Social avatar platform IMVU launches its transferable digital currency, VCoin, which allows users to buy, give away, hold, earn and convert income to real money.
The launch comes after a November ruling by the US Securities and Exchange Commission that approved the IMVU’s plan to enable payments in its virtual world using a blockchain-based cryptocurrency called VCoin.
Based in Redwood City, California, the company wants VCoin to power the virtual economy in the Metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, as in novels like Snow Crash and Ready Player One. IMVU will speak about this development at our GamesBeat Summit: Into the Metaverse event from January 27th to 28th.
The SEC’s “no action” letter was a big deal. Other virtual world operators – like the game worlds of Roblox and Fortnite – could benefit from the ruling as long as they follow the same guidelines as IMVU, IMVU CEO Daren Tsui said in an interview with GamesBeat.
VCoin unlocks the full potential of the virtual IMVU economy and expands digital merchandise management to include a robust service economy. VCoin is based on the widely used Ethereum blockchain and is an ERC-20 token that can be exchanged both on the IMVU platform and, for the first time, outside the platform.
VCoin is available now for the IMVU desktop, mobile web and web platforms and is seamlessly integrated into the IMVU experience. Secure, global peer-to-peer transactions can be carried out at the push of a button.
IMVU has 7 million monthly active users who exchange 14 billion credits monthly and perform 27.5 million monthly unique transactions. There are more than 50 million products available on the market today. The catalog is growing by 400,000 items a month.
With VCoin, users can now pay for goods and services on the platform – without the need for complicated crypto wallets or even bank accounts – and then convert their earned VCoin into cash at a set price.
Having something like VCoin is important as the Metaverse is not expected to be a single world run by a single company. It will likely be a collection of virtual worlds, all interconnected in such a way that traveling between worlds is easy and seamless. When you buy something in a virtual world from a company or another user, you want to trust that transaction and be able to take the object to another world. When you sell an item, you want to get paid and then cash out. From a business perspective, creating a marketplace where users can post the digital articles could be a lot easier than a business’s developers trying to populate a metaverse with digital articles.
The key to the metaverse
Photo credit: IMVU
This is exactly what IMVU is doing with VCoin, a blockchain-based digital currency backed by a massive user base (Ethereum) and a thriving economy that will soon be rolled out on the IMVU platform. Blockchain is the transparent and secure digital ledger with which objects can be clearly identified and the ownership of these objects can be clearly established. Blockchain technology is the foundation for cryptocurrencies, which are digital forms of money created by companies of all kinds. Ethereum has become popular in part because of its unique features (like the ability to create smart contracts or set specific rules for using the currency) as well as its wide support.
Before VCoin, users had to use third-party tools like PayPal or Venmo to get paid. However, it is not easy for users in different countries. Paying becomes easier with VCoin, Tsui said. Users can send VCoin to other people on the platform, and earners can convert it into real money through Ethereum cryptocurrency wallets.
Many companies currently have their own payment systems, but these are limited. Their currencies only work on their own platforms and it is quite difficult to convert this currency into cash. Policies limit how often you can withdraw currency or maximum amounts. In order to transfer money between states, service companies need licenses for each state, much like a company like Western Union. The same applies to international money transfers.
The SEC had to decide whether VCoin was a security like a stock sale. Had it been classified as such, it would have required much of the disclosures required by public corporations, such as selling only to accredited investors who are knowledgeable about their business and have a certain amount of assets. However, for the third time in its history, the SEC issued a “no-action letter,” meaning it will not take any regulatory action against IMVU for the VCoin currency.
VCoin sells at 250 VCoin for $ 1 or $ 0.004 per VCoin. Users can buy, transact, and earn VCoin on IMVU, and easily transfer VCoin from the platform to an open digital wallet, send it to any ERC-20 wallet, or convert it to fiat at the original purchase price less a transaction fee.
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