Virtual Real Estate
From Realtor Magazine: "Nowadays, it seems as if there’s virtual everything. Virtual artwork, virtual events, virtual marketing. But what about virtual real estate? Is that a thing, and if so, can you invest in it? Enter metaverse real estate, an online platform where people can connect to play games, release products, offer services, and host events. Businesses often own these virtual properties. And, just like any other type of real estate, they can be bought, sold, purchased, and leased. The metaverse is still new and still evolving, which leaves many wondering if investing in virtual real estate is worth the cost. ... Metaverse real estate can be purchased similarly to how you would purchase an NFT. A quick recap: An NFT, or nonfungible token, is a unique or collectible virtual item that can be purchased and is housed completely in the virtual world, such as digital artwork. Just as NFTs are, real estate in the metaverse is bought with cryptocurrency. After the transaction is complete, you receive a unique piece of blockchain code, which serves as a deed of ownership."
There are many options but a few of the most popular are Decentraland, Somnium Space, and Voxels. Somnium space is the only one that currently supports VR. Land can be purchased on opensea. Prices vary from a few hundred to many thousands. Almost $2 billion of virtual land has been bought, with the most expensive lot selling for $5 million (Ruby Home).
Other companies are trying to provide a platform for people to rent out their land, for example rentparcel.io.
Some companies are devoting entire arms of their business to land purchase and development, like The Metaverse Group.
Similar to the .com bubble, it's possible and even likely that most of these companies do not exist in 5-10 years. That being said, it is projected to grow from roughly $80 billion in 2022, to $426 billion in 2027 (www.marketsandmarkets.com).
The reality of the present moment is that these platforms lack the users, functionality, and interactivity to be worthy of some of these investments. But like any new tech, the possibilities are endless and the tech is developing at insane speeds. It's possible that the future of the internet exists in these 3D spaces, as opposed to 2D web pages and that these worlds are our early look into the evolution of web2 into web3. Or not.
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