Real estate is gone


A city scene is lit up with colorful lines.
In November, a company sold a tract of virtual real estate in cryptocurrency worth about $ 2.5 million. | MR.Cole_Photographer / Getty Images

You can now become a landlord in Metaverse.

Metaverse is getting hotter. Not hot, such as a delicious meal or Finnish sauna. This mostly fictional, virtual world is heating up like a real estate market. Because lately, it’s one.

If you have enough money and courage, you can now buy digital tract land in Metaverse. Of course, there is only one metaverse. There are countless companies, including Meta (née Facebook), part of the Greater World Wide Web as a website, creating their own virtual field where they hope people will soon gather to play games, buy things and interact as their digital avatar. Including advertising. The virtual reality is that the emerging real estate market for these three-dimensional spaces – from virtual concert venues and shopping malls to homes and monuments – looks forward to a future where digital property owners can work with brands that want a presence in its various iterations. Metaverse

One of the first companies to enter the digital real estate business is the Metaverse Group, which operates a virtual world called Decentraland. Last week, Metaverse Group’s parent company, Token.com, announced that “116 parcel estates in the heart of the Fashion Street district in Decentralland” had sold the equivalent of about $ 2.5 million – a record! The new owner of this estate near Fashion Street could probably benefit if Louis Vuitton wanted to open a store there: they could effectively be the brand’s virtual landlord.

This decentralized agreement, strictly speaking, did not involve real money. The digital estate has sold 618,000 manas, a type of cryptocurrency used in Decentland. When you say it out loud, “mind” actually sounds like the first pair of syllables of “exclusive meaning”.

Michael Gord, co-founder of Metaverse Group, recently said, “Imagine if you came to New York when it was farmland and you had the option of getting a block of SoHo.” New York Times. “If anyone wants to buy a block of real estate in Soho today, it’s priceless, it’s not on the market. The same thing is happening with Metaverse. “

All of this probably sounds a little mind-numbing. Who would pay for the rights to a part of a virtual world that does not yet fully exist and will never exist in the real world? Well, if you’ve been focusing on the NFT frenzy or cryptocurrency boom in recent years, a lot of people are pouring millions of dollars into digital assets in the hope that others will be willing to pay more for them in the future. . This metaverse land grabbing is happening under the same assumption. Which makes Metavers real estate even more enticing, though, the idea that once you own digital land, you may be able to make money by leasing it or selling advertising.

Users can wander around Decentraland to find shops and activities.  They can buy land and build their own.
Decentland
Users can wander around Decentraland to find shops and activities. They can buy land and build their own.

In its most basic form, the concept of metavers is no different from the first days of the web. In the late 80’s, a simple programming language for the web (HTML) enabled people to create websites that hosted content or services to users, and finally, when websites attracted enough of these users, site owners could sell ads or Can charge. Fees to pay off all. The big difference, of course, is that the web was designed for free when Metaverse seems to be owned by a large company. Just before Facebook announced that it would change its name to Meta, for example, Mark Zuckerberg told investors that the company expects to spend more than $ 10 billion on its Metavers projects this year alone. It is difficult for anyone to compete with such cash.

Still, many companies are trying. In addition to Decentland, you can now buy digital land at Metaverse with names like Somnium Space, Sandbox and Upland. A company called Spotselfie, which currently operates an augmented reality app, will soon let you buy virtual real estate associated with GPS coordinates in the real world through a new feature called Spotland. The idea is that using the tokens issued by Spotselfie – these are effectively cryptocurrencies specified for this metaverse, much like the ones used in Decentland – you would buy radius rights around a GPS coordinate, and then if Spotselfie decides to sell the ad in that location, you get a cut. Get. The big difference here is that the metaverse of SpotSelfie is designed for augmented reality, not virtual reality. To view Metaverse, you simply point your phone’s camera to the real-world location, and the Spotland software overlays a digital world on your screen, advertising, and everything in between.

This could be the future. If and when mixed reality glasses become a thing – some analysts think that Apple will release a version of them in 2022 – we can look forward to an irresistible clash in the real and digital world. And while many companies are scrambling to submit their claims, it is not clear who will own the space. For one, Ray Shingler, co-founder of Spotselfie, hopes that by offering users the option to buy now, his technology will bring that democratic, web 1.0 spirit to a new metaverse.

“I’m trying to figure out a way,” Shingler told Records, “where users are actually getting something from being in the app and they actually control the metaverse. Because if you don’t control it soon, it will be lost to Facebook or lost to Gemini Brothers.” . ” (He mentions Cameron and Tyler Winklevs, who recently received $ 400 million in funding for the Metavers project.)

Then again, Mark Zuckerberg might be wrong about the metavars. It is quite possible that many people actually want to travel the virtual world, meet other avatars and buy NFT with cryptocurrency. Maybe we don’t want to live in some unlimited digital space filled with ads and designed to track our behavior in ways we haven’t yet imagined.

But if Metavers is actually the answer to the 21st century web, then you can buy part of it now. Soon, though. The market is virtually heated.

This story was first published in the Recode newsletter. Register here So don’t miss the next one!



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