Avatars -- acting on behalf of their human counterparts -- could get voting rights to shape how the IMVU metaverse develops with the release of a new token this week.
At the Enter, the Metaverse conference in London, in December 2021, UK Palo Alto, CA-based Together Labs announced its VCORE ERC-20 token, which will become available to users solely outside of the US and Canada in 2022 via its avatar-based social platform IMVU.
The token will allow users to influence the 'future of the metaverse'. The IMVU platform currently has over 200,000 active creators and over 1,000,000 daily active users, which is available as a desktop experience or via an iOS or Android app.
The VCORE token will unlock voting rights and can be exchanged for money in and out of the metaverse. Users can buy this Ethereum token to own, invest, sell virtual items, and get rewarded for their efforts to add to the virtual economy.
The ERC-20 token is a standard in Ethereum tokens that enables the tokens to be interoperable with other tokens across the Ethereum network.
IMVU intends to position the VCORE token as a blockchain building block to help "accelerate the transition to a complete blockchain economy".
The company released its first token, VCOIN, in January 2021, which was mainly used for peer-to-peer payments across IMVU.
The VCORE token is only available to users outside of the US and Canada -- and there are pop-up warnings on every page of the site preventing participation from residents there. US and Canadian residents will be able to use INVU's VCOIN token for purchases and activities across the network.
IMVU's peer to peer economy lets users design and sell virtual goods and destinations, adding to its catalog of 50 million items. Currently, over 200,000 people make a living selling items in IMVU by turning virtual items into money.
It has partnerships with fashion brands such as Collina Strada and Gypsy Sport to create branded avatar fashion to sell on the platform and plans to add more NFTs in future.
The platform was rated a top 10 favourite social app among gen-Z and millennials in 2020 and had 7 million monthly active users (MAU) and 14 billion monthly credits per month changing hands.
John Burris, Chief Strategy & Blockchain Officer of Together Labs, said: "This initial presale was to connect with and secure interest from the top strategic crypto and metaverse buyers which know our space well -- and we could not be more pleased to have this select group as part of our project."
NFTs are certainly here to stay with announcements about new token sales hitting my inbox daily. Platforms like INVU certainly do have significant potential as users change the way they connect with other users.
Incorporating cryptocurrency and NFTs will add to the virtual economy and hopefully will make money for creators who trade in the tokens.
However, as the VCORE token is not available to US and Canadian residents, it is difficult to see how this token will be able to power the transition to the blockchain economy.
The US is a leading country for crypto adoption, leading the way for crypto friendliness -- so without the US's involvement, it is difficult to see how this can fly alone.
But regulations are designed to protect users, and prohibiting its access or sale in the US might be a warning flag for the rest of the world to take note of.