Real estate has always been a popular investment strategy for many people. However, modern investors may want to consider adding virtual real estate, or land located in a digital world, to their portfolio.
Celebrities such as Snoop Dogg and companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers have recognized that metaverse real estate can be as valuable as physical real estate.
This article will provide a straightforward guide to purchasing virtual real estate in the metaverse and will also discuss the concept of metaverse real estate and why it may be a worthwhile investment.
What is the Metaverse?
The term “metaverse” refers to a network of interconnected virtual worlds where users can meet and interact with each other using digital representations of themselves, known as avatars, for various purposes such as conducting business, socializing, gaming, shopping, and enjoying virtual performances.
To enter various metaverse platforms, all you need is a web browser. However, virtual reality (VR) headsets enhance the experience by making it feel more realistic and immersive. You can also use cryptocurrencies to buy virtual real estate or anything else the market has to offer.
For a deeper understanding of the metaverse, check out the video below.
What is Metaverse Real Estate?
Metaverse real estate refers to virtual plots of land, which can be thought of as pixels. It’s important to note that these virtual plots are not just computer-generated images but programmable areas where users can interact with each other, attend virtual concerts, sell NFTs (non-fungible tokens), play games, hold meetings, and more.
As the metaverse continues to develop, it’s expected that metaverse real estate will also grow in value. In fact, the value of metaverse real estate is predicted to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31.2% between 2022 and 2028 as the sector becomes more popular. This growth has been particularly evident in the fourth quarter of 2021 when Facebook rebranded as META and demonstrated a strong interest in the metaverse.
Why Do People Invest in Metaverse Real Estate?
After Facebook announced its intention to invest in virtual reality under its new name, Meta, there was a significant increase in interest in virtual reality, augmented reality, and metaverse real estate. While purchasing a piece of virtual real estate may seem like an unusual financial decision, it shares many similarities with traditional real estate.
Two factors make investing in metaverse real estate appealing. Just like in the physical world, there is a limited amount of virtual property available. For example, if someone owns a unique plot of land in the metaverse, they may be able to make money from rentable buildings or interactive venues that promote a brand.
Each property in the metaverse is also unique and protected by an NFT (non-fungible token). This virtual NFT protects the property owner’s right to sell it and allows for the transfer of legal title to a new buyer. There is no need for paperwork as the system automatically keeps track of all property transactions, similar to a digital deed in the 21st century.
Here are some ways in which virtual real estate in the metaverse can be used:
People can buy a piece of digital real estate and resell it for a profit.
Setting Up Infrastructures
Many people prefer to develop their land with various virtual properties, either for personal use or for the benefit of other users. These can be anything from online casinos and nightclubs to virtual concert halls, online shops, and non-traditional art galleries.
As virtual real estate has gained popularity, brokers have emerged to assist buyers and sellers with transactions and provide advice on how to manage their properties in the metaverse.
High-traffic areas in the metaverse are becoming prime real estate spots. Businesses can pay to advertise on that land, which the owners can rent.
The purpose of the metaverse is to improve upon our existing digital experiences and facilitate the development of new ones. That’s why individuals host events and offer services on virtual land within the metaverse. Users of sandbox-style metaverses are encouraged to design and distribute their own educational and entertaining mini-games for the benefit of the community.
Several well-known companies, such as JPMorgan Chase, Sotheby’s, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and HSBC, are starting to use the metaverse to complement their traditional business practices by providing a virtual environment for clients to interact with them as they would in the real world.
Some ways that banks are exploring potential revenue opportunities in the metaverse include virtual real estate lending, consumer lending, metaverse mortgages, and cryptocurrency transactions.
Differences Between Centralized and Decentralized Metaverse Platforms
Niantic, Roblox, and Meta-owned Horizon Worlds are all examples of centralized metaverse platforms. On the other hand, Decentraland, The Sandbox, and Somnium are examples of decentralized metaverse platforms.
The products and services on a blockchain network are set on DeFi. Hence, users can connect their Trust Wallet or Metamask to buy land in the form of NFTs.
Decentraland and Sandbox on the Ethereum blockchain, managed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO), are the most popular platforms for buying virtual land in the metaverse.
Unlike a centralized metaverse platform (where users’ money goes to the platform’s owners), all purchases in a decentralized metaverse platform, including virtual land and other digital assets, are made with cryptocurrency in the form of NFTs. Hence, the user retains full rights and ownership over these purchases.
Steps for Buying Virtual Real Estate in the Metaverse
Step 1: Open a Crypto Exchange
Login to your cryptocurrency exchange and fund your wallet with your local currency so you can purchase digital assets. A few reliable cryptocurrency exchanges include Binance, Kucoin, Gemini, and Coinbase.
Step 2: Create a Virtual Wallet
Set up a cryptocurrency wallet that can be used to buy the virtual property that interests you. The most popular digital wallet is MetaMask for the Chrome browser. Others are Fortmatic and Coinbase Wallet.
Transferring cryptocurrency from an exchange to a wallet is now possible. Start with a small transfer to test the system. Most platforms for trading cryptocurrency have helpful guides and tutorials on how to move cryptocurrencies from one account to another.
Step 3: Find More Information about the Metaverse Platform
Learn about the metaverse platform that will be used to purchase virtual property. Afterward, create an account on the platform and connect a digital wallet of your preference. The Sandbox is currently the most popular metaverse platform, but others, such as Treeverse, Voxels, Decentraland, and Worldwide Web, allow brands, businesses, and celebrities to have their own territories as well.
Step 4: Set Up a Metaverse Marketplace Account
In most cases, users buy virtual land on the secondary market. To do this, users must create an account on OpenSea.io and link their digital wallet.
The wallet must have an appropriate amount of cryptocurrency to pay for the land and transaction fee. ETH (Ethereum) is traded on the secondary market.
The steps below show how to set up a metaverse marketplace to buy virtual real estate. The metaverse platform that will be used in this case is The Sandbox.
- Go to www.sandbox.game and click the “Sign in” button.
- Link the digital wallet (such as MetaMask).
- Select “Buy Land” from the main menu.
- You will be redirected to the OpenSea.io marketplace.
- Filter the results from low to high prices.
- Select the orange box representing the territory of your choice. To get a better idea of its location, you can view it on The Sandbox map.
- Ensure there is enough crypto in the wallet to pay for the land and the gas fee.
- Make an offer or click the “Buy Now” button.
- Select “Finish Order” to finish the purchase.
- After clicking the button, you will be redirected to your wallet where the full amount, including the gas fees, will be displayed.
- Approve the order.
- The territory will now be displayed as an NFT in your Opensea account and your Sandbox account (where it can be developed).
- Many people may find the concept of metaverse land (and the lack of tangible assets) confusing, but the potential of virtual worlds and related technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and artificial intelligence (AI) is hard to ignore.
- It remains to be seen if virtual worlds will become the future of the internet or if they are simply speculative investments in overvalued digital properties.
- Users need to be cautious and not let the fear of missing out (FOMO) prevent them from researching or seeking advice from a trusted cryptocurrency expert before making any purchases.
Disclaimer: This article is intended solely for informational purposes and should not be considered trading or investment advice. Nothing herein should be construed as financial, legal, or tax advice. Trading or investing in cryptocurrencies carries a considerable risk of financial loss. Always conduct due diligence.
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