Mark Twain once said: “Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” For the first time ever, that might not be true.
The Metaverse is a virtual world concept currently playing out across multiple online platforms. And one trend that’s rapidly gaining traction is the purchase of “real estate” that exists only inside these virtual universes. You can’t live there, build there, or even visit IRL. But there’s a land grab happening, just the same.
Visitors to the popular Decentraland Marketplace https://market.decentraland.org/ can shop for and buy a vacant lot using a plat map that looks much like traditional assessor’s tax maps.
(You can also pick up some pretty eclectic virtual outfits and costumes… “festival sunglasses” or a “baked turkey suit”, anyone?)
These items are purchased with – you guessed it – virtual money.
Obviously Etherium (which Decentraland accepts as a form of payment) and BitCoin are now household names. And the meta-economy runs on cryptocurrency and NFTs.
Online real estate experts like Republic Realm https://www.republicrealm.com/digital-real-estate are actually acquiring, managing, and developing online projects, describing themselves as “urban planners in the metaverse”.
Republic Realm reportedly developed 100 Fantasy Island retreats and listed them for sale in a virtual world called The Sandbox. The result was a San Francisco-style buyer bum-rush. All 100 islands – which feature villas that look a heck of a lot like Minecraft forts – sold out within 24 hours. In other words… real estate’s so dang hot, you can drop the “real” and still get a bidding war going.
If you love cruising Zillow just for kicks, check out Parcel https://meetparcel.com/. It’s like Zillow for the Metaverse.
Celebrities are getting in on the action, too. Wanna check out Snoop Dogg’s digital party mansion? (you know you do.) Check out this video (explicit lyrics warning!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WD38OueA5zk
It’s like MTV Cribs. Sort of.
The price to be Snoop Dogg’s neighbor in the SandBox universe: $450,000. That’s US dollars, people. On the other hand, it’s pennies on the dollar compared to what one would have to pay to be Snoop Dogg’s real-life next-door neighbor. So from that perspective, call it a deal?