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This article was published on September 25, 2019

Vodafone litters London with blockchain tokens in new augmented reality game

Their non-fungible tokens can be redeemed for Apple prizes

Vodafone litters London with blockchain tokens in new augmented reality game

Vodafone is running an augmented reality (AR) game across London as part of a promotional Apple giveaway, and it’s powered by blockchain technology.

The game, called Find Unlimited, requires players find and interact with “Vatoms,” unique, non-fungible tokens (NFTs) generated by and stored in a blockchain operated by startup BLOCKv.

This person supposedly won a prize. 

Over a two-hour period every day this week, 36 Vatoms will appear in Central London, spread across six “high-footfall” locations.

Participants can collect the tokens by zapping them with their phone’s camera, later redeeming them for special prizes (like an iPhone 11).

Kinda looks like Pokemon Go.

Anyone can participate in the game, but marketing materials confirm Vodafone customers receive clues to the whereabouts of the tokens in advance.

Remembering CryptoKitties, the ‘blockchain killer’ app

NFTs were once a really big deal. Back in 2017, the Ethereum app CryptoKitties became so popular it crippled the entire blockchain, which uncomfortably revealed its scalability issues to the world.

It also led to a flourishing (but short-lived) blockchain collectible market, with individual CryptoKitties regularly sold for well over $50,000 each.

But considering the blockchain that generates Vatoms is described as a “semi-decentralized network overlay” in its whitepaper, it’s likely Vodafone isn’t exactly concerned with decentralization (or the associated censorship resistance).

Still, it’s refreshing to see blockchain utilized for something other than tracking the provenance of fruit, vegetables, and chickens  regardless of how watered down the tech.

[H/T Campaign]

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