By Gary Symons
TLL Editor in Chief
There’s a new player in the metaverse, as Ethereum Worlds announced the release of their MVP (Minimum Viable Product) for their community-focused Metaverse platform, Ethereum Towers.
“Our metaverse platform has the potential to revolutionize the virtual real estate industry by providing an immersive and unparalleled experience for our users.” said Ethereum Worlds COO Shane Gatzke. “We’re excited to see the response from our users and are confident that our technology will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in the Metaverse.”
The company says initial release is exclusively available to premium asset holders and competition winners, and serves as the first deliverable of a much larger ecosystem called Ethereum Worlds. As the name Ethereum Towers might suggest, the new platform will involved the sale of virtual real estate, as Luxury and Penthouse Apartments can be purchased via NFT secondary markets like OpenSea or directly from the Ethereum Towers team.
That places Ethereum Worlds firmly in the Web3 category with other metaverse companies like Decentraland or the Sandbox, in which decentralized cryptocurrencies and assets linked to NFTs on a blockchain are a major part of the offering. That stands in contrast to some of the longer established platforms like Minecraft and Roblox, which do offer in-game assets and currencies like Robux, but they are typically not linked to cryptocurrencies or NFTs.
This Minimum Viable Product offering is essentially a beta project that showcases fully customizable penthouse and luxury apartments, which boast larger floor plans than standard apartment counterparts. Additionally, premium assets offer higher multipliers for in-game mechanics, as well as other in-world incentives.
Built with a VR-first approach, the Apartments offered within Ethereum Towers provide a comprehensive and immersive experience that enable users to interact and engage within their virtual living space.
The MVP will grant holders the ability to design, build, and furnish their Apartments with the added benefit of displaying their favorite NFTs as pieces of art on the walls. This will be done via the Companion App that owners will use to access their assets and profile when not in VR.
Moreover, users can use a customized avatar solution called Ready Player Me to further define their unique digital Metaverse identity and engage with fellow users as a Web3 version of themselves created from a selfie.
“The release of our MVP showcases the culmination of our hard work and dedication to creating a premium, community-focused Metaverse platform,” said Ethereum Worlds CEO, Jason Zemgulis. “We’re excited to see how our premium asset holders will utilize their fully customizable apartments to create their unique virtual spaces.”
The Ethereum Towers virtual complex currently consists of 4,388 Apartments sold as NFTs. The prelaunch MVP NFT sale is currently ongoing on the Ethereum Worlds Discord channel. Instead of a mint, it is an open sale that reflects real-life property sales.
The project is using Ethereum as its chosen cryptocurrency. Starting at 0.1 ETH, users can hand-select their dream virtual Apartment and be eligible for participation in a weekly raffle in which they can win a luxury Apartment. The NFT key sale is live as long as Apartments are available.
Ethereum Towers made headlines in March by announcing a strategic partnership with Trustless Music Agency, a Web3 music management firm and sister company to TaP Music.
With headquarters in both London and LA, their roster of global superstars includes Ellie Goulding, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, Lana Del Rey, and more.
For that reason, Ethereum Towers is seen as a very music-centric community in the metaverse. In fact, the company says this offering is being designed specifically to provide a platform for music artists to establish residency in Ethereum Towers, and offer fans an exclusive opportunity to engage with their music idols through meet and greets and other events that will give exclusive access to residents of the Towers.
It’s a pretty unique concept, as major music stars often need so much protection from security teams that it’s almost impossible for fans to meet and engage with them these days. There can be exceptions, like when Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong surprised a cover band in London while they were playing their hit “Basket Case” during a concert, and joined them up on stage. Even I’ve run into a few of my favorites, like the time BB King joined my friends at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver for a beer, or when The Who stopped by a local pub to play a surprise set.
But these days, with security tight around celebrities, meeting and chatting with your favorite musicians is an exceedingly rare event.
The Ethereum Towers hopes to change that dynamic, providing a safe space where musicians can easily and securely meet and greet their fans, or perhaps even put on a jam session with the neighbors.
“This initiative reflects Ethereum Towers’ commitment to creating innovative solutions that transcend the boundaries of traditional real estate, while simultaneously establishing a new paradigm for music industry collaborations in the metaverse,” the company says.
Ethereum has done well in its virtual real estate sales, having sold roughly 75% of available units, but it’s also true the sector involving blockchain-related virtual worlds has slowed of late, largely due to the recent sharp downturn in trading and value of both crypto and NFTs.
Nevertheless, Ethereum remains bullish for the future of the industry, noting some analysts project the market for virtual real estate is projected to grow at almost 40% CAGR to $16B by 2030.
This particular world is also very much organized around licensing, initially around music and art. “It promises a realm of unlimited possibilities for brands, public events, and private individuals alike, offering exclusive VIP access that was unprecedented before,” the company says. “Through its partnership with TaP, a music label that has global superstars Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa and Ellie Goulding under contract, the towers intend to host exclusive virtual meet and greet events with music industry personalities.”