently on sale on 2733 S BARDEL AVE costing 100,000,000 UPX.
However, some very good bargains can be found on the nearby Clovis adjacent city that appeared to have been available on the platform recently, with the cheapest ones on CORDOVA AVE costing 994 UPX. Therefore for 4x994 UPX = 3976 UPX, almost half the initial welcome bonus of 6,000 UPX, an Uplander can create an initial wealth of 3+1 properties.
My First Californian Property
At that time, even though the price tag is a bit painful for my Upland wallet, I decided to splash almost the whole amount of the welcome bonus and buy a property in the big Golden Gate city for 5980 UPX, which I believe it is a good "investment" for my future in the game. Nevertheless, San Francisco is a city that I always wanted to visit or even to be located in real life of a Parallel Universe as well, seeking to establish my professional career in a fintech company instead of buying a retirement agricultural property in Fresno.
Yet, I am already considering for the future to pivot a bit my investing strategy and once I will become an Uplander through the in-dapp activities, I plan to raise a capital and buy a series of cheap properties in Fresno as a secondary investment. Manhattan, NY is not an investment option at the moment, as I am true admirer of the US Pacific coast and Californication. Property price tags should be very expensive there also so not a good place to start my Upland adventure.
For those who would like to "visit" my first Californication property in the platform, it is located on 2020 LAKE ST on NW San Francisco and the visit cost is reduced to 20 UPX.
Upland property owners have the ability of a real street view of their virtual property which I found fascinating. Here is a Street view of my Upland property.
Disclaimer: All information found on this article is for informational purposes only. I do not provide any personal investment advice so please make your own research before proceeding to any investment/trading action.
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