With every passing day, we are moving towards the era of Metaverse – a persistent 3D digital twin to the real world, relying mainly on 5G, cloud computing, VR, AR, blockchains, and AI. The concept has become trendy with tech fans and crypto enthusiasts who can connect using AI-powered avatars most realistically. In the Metaverse, they will enjoy everything just like in the real world, like playing, working, learning, and socializing; they will even get the ownership of their virtual assets.
Real estate has always been a "Real" asset since the beginning of life, and investment in it is always a brilliant idea. However, the real estate investors of this digital world are focusing more on something less tangible, i.e., "Virtual Land” that exists in the Metaverse. With the emerging technology of Metaverse, the Virtual real estate business is predicted to increase. The second last half of 2021 witnessed a sudden boom in the metaverse real estate when Facebook rebranded itself as "Meta", indicating its interest to own the Metaverse. Virtual land was sold out worth 500 million USD in 2021 and 85 million USD in just Jan 2022. Based on this growth, it has been predicted that the sales of Metaverse real estate could hit around 1 billion USD in 2022. With increasing popularity, its worth is expected to rise at a CAGR of 31.2%from 2022 through 2028.
Therefore, developing a portfolio of the virtual property could be a real game-changer for investors who are enthusiastic enough to run the chance on Metaverse. As with any other business, some risks are involved but considering its enormous potential, many experts believe its benefits are worth the risks. Here, we will deliver an inclusive guide to what metaverse real estate is, how you can buy land in the Metaverse, and its associated risks. If you believe real estate in the Metaverse is not an over-hyped bubble but an emerging opportunity to invest in, read on for complete knowledge.
What Do You Mean by Metaverse Real Estate?
Metaverse real estate is one of the most recent inventions of the digital era and a fantastic experience that will raise digital life to the next level. It refers to the parcels of land or digital plots in the virtual world. It is essentially a virtual land regulated and owned by real-world people who invest in it. After buying, the land offers its owners and visitors a 3D virtual experience. People enter the Metaverse via augmented virtual reality while physically staying in the real world and can use their virtual land for various purposes. Similar to the real-world, location of your landholding on the map considerably impacts the worth of real estate in the Metaverse.
How to Buy Metaverse Land?
Buying land in the Metaverse is just like having some space in the virtual world to call “Home or your Residence” that enables you to display your possessions or hang out with your friends. In the real world, when you pursue real estate, you hire some real estate agents or use some routes like Realtor to purchase. You may also contact the person who owns that specific land to ask if he wants to sell that piece of land. The Metaverse, however, lacks any such route as Realtor, but the buying process is somewhat similar. Here, you have two options to buy virtual land. You can purchase by following anyone discussed below:
- Directly on a Metaverse platform
- Via Third-party
1. Directly on a Metaverse Platform
Buying land on the Metaverse is a straightforward procedure that follows similar steps as buying an NFT. Let’s walk through these steps!
A. Select a Metaverse Platform
First, you need to select a marketplace based on the reason for buying land. For example, if you want to utilize your virtual land to socialize, work, advertise your brand, or for any other purpose, go with the platform offering these facilities on a digital plot.
Most metaverse marketplaces are easily accessed via computer, where you can have a look at your virtual land before making a buying decision.
Best Metaverse Platforms to Buy Land
When it comes to getting virtual ownership of land or property, Sandbox and Decentraland are the favorite platforms. These marketplaces are leading the way because of having deep-rooted infrastructure and ownership of celebrities and companies.
Decentraland – It is a 3D metaverse platform primarily run on Ethereum – a blockchain network that helps sell virtual lands as NFTs. These non-fungible tokens of the metaverse land are managed via Ethereum smart contracts. The metaverse lands in this platform are represented as a structured 3D grid system of virtual spaces and are characterized as land tokens. This platform allows users to buy land and construct their real-estate empire over it. They experience a simulated environment where they can build a dream house, host exhibitions, create music festivals, and many more.
This platform has its currency called MANA. You can’t complete any transaction on Decentraland unless you have enough MANA in your crypto wallet.
