High Fidelity is unveiling Avatar Island, a virtual reality domain where users can buy and sell items based on a blockchain service.

The move paves the way for buying and selling user-generated virtual goods, similar to what Philip Rosedale, CEO of High Fidelity, made possible with Second Life, the virtual world he created when he founded Linden Lab in 1999. But at his new company, Rosedale is trying to modernize the commerce system and open it up so it can be far more empowering for both users and creators.

“I’ve been looking at blockchain technology since Second Life, as the Linden dollar was one of the first digital goods currencies,” Rosedale said. “At the time that Bitcoin came out, I was thinking a lot about how we could generalize what we did at Second Life. I didn’t have all of the ideas, but in the last few quarters we have been building the backend system to make all of this work.”

High Fidelity has built its Avatar Island commerce system on a blockchain, similar to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. The ledger of transactions will exist independent of High Fidelity, providing unalterable, irrefutable proof of ownership. The system took about six months to build.

“We knew this is one of the key things we needed before people started building a lot,” Rosedale said. “We needed a system to buy and sell things to each other and a system to properly recognize ownership. Our vision for VR in High Fidelity would mandate everyone running their own servers. You need something that recognizes ownership across all of these different servers. We saw blockchain was the…

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