Imagine that you move into a mansion and find out Snoop Dogg is your neighbor. You run into him in the morning and have a long chat over steaming mugs of coffee. Later in the day, you attend an epic concert featuring Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and The Weeknd. After the concert, you invite your friends over to ooh and ahh at your private art collection in your own curated digital art museum.
What may read like a piece of fiction for many is already becoming a reality. You may not be able to move into Snoop Dogg’s neighborhood IRL (In Real Life), but you can certainly buy the property next to his in “The Sandbox“, a decentralized metaverse. In fact, someone recently bought a virtual plot next to his for around 71,000 SAND, which is equivalent to $450,000. The Sandbox is already gearing up to sell more virtual land using Snoop’s appeal and is even creating a campaign and planning a concert too.
Speaking of concerts, the artists we mentioned earlier have already performed in the metaverse. There are a lot of other spaces to hang out in, including museums, carnivals, shopping malls, and arcades. All of them are up for sale and investors are swopping in left, right, and center. In fact, crypto manager Grayscale released a report saying that the metaverse will become a $1 trillion business in the very near future.
A Quick Recap of Real Estate in the Metaverse
Before we dive into who’s buying what in the metaverse, let’s take a quick look at what real estate opportunities are on offer. First of all, it’s important to know that there isn’t only one metaverse. Facebook did boost interest and sales in the metaverse when it changed its name, but it is only one of the many virtual worlds out there. There is The Sandbox, CryptoVoxels, and Decentraland standing as rivals to Meta’s Metaverse, among others.
All of these worlds offer prime real estate opportunities, just like IRL, except land never runs out here. Plots are bought and sold using cryptocurrency and ad space is being taken up by the millions. According to Dapp, investors spent over $100 million in purchasing lands in multiple metaverse projects just between November 22 to November 28.
One of the reasons behind millions getting spent on virtual lands is that metaverse is not a mainstream technology currently. But once it becomes public, a flood of users will enter into this space using just VR glasses. And since metaverse already showing a promising future, who knows these millions turn into hundreds of millions in just a matter of a few years.
Metaverse and Real-Estate Investment by Companies
It’s no surprise then that so many companies have thrown their hats into the virtual ring. Let’s take a look at which companies are investing in real estate in the metaverse.
Perhaps the most expensive property deal in the metaverse, Republic Realm paid $4.3 million to buy “a city, or the equivalent [of one]”, according to CEO, Janine Yoro. The company purchased the 24×24 parcel from videogame publisher Atari, intending to create a gigantic and immersive user experience.
Republic Realm now owns around 2500 plots of virtual land across 19 digital realms and might wait for it to appreciate. Alternatively, they might start building homes, malls, or other spaces and lease them out to individuals or brands. In short, the possibilities are virtually endless.
Tokens.com is a company that handles crypto-based assets and blockchain technology. They bought out 50% of Metaverse Group, which is one of the world’s largest virtual real estate companies in October 2021. The deal went through for $1.7 million. They then went on to buy virtual land for a hefty $2.5 million.
Tokens.com’s CEO, Andrew Kiguel, believes in buying up real estate and renting it out to various brands and individuals instead of starting his own metaverse from scratch. This makes sense because Metaverse Group operates in Decentraland, a Canadian-based metaverse that stands to rival Meta’s. Tokens.com has already built a digital tower in Decentraland’s fashion district and offered up the space to luxury brands, like Gucci, Burberry, and LV. These brands are already advertising using NFTs in the metaverse, so it’ll be a short while before we see them set up “shop” for real.
Kigeul is optimistic about his investment, saying, “It’s inevitable that the metaverse will be the No. 1 social network in the world”.
No one is a stranger to one of the most iconic sportswear and fashion brands in the world: Adidas. The company has been making waves in the virtual space since late last year and will continue to invest in the metaverse as it keeps growing.
Adidas entered the metaverse through NFTs. They created the Adidas Originals Collection, which was created in partnership with NFT savants, like the Bored Ape Yacht Club, Gmoney, and Punks Comic. This collection is on sale in the metaverse, granting buyers access to exclusive virtual experiences as well as the products.
The company also bought a 144-parcel of land inside The Sandbox and is working hard to curate immersive experiences and content for future visitors. They’ve worked with Coinbase to acquire the land and will use the space to advertise both digital and physical products very soon.
Interestingly enough, a week after this sale went through, Nike sent in four patent requests to trademark “virtual goods” with the US Patent and Trademark Office, indicating they are about to enter the metaverse as well. This means users will likely see the two sportswear giants fighting it off in the metaverse very soon.
Is the Metaverse Here to Stay?
The metaverse is real and it’s here to stay. Asides from fashion brands, retailers, and tech giants, accounting firms have also jumped into the virtual world. Big-name firms such as Prager Metis International LLC and PricewaterhouseCoopers have invested thousands of dollars into buying up virtual land. The former paid $35,000 to open up a virtual three-story office, while the latter bought land in The Sandbox for a confidential amount.
The real estate boom in the metaverse is only growing and it’s a matter of time before it becomes open to the general public. Meta has already made its metaverse available to US residents so they can begin exploring the virtual space. And considering the only tech you need is a VR headset, it’s safe to say you’re likely to find most of your friends hanging out in the metaverse soon. You might as well get in on the action as quickly as you can!