Sandbox –is a decentralized and pixelated Ethereum-based metaverse. Just like Decentraland, this platform also comprises “Lands" represented by NFTs. Each land in Sandbox is distinctive with the ERC-721 token standard. The metaverse land can be bought or sold via this marketplace.
The cryptocurrency for Sandbox is “SAND."
B. Arrange your Crypto Wallet
Instead of using a credit card, you will need a digital wallet to initiate your real estate portfolio in the Metaverse. This digital wallet – either mobile or web-browser based, will enable you to buy and store your cryptocurrency.
The selection of the wallet depends on the already selected metaverse platform. Each platform demands a specific type of cryptocurrency and elaborates on its preferred wallets and the procedure to link them.
MetaMask is the most popular non-custodial wallet as it delivers the following benefits to its users.
- It is compatible with several decentralized Ethereum-based applications.
- It is flexible, allowing users to store different types of assets.
- It enables its users to interact with multiple blockchains.
- The MetaMask servers have never been hacked.
- It never loses the cryptocurrencies of its users.
Once you get a digital wallet, you will use it while staying in the real world. After setting up your wallet, go to your selected metaverse platform and create your account there.
C. Connect your Wallet to the Marketplace
Your wallet and metaverse account must be interconnected before you build your virtual land empire. Once your digital wallet is set up, a “seed phrase” (also called recovery phrase) containing a set of 12-24 random words is generated. This is just like a highly long or master password to your cryptocurrency wallet. To avoid any misfortune in the future, write down the seed phrase of your crypto wallet as this is hard to recover, and if you fail to recover it, you may lose access to your digital wallet. Once you lose your wallet, you will lose your digital asset forever.
D. Buy Cryptocurrency and Transfer it to your wallet
Same with real-estate buying in the real world, you need money to own virtual land in the Metaverse. This land can be purchased with coins or tokens, so you will have to exchange your money for the cryptocurrency via open cryptocurrency exchanges. You can even use other cryptocurrencies to buy the required cryptocurrency. Each marketplace requires a specific currency to carry out a transaction. For instance, to buy land in Decentraland, you must buy MANA tokens first. But the same currency can’t be used to buy land on any other platform. To purchase land on The Sandbox, you will need SAND coins. However, some platforms are flexible as they accept Ethereum currency or allow you to exchange it with the platform's cryptocurrency.
Once you have purchased cryptocurrency, the next step is to transfer it to your crypto wallet. Go to the settings of your wallet, and tap the Transfer option; your cryptocurrency will be stored in your digital wallet.
E. Choose a Parcel of land
Once you have enough digital money in your wallet, you need to access the selected platform and look for a parcel of land – an individual metaverse plot. Like the real world, each metaverse platform provides you with a Metaverse map. This map confirms that you buy a legitimate parcel of land as it helps you find the available plots. Choose the parcel you want to buy.
F. Make an offer (bid) or Buy
Once you find the digital land parcel you were looking for, and its cost falls within your price range, you merely click on it to buy for a fixed price. Some metaverse platforms like Decentraland display the “Bid” button as well. It allows you to make an offer of your choice to the owner of a virtual piece of land, who can accept or reject it based on his preferences.
Whatever the case is, once you select your virtual parcel, agree with the price, and fund its payment through your crypto wallet, just clicking the “Buy” button will do the rest. The platform then checks if your wallet carries enough cryptocurrency, and the procedure of the legal transfer of land can be smoothly accomplished. This complete verification takes just a few seconds. Once all the checks are completed, the purchase amount is deducted from your wallet while a non-fungible token is entered into it. This NFT serves as proof of your transaction, which is recorded by an anonymous identifier confirming that you are the new real estate owner. Now that property is just yours until you lose your crypto wallet, which is the store of your cryptocurrency.
2. From Third-Party Resellers
Similar to real-world real estate, third-party resellers also exist in the Metaverse. Therefore, besides buying directly from the marketplace, you can contact brokers or property managers to buy metaverse land.
