High Fidelity is one of the companies that is trying to take advantage of the newly emerging Blockchain technology, and has founded the virtual reality blockchain alliance to try and develop an interoperable virtual reality (VR) world. The company has now announced the successful closing of a Series D funding round.
The founding round raised $35 million (USD), which was led by Galaxy Digital, a venture capital fund run by Wall Street trader Mike Novogratz.
High Fidelity is attempting to build a blockchain infrastructure that will support up to a billion users, with a built-in cryptocurrency and digital asset registry that lets users keep track of digital objects they purchase, allowing users to effectively own a piece of the virtual world.
CEO of High Fidelity Philip Rosedale first came to the attention of fans of digital worlds due to being involved in the creation of MMO Second Life. Rosedale told Fortune magazine that if bitcoin had been around in 2005 when he was working on Second Life, he would have considered using it then.
Rosedale has stated his belief that users would prefer to interact with digital worlds using a VR headset rather than monitor and mouse, but he also believes that the need for a stable digital currency is a pressing one.
High Fidelity users will be able to access digital tokens using a tablet-like device from within the VR environment, and register those tokens and other virtual possessions on the Blockchain. Rosedale thinks that real world businesses would be able to become involved, using an example of a user buying a pair of virtual Rayban sunglasses, with Rayban themselves recording the purchase to prove that the customer had bought them.
The closure of the Series D funding round means that High Fidelity have raised a total of $70 million, with other investors including Breyer Capital, IDG Capital Partners and Vulcan Capital.
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