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A Second Life for IMVU? Virtual Social Network Launches In-Game Crypto

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In brief

  • Virtual hangout space IMVU has launched a new in-game currency called VCOIN.
  • VCOIN are ERC-20 tokens with real-world value.
  • They can be exchanged on- and off-platform via the wallet provider Uphold.

IMVU, the virtual hangout space and Second Life competitor, has launched a new in-game currency with real-world value.

You may remember IMVU (pronounced “imm” + “view”) from the halcyon days of the late-2000s internet, when banner ads for the service felt inescapable. A hybrid between a social networking site and a virtual reality hangout space, IMVU was founded in 2004, and married the instant messaging capabilities of AIM with the escapist allure of 3D avatars; as with Second Life, it’s been putting along quietly ever since. According to press materials, IMVU has users in over 140 countries.

With its new digital currency, VCOIN, the company is looking to reposition virtual money as a legitimate asset—an Ethereum-based token that works like stablecoin, and that IMVU says is backed by real currency. While it’s not uncommon for new video games to use premium currencies as a way of facilitating microtransactions, the money almost always flows from the real world into the game; with the launch of VCOIN, those transactions will start to work both ways.

Though IMVU is free to join, it’s attached to a digital marketplace where users can buy virtual items like clothes and accessories through microtransactions: in-game trades conducted entirely on the platform. Up until now, the coin of the realm has been the IMVU credit, which is analogous to something like Fortnite’s V-Buck—you can either buy it with real money, or slowly earn it by performing in-game tasks.

IMVU’s situation is more unique than Fortnite’s, according to Chief Strategy Officer John Burris, since it’s less of a video game and more of a digital replica of the real world; on IMVU, you can pay for in-game services that are more intangible than a skin for your character, or an accessory from the marketplace.

“There’s people who’ll pop on and say, ‘Look, I’m not a real psychiatrist, but if you want to come and chat with me in my cool lounge about your girlfriend problems, let’s do it,’” Burris told Decrypt. In another hypothetical, he described a situation in which users could pay each other for short-term virtual companionship: “Hey, give me 50 VCOIN, I’ll be your girlfriend for the night.”

These are so-called “gray market” transactions, happening outside of the purview of the platform. VCOIN could help bring these sorts of payments (which have historically been funneled into services like PayPal) onto IMVU. “The more that happens on-platform, where we have some oversight,” said Burris, “we think that’ll be valuable.”

One of IMVU’s interfaces for purchasing VCOIN. Image: IMVU

The twist is that VCOIN is actually a ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain, with value outside of IMVU. Thanks to a partnership with Uphold, the digital wallet provider behind the Brave browser’s BAT token, any VCOIN purchased on IMVU can be exchanged for fiat currency. The company also received a no-action letter from the SEC, allowing it to sell VCOIN as a “transferable non-security.” It’s only the third company to receive this type of approval from the SEC for the sale of a crypto token.

A single VCOIN is worth $.004, and the price is fixed, though Burris said it’s “not a traditional stablecoin,” in that it doesn’t have to adhere to regulations that apply to other stablecoins. “You know how, USDC, those guys put away exactly a dollar when you buy a coin? We’re not doing that exactly, we have some flexibility in how we pay out users.”

The natural follow-up here is: if each VCOIN isn’t backed one-to-one with $.004, how do users know for sure that they’ll be able to cash out? And what if every user wanted to cash out at once?

“As we sell VCOIN, we’re setting aside cash to purchase back VCOIN,” explained Burris. “So any user that either is on IMVU’s platform, or that comes in and creates an Uphold account, can convert into cash.” He continued, “Over time we’ll begin to understand what percent of the VCOIN market is being converted into cash, and we’ll know what cash we have available for cash flow, but obviously we’re going to be super conservative and make sure we have plenty of cash to handle that.”

The Uphold wallet interface for converting VCOIN to fiat. Image: IMVU

Going forward, Burris explained, IMVU is hoping VCOIN could help attract DJs and virtual performers to the platform—artists who want to get paid for virtual concerts (think: Travis Scott in Fortnite, or 100 Gecs and Charli XCX in Minecraft) without the “friction” of dealing with services like PayPal.

“I’m very confident it will become the currency of choice in and around our platforms,” said Burris. “It’s our job to make it useful, and a good economic tool for others off our platform.”

Source: https://decrypt.co/54089/imvu-vcoin

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Bitcoin price is going to ‘infinity’ — Kraken CEO

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Bitcoin (BTC) will be worth “infinity” and humanity will soon give up pricing it in U.S. dollars, says the CEO of cryptocurrency exchange Kraken.

Speaking to Bloomberg on March 4, Jesse Powell was characteristically bullish on Bitcoin as BTC/USD broke above $50,000.

Powell: $1 million Bitcoin in ten years “reasonable”

“Of course, you know, we can only speculate, but when we measure it in terms of dollars, you have to think it’s going to infinity,” he told Bloomberg TV about future price trajectory.

“This national currency’s only fifty years old, it’s already showing extreme signs of weakness, and pretty soon I think people are going to start measuring the price of things in Bitcoin.”

Powell was commenting as the USD weakened alongside a macro market sell-off on Wednesday, an event which had next to no impact on Bitcoin. At the same time, the U.S. national debt quietly passed $28 trillion for the first time in history.

Despite a rejection of $50,000 support, Bitcoin bulls thus remained more than optimistic.

