Virtual realty: Why you should jump into the metaverse property boom

by Jolyon Varley
Insight

➡️ Investors and DAOs are parting with vast sums of money to own land in the metaverse 

➡️ The virtual property market – right now – looks like a clone of the IRL one. But that might change as more land is created

➡️ Last year metaverse real estate sales reached $500m according to MetaMetric Solutions

Mark Twain had some smart investment advice for readers during his lifetime: “Buy land,” he wrote, “they aren’t making it anymore.” Until recently this statement held true. But now in the era of Web3, designers and coders are hard at work creating virtual landscapes for the metaverse. There might be a finite surface area on our planet. But online, the world is expanding ever outwards.

This flourishing of the metaverse is ushering in a virtual real estate boom, where investors are parting with vast sums to own land in places like Decentraland and The Sandbox. Plots are represented and traded as NFTs, changing hands in much the same way as IRL land. Your acreage can be used for whatever you want – socialising, gaming, events, ads or anything in the rich plethora of metaverse activities. Last year metaverse real estate sales reached $500m according to MetaMetric Solutions. In 2022, forecasters anticipate that figure to double.

The next domain

Where some see a bonanza, others see a bubble. There are those who are paying over the odds for metaverse plots – but consider the parallels with previous iterations of the internet. Buying a prime location in The Sandbox is the equivalent of a killer domain name back in the days of web 1.0. Or a social media handle consisting of your first name in Web 2.0 (@Jolyon is mine 🙃).

As with real estate investment in big cities IRL, it’s vital to buy in the right neighbourhood. You need locales that are likely to increase in value – with good amenities and famous neighbours help. Desirable virtual districts like this are already forming. Consider the anonymous buyer of the neighbouring property to Snoop Dogg, who parted with $450,000 for the privilege of living next to the rapper’s Sandbox estate. Then there’s MetaCollective DAO, a group of venture capitalists who bought a plot next to Bored Ape Yacht Club and Adidas there. Since the DAO bought the land eight months ago, its value has increased tenfold according to Time magazine.

New property magnates

Opportunities like this have piqued the interest of those with vision and deep pockets. For instance, Everyrealm – a metaverse company that used to be called Republic Realm – broke records recently by spending $4.3m on a plot of land in The Sandbox. The organisation has land in Decentraland and Sominium too, holding over 3,000 NFTs and investing in 25 different game worlds, according to crypto news site Decrypt.

Innovation businesses like Everyrealm are getting rich from buying virtual land, but so are the designers and Web3 impresarios that are designing and building the land itself. NFT Worlds is a new project that allows users to purchase land in the shape of NFTs for sandbox-style game Minecraft. Using open-source software from the game, developers were able to mint 10,000 Worlds that appear as different landscapes – like snow-covered tundra, forests and volcanic rocks. The floor price for one of these? 14.5 Ethereum – that’s somewhere in the region of $38,150.

Planning to build on your metaverse property portfolio? Or know an insider tip on the next hot destination to buy? Get at me in the DMs or comments.

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