What is Virtual Land in the Metaverse and Why Should To Buy?
What is Virtual Land in the Metaverse and Why Should To Buy?

The Metaverse is becoming more real every day, with new inventions allowing users to enter this digital world as themselves or their avatar to join meetings, social gatherings, play games, and much more. Gone are the days of sitting in front of a screen with a console in hand, talking over a microphone.

Now, users can put on a smart headset, such as an Oculus, that gives them a 360-degree view and a completely immersive experience. Users can high-five their colleagues in the Metaverse, explore impossible worlds, and go out to a restaurant or casino with friends — all while never leaving their homes.

Why should buy virtual land in Metaverse, and how is the metaverse in the future?

What Is Virtual Land?

Virtual land exists in the virtual world, aka, the metaverse. The land can be used for anything, from an empty plot to a mansion, or even an art gallery. Virtual land is usually bought on an NFT marketplace like Sandbox and Decentraland, and land ownership is recorded on the blockchain that the NFT exists.

What is Metaverse Real Estate?

Photo: cointelegraph
Photo: cointelegraph

The Metaverse is a three-dimensional, immersive virtual platform where users can interact with each other, digital objects, and AI-powered avatars in a highly realistic and natural manner.

The spatial communications platform is also interoperable, meaning users can move between virtual worlds and different platforms can coexist in one environment, allowing virtual games and collaborative spaces to exist on one solution.

The metaverse is also democratized and isn’t owned by a single organization, person, or entity. Anyone can invest in it and make use of available space, technologies, and environments.

To achieve these capabilities, the Metaverse relies on technologies such as virtual, augmented, and mixed reality (VR/AR/MR) as well as blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), 5G, and cloud computing.

It also has the potential to become a virtual replica of our physical world, where Metaverse users can rely on virtual environments to monetize goods and services and earn profits. A popular way to do this is by purchasing land in the Metaverse, where buyers or renters can develop monetized properties.

Individual Metaverse real estate plots are called virtual ‘parcels,’ which are blocks of 3D space where developers can superimpose objects, design VR worlds, overlay experiences, build interactions, and so on.

Typically, a Metaverse will have a democratized governance body that will decide how new parcels are created, allocated, and opened up for investment to real estate buyers.

Most virtual land sales today happen on four Metaverse platforms such as The Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium. The parcel exists as a non-fungible token or NFT, which is a non-interchangeable asset class hosted on the blockchain.

Once ownership of the NFT is transferred to the buyer, they will ‘own’ full rights to the land just like in real life, and can resell it, build virtual property on it, lease it out, and so on.

What Is Virtual Land in the Metaverse?

For those of you who aren’t aware of what land in the Metaverse is, let’s break it down quickly. A parcel of Land in the Metaverse is basically a piece of virtual real estate that is represented by a Non-Fungible-Token. Each parcel of land in the Metaverse is on the blockchain and hence can be verified for authenticity easily. Like land in the real world, virtual land is purchased for a price that is mostly cryptocurrency. Also known as NFT Land, these parcels are either available in virtual real estate projects or can even be bought on third-party platforms like OpenSea.

Users who buy virtual or NFT land can then build experiences on top of it including games. One can even sell virtual land for a profit and even rent it out for a crypto payoff. NFT land has been steadily gaining momentum as people in the Metaverse are diving headfirst into this business. However, it’s not just folks online that have invested in this. Even companies are buying patches of land in virtual real estate projects and are getting on the bandwagon.

Why Are People Paying Real Money for Virtual Land?

While the idea of buying intangible land might be hard to wrap your head around, there are a number of reasons why buyers are splashing out on it.

In recent years, cryptocurrencies and NFTs have surged in popularity. Those purchasing virtual land see it as a good investment with the potential for future profit. Some investors regard virtual land as the next big thing, akin to Bitcoin in its infancy.

Virtual land also has other potential earning possibilities. Virtual landowners can rent out their land, or even turn it into a business to sell things. A piece of virtual land sold for $2.4 million, with the buyer saying it has plans to sell virtual clothing on the site.

The metaverse is revolutionizing how people attend events, with more people open to attending virtual ones. The popularity of virtual events was highlighted when millions tuned in to watch Travis Scott perform in Fortnite. Virtual landowners can host events and charge participants entry fees. Virtual events can also be decorated and styled with unlimited possibilities.

Investors are paying millions for virtual land in the metaverse

Photo: singularityhub
Photo: singularityhub

In these virtual worlds, real people interact as cartoon-like characters called avatars, similar to a real-time multiplayer video game. Today, people can access these worlds through a normal computer screen, but Meta and other companies have a long-term vision of building 360-degree immersive worlds, which people will access through virtual reality goggles like Meta’s Oculus.

A recent report by crypto asset manager Grayscale estimates the digital world may grow into a $1 trillion business in the near future.

Here, major artists, including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and DJ Marshmello, are performing as their own avatars. Even Paris Hilton DJ’ed a New Year’s Eve party on her own virtual island.

Kiguel’s company recently dropped nearly $2.5 million on a patch of land in Decentraland — one of several popular metaverse worlds. “Prices have gone up 400% to 500% in the last few months,” Kiguel said.

Another hot metaverse world is the Sandbox, where Janine Yorio’s virtual real estate development company, Republic Realm, spent a record $4.3 million on a parcel of virtual land.

Why would you buy metaverse real estate?

Interest in augmented reality, virtual reality, and metaverse real estate really spiked after social media giant Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) changed its name to Meta and announced its intention to invest in this virtual reality space. Even so, plots of land in the virtual real estate market may seem like odd investments. The truth is that they're very similar to real-world real estate in many ways.

