Thinking about building a club or a casino or a virtual storefront in the metaverse? Better talk to a broker, because at least some of that augmented reality (AR) land is priced through the roof.
On Tuesday (Nov. 23) Reuters reported that Tokens.com subsidiary the Metaverse Group “bought a patch of real estate for 618,000 MANA on Monday, which was around $2,428,740 at the time,” adding, “The land is in the ‘Fashion Street’ area of Decentraland’s map and Tokens.com said it would be used to host digital fashion events and sell virtual clothing for avatars.”
Best to explain a few things. Decentraland is a metaverse comprised of more than 90,000 “parcels” of virtual land running on the Etherium blockchain, albeit with its own native currency called MANA — the altcoin of the realm, as it were — and it’s attracting monied investors.
At $2.4 million it’s the highest price yet paid for a plot in the metaverse after Republic Realm, a digital real estate investment fund, paid $900,000 in June with plans for a virtual mall.
What do virtual landowners actually walk away with for these astronomical sums? In most cases it’s a non-fungible token (NFT) representing ownership of their new digital spread.
There are more questions than answers at this point. That these investments are highly speculative is beyond doubt as they imagine a thriving virtual reality (VR) economy — where avatars buy outfits and cars, go to amusement parks — that’s at the earliest stages.
Sounds just a bit like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky “imagining” Las Vegas before it existed. Not that parties to the metaverse land grab are comparable to mobsters. It’s a vision thing.
See also: Who Wants to Be a Crypto Millionaire?
Digital Scarcity Drives NFT Land Grab
The prices are a giveaway that major money sees a future for retailing inside the metaverse.
Tokens.com made its reasons plain enough. In a statement, the company said the virtual land parcel in Decentraland’s fashion district will eventually house an AR/VR office building.
“Tokens.com Tower is an NFT-based virtual building, under construction on Metaverse Group’s land parcels, of which Tokens.com owns 50%. The building is intended to be revenue-generating through leases, rentals and the sale of advertising space. Tokens.com Tower will be branded, providing Tokens.com and other brands advertising exposure to new audiences within the metaverse,” adding that it will also host “metaverse-based crypto conferences and events.”
If you have a few million to sink into AR/VR plots of land but don’t feel savvy enough to deal directly with Dencentraland or even Meta, there are now metaverse real estate brokers.
According to the firm Metaverse REIT, “Digital scarcity is a tenant of all virtual Worlds. There is a limited amount of virtual real estate in these Metaverse’s and just like the physical realm, only a subset of that available real estate is considered desirable.”
To avoid ending up in a blocky Minecraft-looking shack on the wrong side of Meta Town, outfits like Metaverse REIT promise to steer virtual settlers into “desirable” digital digs.
Wonder what a metaverse land listing looks like? Click here and find out.
Another player in the space is LootNFT, whose Loot NFT World is mapped out somewhat like Tolkien’s Middle Earth, except everything’s up for grabs using Loots native crypto, Lototo (LTT).
We’ve got our eye on one auction involving what LootNFT calls “Revenue-Bearing NFTs (RB-NFTs)” explaining that “each RB-NFT is a representation of a plot with different benefits acting like land zonings in real estate. Each USDC received is mirrored as Credits in-world.”
Got that? Few do. What happens when these virtual worlds filled with virtual businesses start experiencing virtual credit card declines? How are virtual chargebacks handled?
Much remains to be seen, but the action is real enough. As news site NewsBTC reported, “many metaverse real estate companies like metaverse Property have been set up to secure land and properties in the virtual real estate space. Moreover, companies like Sotheby’s are looking to secure land pieces to set up art galleries and museums where they can showcase their NFTs.”
See also: Brands Bet Big on Sales in the Metaverse