Interested in learning what's next for the gaming industry? Join gaming executives to discuss emerging parts of the industry this October at GamesBeat Summit Next. Learn more.


Fold is launching an augmented reality experience where players can earn Bitcoin in a kind of augmented reality environment.

Fold, a reward and payments app, partnered with Niantic to create the Fold AR beta app, which overlays Bitcoin prizes over the real world. It uses Niantic’s real-world mapping tech and Fold’s feature for earning Bitcoin rewards. The company calls this a step into the real-world metaverse, the universe of virtual worlds that are all interconnected, like in novels such as Snow Crash and Ready Player One.

Fold AR is currently available for users to play in beta in the Fold App, and it allows users to earn Bitcoin and in-app benefits by exploring their physical surroundings.

Niantic, the maker of Pokémon Go and a leader in augmented reality, is working with Fold to build the next iteration of the AR experience.

Event

MetaBeat 2022

MetaBeat will bring together metaverse thought leaders to give guidance on how metaverse technology will transform the way all industries communicate and do business on October 3-4 in San Francisco, CA.

Register Here

“This is the easiest, most fun way to get your first piece of Bitcoin,” said Fold CEO Will Reeves, in a statement. “Anyone can use our app to earn Bitcoin and other rewards by exploring the world around them. For us, it’s always been important to make participating in the Bitcoin economy easy for anyone, regardless of education or technical expertise.”

Instead of finding rare creatures in the world around you, Fold users will be able to discover and collect Bitcoin and other prizes around them, thanks in part to Niantic’s state-of-the-art, planet-scale, augmented reality platform tech.

Meghan Hughes, head of AR platform marketing at Niantic, said in a statement, “We see a future where our platform technology and AR tools pave the way for new entertainment experiences and real-world connections games always help us push the boundaries of technology and allow us to incubate some of our most audacious thinking, but we see incredible opportunity in multiple categories including payments. Working with Fold, which has always been at the forefront of making bitcoin accessible, is a perfect collaboration for Niantic and a great use case for augmented reality.”

Above: Fold lets you chase Bitcoin in the real-world metaverse.

Image Credit: Fold

The initial rollout of Fold AR starts today and will allow a small number of users to access the experience for a limited time each day. Access will increase over time. Fold Visa Debit Cardholders will be able to collect special rewards and powers that increase their bitcoin cashback rewards in the AR experience.

Users of the Fold AR app can jump into the metaverse experience every 10 minutes to locate and open a bitcoin rewards block. After tapping to open the block, prizes appear that includes fractions of Bitcoin (known as satoshis) and other exclusive prizes.

Fold has partnered directly with Niantic to leverage their underlying AR technology and design a mobile game that brings bitcoin within reach of hundreds of millions of users. Fold and Niantic have combined development skills and expertise in mobile gaming and mobile banking to create a novel rewards-earning experience.

The Bitcoin earning feature will first appear within Fold, available to anyone who downloads the app. Fold provisions all players with a digital wallet to hold Bitcoin rewards that it may, in the future, extend to other mobile games.

GamesBeat's creed when covering the game industry is "where passion meets business." What does this mean? We want to tell you how the news matters to you -- not just as a decision-maker at a game studio, but also as a fan of games. Whether you read our articles, listen to our podcasts, or watch our videos, GamesBeat will help you learn about the industry and enjoy engaging with it. Learn more about membership.