“The people that are believers in Bitcoin see… it’s going to replace all of the world’s currency, so that basically means whatever the market cap of the dollar is, the euro — all of that combined is what Bitcoin could be worth,” Powell continued.

“I think in the near term, people see it surpassing gold as a store of value, so I think $1 million as a price target within the next ten years is pretty reasonable.”

As Cointelegraph noted, Bitcoin closed February 26% above its target dictated by the stock-to-flow-based price models, with creator PlanB still confident that $100,000 will hit at some time this year.

Bitcoin stock-to-flow chart as of Mar. 3, 2021. Source: Digitalik

No time for gold

Meanwhile, the gold ecplise argument has been steadily gaining support on social media in particular, often at the expense of gold bugs, who are left with increasingly little ammunition to defend their anti-Bitcoin stance.

As Cointelegraph reported, it was billionaire and former Bitcoin skeptic Mark Cuban who this week took SchiffGold.com CEO Peter Schiff to task over his love of the precious metal. Gold, he told Schiff, “is dead.”

“Bitcoin has been crushing gold since inception,” Kraken growth lead Dan Held added in response to claims by Schiff that a bet against gold was a losing one.

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/bitcoin-price-is-going-to-infinity-kraken-ceo

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Giottus technologies offers access to Bitfinex liquidity

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Giottus Technologies (Giottus), a cryptocurrency exchange, today announced that it will provide access to liquidity on Bitfinex, providing its customers with some of the deepest crypto-to-crypto liquidity in the industry.

Giottus is also introducing the most competitive fee structure in India for its customers.

“Giottus customers can now enjoy high liquidity across BTC/USDT, ETH/USDT, XRP/USDT, TRX/USDT, ETH/BTC, and many more. Through the strategic agreement with Bitfinex, we have further strengthened our compliance policies and procedures, both on and off-chain,” said Vikram Subburaj, Co-Founder & CEO at Giottus.

The commitment to our customers comes first, which is why we have introduced the most competitive fees in India, 0% Maker & 0.075% Taker. Traditionally, the largest global exchanges charge these low fees only to customers trading USD 3Bn+ monthly. Giottus customers can enjoy these fee levels irrespective of their monthly trade volumes,” added Arjun Vijay, Co-Founder & COO at Giottus.

Benefits of this new strategic agreement include,

  • Some of the deepest crypto to crypto liquidity in the industry
  • The most competitive fees in India – 0% (Maker) & 0.075% (Taker)
  • Enhanced on & off-chain compliance and controls

About Giottus 

Giottus is changing the way Indian users trade their digital assets by building a platform that is customer-centric along with top-tier customer support on par with the world’s best international exchanges. Preferred by beginners and veterans alike, Giottus offers products and solutions that cater to users of all segments.

Key product features include,

  1.  Trading in 100+ crypto pairs
  2.  One-Click INR Deposit and Buy
  3.  24×7 Banking Support
  4.  Multilingual Customer Support (English, Hindi, Tamil & Telugu)
  5.  Superfast KYC processing

In the past month, Giottus has launched the trade of 30+ new INR-crypto pairs along with an improved compliance mechanism and upgraded tech-stack to support its growing Indian consumer base.

Giottus is highly rated and loved in India with a greater than 4.8 on 5 average ratings among reviews on Google, Facebook, and Trustscore.

Contact

Srivathsan A R, Chief Marketing Officer, Giottus @ [email protected]

For more details, visit their website or contact them on Telegram

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be taken as news/advice

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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/giottus-technologies-offers-access-to-bitfinex-liquidity

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Coinbase CEO tops China’s Hurun list of blockchain billionaires

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The CEO of the United States’ largest cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has topped the list of global industry billionaires by China’s Hurun Research Institute.

Issued on March 2, the latest Hurun report provides a brief overview of the world’s richest, stating that the number of global billionaires has surged nearly 50% to hit over 3,000 people over the past five years. The report includes 17 “blockchain billionaires,” or industry entrepreneurs who made their fortune “mainly from cryptocurrency” as of January 2021.

According to the report, Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong is the world’s biggest crypto billionaire, with his net worth surging ten-fold from $1 billion last year.

According to Hurun’s data, Armstrong now has an estimated wealth of $11.5 billion ahead of Coinbase’s imminent initial public offering. The company officially announced its IPO plans in December 2020 in a draft filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Sam Bankman-Fried, founder and CEO of Alameda Research and FTX exchange, is ranked the second-richest blockchain billionaire, with a net worth evaluated at $10 billion. The executive is a new entrant in the Hurun list, following the massive growth of FTX in 2020.

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, is ranked the third, with total wealth estimated at $8 billion, up more than 200% from last year. In 2020, Zhao was featured as the richest crypto billionaire in the Hurun list, overtaking Bitmain’s co-founder Micree Zhan Ketuan.

The Hurun’s new blockchain billionaires list includes a number of major industry players like Ripple co-founders Chris Larsen, Stellar co-founder Jed McCaleb, Digital Currency Group CEO Barry Silbert, the Winklevoss brothers, MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, and others. The list features a total of 11 new entrants in the list including major industry investor Tim Draper and Galaxy Digital founder and CEO Michael Novogratz.

Source: Hurun

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Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/coinbase-ceo-tops-china-s-hurun-list-of-blockchain-billionaires

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