Two factors make them very interesting to investors.

First, virtual property is in limited supply, just like in the real world. Owning virtual real estate means you own a unique parcel of land in a world in the metaverse, and you can do things with it, including creating income-generating properties like leasable buildings or interactive venues that charge admission or promote a brand.

Secondly, each parcel of metaverse real estate is wholly unique, secured by a non-fungible token (NFT). An NFT is basically a deed or proof of ownership for something digital (or real) that is able to be identified in a wholly unique way. Your virtual real estate NFT guarantees your ownership and allows you to resell the property to another owner. It also records all the transactions for that property automatically, eliminating the need for title work. It is basically a 21st-century digital deed.

Is metaverse a good investment?

Photo: xrtoday
Photo: xrtoday

The buzziest asset class in recent months has likely been the metaverse, but many investors still have no idea what it is. Part of the reason is that “the metaverse” doesn’t have one single definition. Essentially, it’s an online world that’s a blend of virtual reality, social media and augmented reality, often powered by crypto. This virtual world has been used for years by gamers and developers, but it’s rapidly evolving into a parallel online universe where real financial transactions can take place.

The current hot investment in the metaverse is virtual property, where prices have jumped about 500% over the past few months, according to the CEO of Tokens.com, Andrew Kiguel. One investor even paid $450,000 for a plot of land in the same virtual neighborhood as rapper Snoop Dogg. This may only be the start. Analysts at Bloomberg Intelligence see the value of the metaverse hitting $800 billion as soon as 2024, while Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak estimates that value could top out at as much as $8 trillion.

Social media giant Facebook even rebranded its entire company as Meta Platforms, indicating its belief in the enormous future significance of the metaverse. While the metaverse has exciting potential, investors should realize this early-stage asset class may offer either huge returns or devastating losses.

How to Buy Land in the Metaverse?

If you are interested in purchasing real estate in the Metaverse, there are three options to consider:

1. Speak with a metaverse real estate broker

The Metaverse has its own real estate industry, with mortgage providers, brokers, and agents who specialize in this space. While digital real estate is still in its infancy, brokers like brothers Tal and Oren Alexander are finding their own niche.

Previously, they dealt with high-value real estate purchases in top US destinations like New York City, but are now expanding into the Metaverse.

In December of last year, they announced they will act as brokers for luxury properties in the metaverse, with location and design as the prime considerations.

The duo has partnered with virtual land developer Republic Realm, which recently purchased a Sandbox property for $4.3 million. Interested buyers can work with brokers and agents such as these to find and invest in the best Metaverse properties.

2. Explore an affordable metaverse mortgage

The second option is to explore a Metaverse mortgage, which could prove more affordable for regular buyers. Metaverse mortgages are an emerging idea and there are only a few companies offering this facility.

Terra Zero is one of the providers on the market offering users to buy land on the ‘Big Four’ Metaverse platforms like Decentraland, Somnium, The Sandbox, and Solana Portals.

Currently, TerraZero offers Metaverse mortgages for virtual land, which are empty parcels that can be developed from scratch or leased out for profits, and virtual real estate, or pre-designed landscapes, prefabricated buildings, etc. that act as ready-to-use environments for events or gaming.

3. Purchase metaverse land outright using cryptocurrency

This is the most straightforward way to buy land in the Metaverse and is most suitable for small and affordable purchases. To make purchases, customers can:

  • Visit the property marketplace on the Metaverse platform of your choice. This will be similar to app marketplaces for software platforms.
  • Log in, consider the location and design of the land, compare pricing, and arrive at your shortlist.
  • Set up a digital wallet that is compatible with the Metaverse real estate selected. For example, land in Decentraland can only be purchased through a token called MANA, and you need a wallet that will support the transaction.
  • Link your digital wallet to the Metaverse account and ensure it has the specific type of crypto required.
  • Click on the buy or purchase button to transfer the crypto amount in exchange for the real estate NFT.
  • As the last step, you can work with a company like Metaverse Properties to manage and develop your virtual real estate for better profits.

The steps are similar if you opt for a mortgage, and the only difference is that the mortgage provider will hold the full ownership rights to the land NFT until you have paid it off, but you can manage and develop the property during this period.

What's the future of the metaverse?

Facebook is one of the loudest voices for the creation of a unified metaverse. This is particularly interesting for a crypto-powered metaverse due to Facebook's Diem stablecoin project. Mark Zuckerberg has explicitly mentioned his plans to use a metaverse project to support remote work and improve financial opportunities for people in developing countries. Facebook’s ownership of social media, communication, and crypto platforms gives it a good start in combining all these worlds into one. Other large tech companies are also targeting the creation of a metaverse, including Microsoft, Apple, and Google.

When it comes to a crypto-powered metaverse, further integration between NFT marketplaces and 3D virtual universes seems like the next step. NFT holders can already sell their goods from multiple sources on marketplaces like OpenSea and BakerySwap, but there isn’t yet a popular 3D platform for this. At a bigger scale, blockchain developers might develop popular metaverse-like applications with more organic users than a large tech giant.

What Are the Risks of Buying Land in the Metaverse?

Like any investment, buying land in the Metaverse comes with its share of risks. To begin, you cannot ‘live’ on the land, meaning it is purely for investment and value generation.

Second, profitability from real estate will depend entirely on the location, surrounding development, and the platform’s actual adoption over time. It could be a while before you can see returns from your investment unless you resell the property immediately.

A 2022 poll by professional social network Blind found that only 13 percent of technology specialists are buying virtual real estate. But regardless of the risks, there is no denying that Metaverse real estate has become an increasingly important asset class for investors and may prove crucial for portfolio diversification in the future.

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