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A start-up VR blockchain founded by the co-creator of Second Life raises $ 35 million

If VR on the blockchain is a bit too disruptive for you to handle, close the tab and continue, Luddite.

High Fidelity, a virtual reality startup founded by Philip Rosedale (CEO), one of the original creators of Second Life, has launched a $ 35 million D series run by the investment firm Galaxy Digital Ventures blockbusiness. Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners, Vulcan Capital and Blockchain Capital also participated in the round.

The startup builds the framework of a world of user-generated worlds where people can meet in VR with a backbone that, according to the company's executives, will allow the user to experience the world. business to adapt quickly. ]

Lately, the company has put a lot of resources into building the blockchain side of its technology to drive deals and other aspects of the service. The use is one of the main differentiators of the company, although it devotes resources to technological advances surrounding latency, 3D audio and very detailed environments. Of the 60 employees in the company, 7-8 engineers are currently focusing on blockchain technology, Rosedale tells me.

Second Life was well known for its lively game economy built on its Linden currency which still manages to generate $ 700 million worth of peer-to-peer transactions annually, according to Rosedale.

In the case of High Fidelity blockchain technology means a way for users to actually own the digital assets that they have purchased, tying their digital assets to a digital character. Their digital asset registry does all this in a decentralized capacity. The start-up also founded the Virtual Reality Blockchain Alliance (VRBA), a supergroup of early adopter companies that aims primarily to allow users' avatars to roam freely between platforms and make their related purchases. the chain.

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Virtual reality can offer an interesting testbed for the often confined theoretical use cases of blockchain technology, creators of platforms having the ability to structure a closed environment with the blockchain at the heart of its governance.

The version of the future of High Fidelity is not only different in theory, it is also a bit odd on a visual level. While Facebook Spaces and AltspaceVR from Microsoft have opted for game-like floating-head avatars, High Fidelity has chosen to adopt a more realistic style that seems closer to the somewhat baffling avatar style of Second Life.

Sansar of Linden Lab

The creator of Second Life Linden Lab, who is also an investor in High Fidelity, has already presented his own virtual reality game called Sansar. The similar beta effort freely integrates various user-created environments into a kind of world wide web of game engine worlds that users can jump between. This is not the most neat solution, which is entirely consistent with the company's claim that it is "WordPress for VR", although that there are certainly metaverse ambitions, as with High Fidelity.

For a virtual reality start-up that has not talked about usage numbers and stays in beta, $ 70 million is a hefty amount, especially when they have the spectrum of Facebook that invests billions to eat their lunch. ]

Rosedale recognizes the challenges, but seems to think that Facebook's privacy issues will only get worse as more and more users dive into virtual worlds.

"I believe that when you move to virtual reality, people's concerns about privacy, security, and identity will be very different from what they are with Facebook," Rosedale said. at TechCrunch in an interview. "So I think Facebook's emphasis on advertising as an income model and on the centralization of services certainly creates an opportunity for competition with them and we intend to be in that." space."

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The goals are right, but no one can accuse Rosedale of being conservative in his. He predicts that VR will reach one billion viewers over the next decade and that the gaming market in these worlds will reach $ 1 trillion, with High Fidelity leading the way.