Digital real estate sales topped $85-million last month, on track to possibly crest $1-Billion by the end of the year.
Since Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook’s parent company as Meta, just about everyone wants a piece of the metaverse. Real estate is a crucial feature of the metaverse. In this place, virtual reality rules the roost, and digital avatars take the place of humans. According to venture capitalist Matthew Ball, individuals and companies are lining up to stake their land claims in this virtual world many consider the latest computing wave.
The metaverse is designed to closely mirror reality, with features like games and space exploration added for good measure. If you’ve ever played Fortnite, then the concepts of digital avatars and skins are not foreign to you. But the metaverse brings users deeper into the online experience.
For example, open a barbershop. Sell virtual groceries. Spend time with your digital friends or make new ones. It’s all possible in the metaverse.
Take Facebook. The company is feverishly registering patents to capitalize on its early-mover status into the metaverse. Zuckerberg is betting billions of dollars each year that this virtual world, digital avatars, and real estate will become nearly synonymous with real life. One of Zuckerberg’s patents even incorporates biological data into digital avatars. On the monetization side, Meta targets virtual merchants and brand-sponsored digital goods.
These concepts could easily spill over into real estate, which is already very much integrated into the metaverse. On the one hand, owning real estate in the metaverse is a status symbol, like having an NFT as your profile picture on social media. But there’s more to it than that. Owning digital property allows participants to develop the land for fun or monetize assets.
And while you might not be able to live in a metaverse house physically, it can still cost you a pretty penny. Like NFTs, market participants continue to plunk down millions of dollars for digital property. For example, Ontario-based Tokens.com recently doled out $2.5 million for a digital plot of land in the Fashion Street district of Decentraland, a leading metaverse platform. As of November 2021, it was the single-largest land purchase on Decentraland. Here’s an example of a parcel of land in the metaverse on Decentraland located in the Rare Fashion District.
Not to be outdone, One Sotheby’s International Realty has introduced what it calls a “MetaReal” mansion, comprising a hybrid of a physical home and a corresponding digital version that takes the form of an NFT in the metaverse. The metaverse home is built on the SandBox platform, another virtual gaming world. In this case, the buyer also gets the keys to the physical home.
Fortunately, you don’t need to be a millionaire to join this burgeoning trend. But you do need to hold crypto if you plan to do any real estate deals in the metaverse. An excellent place to start is with a digital wallet. Let’s look at two of the most popular land platforms in the metaverse.
MANA is the native cryptocurrency of the Decentraland project, and it’s what you’ll need to purchase LAND or digital avatars on this platform. MANA is built on the Ethereum blockchain. LAND on this platform takes the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) and is divided into parcels.
The NFTs contains metadata including the LAND coordinates, the owner, and a description of the content of the land. You buy LAND or multiple parcels of land known as an Estate on the Decentraland Marketplace. A limited number of LAND parcels are available commensurate with the number of MANA coins to maintain the scarcity component. MANA is currently trading for $2.80 per coin.
The Sandbox is a virtual gaming world in the metaverse, also built on the Ethereum blockchain. Like Decentraland, The Sandbox has its own marketplace where it lists digital assets, including avatars and land traded on OpenSea’s NFT platform.
After purchasing land on The Sandbox, you can create games and add income-producing assets and monetization features. As other users are making their way through the metaverse, they can notice what your land has to offer and perhaps do some shopping. SAND is the native cryptocurrency of Sandbox, and it’s currently trading for $4.27 per coin.
By Gerelyn Terzo
Source: The Sandbox
While the American dream may be evolving, it seems that owning real estate will always be a part of it, whether in the real world or the metaverse. However, whether or not banks will start issuing mortgages for land in the metaverse is another story.