Non-fungible.com and Opensea.io are among real property agents' most popular decentralized digital domains. These virtual domains allow the sellers to enlist their properties/parcels and their values and buyers to negotiate. You explore the parcels on any third-party reseller marketplace where you can observe the sales history of virtual real estate and can buy virtual land after making a decent comparison of the nearby properties. However, metaverse brokers have no licenses or regulations to follow, so be conscious and do proper research to connect with reliable ones.
Which Option is Better?
Buying land directly from the metaverse platform is better as it makes you feel good seeing your neighbors and surroundings. However, if you are not devoted to the Metaverse yet and want to avail some deal within your budget, a third-party platform like OpenSea is the best option.
Potential in Metaverse Land – A Statistical Proof
Metaverse Real estate is a growing business these days. It captivated a considerable chunk of the population in 2021 when several business ventures like PwC, Samsung, and HSBC purchased virtual land in an endeavor to own the Metaverse. The Republic Realm – one of the largest metaverse real estate, made the record of buying 792 land parcels last year that were worth about $4.3 million on the Sandbox. Tokens.com – a Canadian cryptocurrency startup, acquired a 50% share of virtual real estate of the Metaverse Group in Decentraland last year. This acquisition was worth more than $1.6 million. Superstars like Snoop Dog are not an exception. An anonymous buyer, who was a fan of Snoop Dogg, purchased a plot in his neighborhood in The Sandbox for a whopping price of $450,000. These virtual land parcels offer a profitable opportunity to investors. People who entered the field earlier are getting huge returns – in documents at least. For instance, Decentraland - one of the biggest metaverse marketplace, organized its first Virtual land auction in December 2017.The price of the smallest piece of land (parcel of land) at that time was just $20. In 2021, this land sold out for more than $6000. These prices are even skyrocketing in 2022 with about $15000 per virtual land token on average. A report by Republic Realm states that a parcel of land cost in the Metaverse increased twofold within six months of the last year, hitting the average value of 12,000 USD. So, this is the ideal time to invest in the latest and hottest virtual assets before they rise again in prices.
Risks Associated with Huge Potential
It’s volatile - Although the potential for Metaverse is enormous for coming years, it still can't be said a stable industry as it is in its nascent phase yet. As the value of digital land depends on highly volatile cryptocurrencies, the metaverse real estate can also be called volatile. Based on any reason, if this digital platform goes offline forever, you will lose all your virtual assets.
Its future value is challenging to measure – the future value of virtual land is hard to quantify. So, assigning value to a virtual land is complicated as its scarcity is artificial. This idea is a bit shaky as just like any other investment, its value is not confirmed to blow up. However, the previous year's record confirms that virtual land's value will rise. At present, we lack an authentic formula to appraise virtual land, though some large business enterprises are striving to work it out.
It’s speculative – Investing in the Metaverse is speculative because you can't get enough history of transactions to review and make a decision. But it would be wrong to say that you can’t win with metaverse real estate.
NFTs and blockchain are emerging technologies holding substantial investment opportunities for investors and crypto enthusiasts. The Metaverse Land is the latest trend in the digital world. Multiple metaverses are being developed, and surprisingly all are expanding. Virtual real estate is a distinctive landholding that exists in the Metaverse. Buying land on the Metaverse is somewhat like owning a personal web page when the internet was just introduced before the masses directed to social media. The price of virtual land in the Metaverse was just a few hundred dollars at the beginning of the last year, but today, at least a few thousand dollars are required just to enter the door of the Metaverse. It is a known fact that the Metaverse will be the digital world's future. Therefore, several people are investing in virtual land as they believe its value will go up in the coming years with more investors' involvement. So, it is high time to purchase metaverse land before its value blows up further. However, before buying land, you must have a clear idea of this ecosystem that will help you select the profitable metaverse land to reap its benefits. Once you have your virtual land, developing a business model in the metaverse ecosystem will be exciting.
As with any other investment, risks are associated with buying the metaverse land but with fair potential for even greater returns. To avoid any misfortune, you must conduct proper research before getting into the metaverse real estate ecosystem. If you estimate all the risks and weigh them against the expected profits, I believe the metaverse land investment will undoubtedly be worth the risks.