In August 2021, Upland announced the release of its NFT portal. This portal is a first of its kind and groundbreaking in the use of blockchain technology. The portal enables you to import Upland Cards directly into Upland. In the future this will extend to all NFTs on WAX, and in the long term all NFTs on any blockchain!
For the average person without an in depth understanding of the blockchain or NFTs you might be saying “so what”, or “why does this matter”? There are numerous application for NFTs, but in this explanation we will discuss the collectible or art aspect of NFTs. If you own a collection (baseball cards, stamps, art, sneakers, etc) chances are it is currently collecting dust in boxes. There isn’t a viable way to display your collection to the public. NFTs fill this void and more. They are digital assets that you own and they are easy to display publicly in your virtual wallet.
Why do I need to display a picture of something in my wallet? Who cares? Below is a picture of the Mona Lisa that doesn’t need an introduction. I found it on the internet and posted it here. You can also go to the Louvre in Paris and take your own picture of it. Afterwards you can upload it to your Instagram account or blog. Its also possible that the picture below isn’t the real picture. it could be a fake! Yes, with NFTs you could do the same. You can take a screenshot of the graphic and re-post it. (If you do, please give credit to the original creator).
The missing aspect that is at the center of NFTs is ownership. I don’t own the picture of the Mona Lisa above. For many people thats not a big deal, but for art collectors it is. The picture above isn’t worth anything, but owning the actual painting is worth millions. Exchange the Mona Lisa with a Michael Jordan rookie card, a rolex, a limited edition stamp or vintage gold coin and the same holds true. Ownership is a type of social currency and status symbol. This is what the block chain provides. The block chain is a public ledger where every transaction is verifiable. This means that you know the origin of every NFT, and it cannot be forged. If Leonardo da Vinci released the Mona Lisa as an NFT, you would easily be able to identify the fakes. You would know exactly how many were created and each one would be unique. For NFTs, each picture would have a different serial number, thus making it unique.
The other important feature of NFTs are the contract that sits behind it. Regarding the Mona Lisa, if that painting gets sold today, Leonardo Di Vinci would receive $0. Despite the fact that his painting continues to appreciate in value, he is not able to benefit from that. With NFTs, is it possible to ensure that the creator is able to earn a percentage of each sale of the NFT – forever. This has game changing implications not only for the art world, but also for the music industry, real estate, and the list goes on.
To summarize, NFTs allow for creators to create digital collectibles where they can continue to make money off of them even after their initial sale. The owners have a unique collectible that is no different from an antique, piece of art, basketball card aside from the fact that it isn’t tangible. Again, there are other use cases for NFTs that are not discussed here, but this technology goes beyond the realm of collectibles and art.
OK, so people collect all sorts of things – physical and digital; what does this have to do with Upland? If you owned an original pair of Air Jordan sneakers, you might have them put up on display in your home for your friends to see when they come over. The same is true in Upland. Collectors will want to display their NFT collection in their virtual in game home. After all, each player in upland is already building a collection – properties, structures, and block explorers – each of which is an NFT. As for NFTs outside the game, incorporating them within the game will be an extension of that.
As an artist, Upland can be an incredible way to market and advertise yourself. Buy a piece of land in Upland, build a home on it, turn it into an art gallery/museum that displays your artwork, and voila! You can start selling your NFTs. For collectors, it is a great way to support independent artists, show off your art collection in your virtual home, and maybe even sell an NFT in the future created by the Leonardo da Vinci of NFTs! Most of the functionality described here is not yet available in Upland. It does however appear on their roadmap and has been discussed on their official youtube channel during discussions with the founders.
The portal has just begun, but this is the start of something big in the metaverse!