Although Niantic associates most people with Pokémon Go, the company has a wider range of titles and has just introduced more. In augmented reality, this time you will neither hunt cute animals nor conjure in the world of Harry Potter, but look for real bitcoins, a bit like Minecraft style. Niantic merged with the payment company Fold and together they created a gaming experience that revolves around the search for the most popular cryptocurrency.
The game called Fold AR is currently only available from the Fold application and only in the beta version, but it still offers most of the features agreed upon by both companies. The basis is not surprising, it is the same as with other Niantic titles – you walk around your neighborhood in search of a particular subject. The change comes in what you are looking for and in what way.
In the first place, the neighborhood is not full of virtual locations corresponding to the real ones, in fact there are no locations. In front of the person, only 10 minutes at a certain distance, figures and boxes appear, which, when obtained, contain a small amount of bitcoin, which is then stored in the Fold wallet. The boxes have to be “extracted” virtually, the act looks a bit like in Minecraft. The game also contains a certain element of chance, if you come across a poisoned pill during your search, you will lose your bitcoin earnings. It is also possible to receive rewards in the form of benefits to the Fold account, not just the cryptocurrency.
When the game is available in the full version, users will be able to sell the bitcoin fragments obtained. Over time, the application should include the possibility of geocaching multiplayer, when it will be possible to hide a certain amount of cryptocurrency for friends. The inclusion of NFT tokens is also planned, although it is not yet clear in what form.
Niantic states in a press release that Fold AR is part of its planned metaverse, a digital world that has committed to creating more technology companies in recent weeks. Including Facebook, which, among other things, changed its name to Meta because of these plans.
It was against Facebook that Niantic said that the metaverse should not be a “dystopian nightmare” – that’s what Mark Zuckerberg’s project supposedly works for – but it should take place in augmented reality. To support this vision, the company has promised to provide its AR tools and APIs to third-party stakeholders.