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Arcona metaverse guide

Augmented reality meets a decentralized metaverse with Arcona. But what can you do with it?

Arcona is a blockchain-based augmented reality (AR) metaverse. AR is a blend of a virtual world and our current reality, and it works by adding digital bits on top of our current environment. A well-known example of AR gaming is Pokémon GO, a mobile game where players can catch Pokémon that spawn in their real-world location.

Similar to most AR applications and some metaverses, Arcona — referred to as Arcona Space or X-Reality Metaverse — is mapped to the real world, with layers of AR tied to specific locations on the planet. Users can buy digital assets and virtual land, and add those digital items to real-world locations so it’s viewable with AR tech on a device. In Arcona, the items are nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, and they’re 3D with animation.

While this whole project sounds cool, what are the actual applications to this metaverse? Arcona is working on a few practical applications for this project and aims to connect artists and developers across the globe — though much of this metaverse is in development.

Highlights:

  • Built on Ethereum
  • Global AR metaverse
  • iOS- and Android-compatible
  • Bringing NFTs to life
  • Not much to do just yet

What is Arcona?

Built on the Ethereum blockchain, Arcona uses the ERC-20 token ARCONA, which is used to make purchases in the metaverse. Arcona was developed by Piligrim XXI, an experienced team of software developers that have been developing AR technology and solutions since 2013.

While all decentralized metaverses eventually aim to be an extension of our current reality, Arcona is taking that literally. Arcona allows users to place digital objects onto real-world locations. For example, objects like 3D billboards can be purchased and installed in streets in the real world to earn advertising revenue.

The land in Arcona is called Digital Land, which will allow for play-to-earn games, educational projects, art projects, tourist attractions and more to be held on these virtual parcels that are mapped to the real world.

It’s a large-scale project, with the end goal of making AR tech globally accessible and public, and making it faster and cheaper for developers and artists to enter the space.

Arcona

Image source: Arcona Space “Glowing Mushroom”

Other metaverse applications, such as The Sandbox and Decentraland, are completely encased in their applications. Arona’s AR capabilities mean that other users can physically see your placed digital objects, with the help of their device. It’s a more immersive project that attempts to bridge the gap between virtual reality, the real world and digital assets.

About the ARCONA token

The metaverse token ARCONA is a governance token allowing holders to participate in voting within the system. ARCONA is deployed in three blockchain networks — Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain and Minter.

The ARCONA token was originally created during the project’s initiation. While 20% of the total supply went to the founders, 20% was split between advisers, bounties and the reserve fund. The remaining 60% was sold to users and is currently in circulation.

The token is also used to make purchases on the Arcona marketplace, and is valued at $0.3033 according to CoinMarketCap, at the time of writing.

Playing Arcona

Arcona is more of an exploring, community-building metaverse, and much of it is still in development. It’s self-identified as a “global augmented reality ecosystem” focusing on helping developers and artists communicate and work together. Overall, it’s geared towards programmers, developers and 3D artists.

However, anyone can get involved with the project. You can purchase digital items on the Arcona marketplace and place them on Digital Land in a few steps, or view items that other players have placed with the Arcona AR Viewer. Many NFTs on Arcona are listed for free.

The majority of Arcona’s features are available on a browser by going to www.arcona.space, and you just need to download an AR Viewer app — however, it’s only available for iOS devices. But there’s also a free mobile app which is available on Google Play and iOS devices.

To start in Arcona’s metaverse, create an Arcona account that requires creating a nickname, submitting your email, creating a password and connecting an Ethereum wallet. To purchase digital assets for placement, you need to connect an Ethereum wallet to the Arcona marketplace or you can shop on the OpenSea collection directly from Arcona’s site.

Arcona

Image source: Arcona Space, Land marketplace

Placing items on Arcona’s Digital Land

Placing items starts with getting or buying NFTs to be deployed on Digital Land. Visit the OpenSea Arcona collection or the Arcona market directly to browse listings.

Once you have an NFT in your Arcona account, select it using the Arcona portal. In Arcona, digital assets are displayed in 3D with animation. Once you’ve found a good place to put your NFT, select Publish. Once that’s done, other Arcona users can view your asset using AR tech. There’s no mention of a fee for placing an item on Digital Land.

Note that placing your NFT on Digital Land doesn’t revoke your ownership — it’s still in your wallet, it’s just being displayed.

Play-to-earn tactics in Arcona

One of the most attractive features of metaverses is the ability to earn income, typically in the form of cryptocurrency. Arcona has methods of earning, but it isn’t as intuitive or simple as earning in other metaverse games like Decentraland, or crypto games such as Axie Infinity.

