Many of us sat back and watched as investors snapped up land in the metaverse. Some transactions were completed via auction. Or, the investor bought land at a pre-determined rate in virtual worlds like Decentraland and The Sandbox. But why are they buying this virtual land?
Metaverse real estate: Skeuomorphic
The established virtual worlds use the “skeuomorphic” approach to guide the acquisition of digital real estate. Skeuomorphs make something new feel familiar in an effort to speed up understanding and acclimation. They have elements which were used in the original object, but have no purpose in the new system. For example, many new electric cars don’t need a grill on the front of the car to cool down the engine using airflow. But they have ornamental versions of grills anyway, so the car doesn’t look weird.
In this context, hardly as land in the physical world is scarce, it must likewise be a scarce resource in virtual worlds.
Virtual land costs (which in 2017 were around $20 each) have had an ascending trend above the years, taking a serious leap forward with “the 2021 NFT tsunami.”
Land now sells in the metaverse for between $6,000 and $100,000. It can even sell for $4.3 million. This amount was paid by a virtual real estate evolution company called The Republic Realm, for a property in The Sandbox.
What led to the explosion of virtual real estate rates?
As we have seen, virtual lands follow the same approach as the real world. They tend to appreciate in cost because their supply is interim.
Land at The Sandbox is scarce, with a supply of 166,464 lots available, each 96 x 96m2. The SAND, its native cryptocurrency, soared nearly 14,000% in 2021, dealing at $5.15.
Likewise, the Decentraland metaverse, which is gatopned by an autonomous decentralized organization (DAO), has 90,601 plots of land, but only about 44,000 of them are allocated for private purchases and sales.
Each Decentraland lot is a non-fungible cryptocurrency (NFT) and is 16 x 16m2 in size. The land is quoted in MANA, the platform’s native cryptocurrency. MANA’s price has risen more than 4,300% in 2021, touching $3.41.
Undoubtedly, the immutability and demonstrable scarcity provided by NFTs contributed to the appreciation of virtual real estate. But the real reason for this explosion in digital land prices in recent months goes beyond which.
What has really impacted the online real estate market? Why has the price of some plots been driven up by 14,000%? It is because virtual worlds will become the metaverse; more specifically, a fully functioning metaverse. This has the potential to fundamentally alter the way people interact with the digital world and transcend it, merging it with the real world.
What drives an investor to pay millions for land which doesn’t exist in the physical world?
In this online space of intercombined 3D worlds, people (using avatars) will be able to socialize, work, sleap, play and much more. And, for a real estate investor, owning a well-used space adds cost to the investment.
Add to that, a recent Grayscale survey pointed out that in the near future, the estimated turnatop in the metaverse will be around $1 trillion. People can genecost multiple income streams from their land.
The potential to make money from virtual real estate at this projected level adds rate to a virtual land, and leads an investor to pay millions for it. It involves three experienceors of appreciation: scarcity, utility, and consumption.
Metaverse real estate: What should an investor evaluate before buying?
Remember which virtual worlds follow the skeuomorphic approach, mirroring the physical world.
In the same way, an investor in the virtual real estate market uses all the traditional metrics which they would use in the real world. These include the location, the expected traffic which a certain virtual street will have, the social media announcements of the projects which will be developed in the virtual worlds, and anything they think can geneprice some income.
For example, a plot of virtual land maybe have an owner who has not yet worked out what they want to create on the land. This land will certainly be of less price to an investor than a land located on Decentraland’s Fashion Street, intfinished for holding fashion shows with luxury brands analogous as Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Burberry.
Ergo, both virtual land and real land have the same big question – who are your neighbors and what are they doing?
Have you already acquired a virtual land? Or do you think it’s crazy for someone to invest in this kind of thing? Write to us or join the discussion in our Telegram channel.
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