The main earning strategy in Arcona is setting up paid attractions on Digital Land. Or placing advertising in choice areas to create buzz around your product and bring in new customers.

Arcona also has an NFT collection called NFT Castles, stating that “Arcona castles is your constant income source in the augmented reality world.” They’re set to be play-to-earn hubs. Eventually, Castles will allow for staking — the more Castles, the more tokens accumulated for staking, which effectively drives the value of the ARCONA token.

Arcona castle

Image source: Arcona Space, NFT Castles

Other earning methods include:

  • Gold Rush. An AR gambling game that will have zones in Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Macau and Atlantic City. To play, you need to own at least one of the 36 parcels around the play area and have an NFT treasure chest. Needless to say, it’s not very accessible.
  • Creating NFTs. Creators can create Arcona NFTs to sell on the marketplace, as long as the digital assets meet the platform’s specifications: 3D model up to 100 MB in size, a texture size up to 2048 x 2048 (preferably 1024 x 1024), and in format of GLTF, GLB or FBX. Unity animation is supported as well, Unity 2020.3. Digital artists can create 3D models on Sketchfab.com and export their creations to Arcona.

We hope to see more ways for consumers to earn income in the future. It’s not well-suited for regular Joes, and we don’t see much incentive for a typical gamer or crypto enthusiast to participate in the project.

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Arcona NFTs

Arcona NFTs vary from domains to nobility titles to castles. Each of these NFTs play a unique role in the Arcona metaverse.

All virtual parcels in the Arcona metaverse are an Arcona NFT, which is an ERC-721 token. Digital lands in Arcona are NFTs that correspond to actual locations on Earth. These NFTs can be identified by a token ID, thumbnail photo, contract address, token standard and the blockchain on which they reside.

Digital lands host the majority of economic activities in Arcona. This is where landlords lease land to investors who create virtual experiences open to the public. There are also NFTs that give users power to merge lands and make their domain tokens more valuable, and others that give users honorary titles.

Users can create NFTs using the platform’s infrastructure. For instance, 3D artists can create models that can be installed on lands in the metaverse. Such user-created NFTs are sold on the OpenSea NFT marketplace.

Most NFTs in Arcona are transferable and redeemable. That means users can either resell their NFTs or convert them to Ether.

Compare marketplaces to buy metaverse NFTs

Name Product Categories Blockchains Payment methods Platform Genre
Gala Entertainment
Gala Entertainment
Gaming
Ethereum, Binance Smart Chain, GALA
Cryptocurrency
Browser
Blockchain games
Blockchain gaming platforms where you can earn Gala and NFTs through playing.
Splinterlands
Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Hive
Cryptocurrency, PayPal
Browser, mobile
Trading card game (TCG)
Splinterlands is a digital, play-to-earn, collectible card game built on hive blockchain technology.
SoRare
Sports, Collectibles, Gaming, Trading cards
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
Trading card and fantasy sports app
A fantasy football game with collectible NFT cards, officially supported by the biggest soccer leagues in the world.
Binance NFT Marketplace
Sports, Collectibles, Art, Gaming, Music, Trading cards, Domain names, Metaverse (Virtual Worlds), Memes, DeFi, Mixed
Ethereum
Credit card, Debit card, Cryptocurrency, Bank transfer
Browser
NFT marketplace
A peer-to-peer marketplace supported by one of the worlds largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance. Not currently available to U.S. residents.
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Arcona roadmap

Some forthcoming updates to Arcona include:

  • Implementation of Wrapped NFT (WNFT) units for ARCONA staking.
  • Adding dynamic NFTs — dragons, dragon eggs, etc.
  • Opening peer-to-peer market for NFT assets specifically for AR advertising.
  • Adding guilds.
  • A player vs. player game (capturing castles).
  • Implementation of a multichain environment.

This list is only a handful of Arcona’s future plans. As we’ve said, much of this metaverse is still in development, and many of these updates are planned for 2022.

Bottom line

While this metaverse has the unique feature of seeing dynamic NFTs using AR tech, there’s little the regular consumer can do.

The current play-to-earn game, Gold Rush, comes with many prerequisites, adding your own NFTs has a laundry list of specifications that need to be met, and unless you’re a business that wants to advertise, there doesn’t seem to be much incentive to join this metaverse.

The concept of an AR metaverse is cool, but Arcona has a lot more work to do.

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