It is not real yet but things are moving along at a feverish pace. Metaverse, a dream sold to us most vocally by Mark Zuckerberg of Meta (formerly Facebook) and followed up by the world of tech and beyond, is at best described as a hypothetical evolution of the internet in its current form, and it may or may not happen, however, the number of believers is significantly higher.
If you thought only tech companies have ambitions for the metaverse future, that wouldn’t be true. Real estate, fashion, entertainment, and gaming companies are making a beeline for the next big upgrade to the internet, sending the digital real estate prices soaring
Real estate boom (or decline, depending on your luck) is something we are well versed with in the physical world around us. But the metaverse? Turns out, a plot of digital land has sold for $2.43 million. This is on the Decentraland Marketplace platform which sells digital/virtual land and collectibles for your metaverse life’s preparations.In fact, the metaverse is so much in vogue that the above piece of land sold for more than twice the previous high of $913,000 in June this year.
This purchase was made using cryptocurrency by the Metaverse Group, a subsidiary of Tokens.com. They paid 618,000 MANA, an Ethereum based token, for this real estate deal, in the heart of what is believed to be the fashion district of the Decentraland metaverse world. For the rest of us to get an idea of the space involved here, in real world that would translate into 6,090 square feet of land.
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“Fashion is the next massive area for growth in the metaverse. So it’s timely, and very exciting that Metaverse Group has made such a decisive commitment with this land purchase in the heart of Decentraland’s fashion precinct,” points out Sam Hamilton, head of content at the Decentraland Foundation.
That’s more money than the price tags slapped on most homes in San Francisco or New York City.
A quick browse through in the marketplace lead us to land listings such as the “Largest Metaverse Estate for Sale near Genesis Plaza” with a price tag of 277,777 Ethereum. The listing to bid for the “Virtual Reality Shopping District” even bid for buying land in District X, which is described as “Decentraland’s premier land, content, and service company providing land rentals/leases, prefab and custom content, and in-world services”. It is all getting very real world in the metaverse. With similar real estate prices too. Most require Ethereum coin payments.
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Metaversereit, which calls itself the world’s first virtual real estate firm, says, “Digital scarcity is a tenant of all virtual World’s. There is a limited amount of virtual real estate in these Metaverses and just like the physical realm, only a subset of that available real estate is considered desirable.”
High street comes to the metaverse universe
Nike has firm plans for a virtual space called NIKELAND. The company has partnered with Roblox, an online gaming platform that offers more than 24 million virtual experiences with focus on immersive content. NIKELAND will be inspired by the company’s global headquarters in the real world, interspersed with games and sports activities (Nike says these will take advantage of the accelerometers on your phones) and of course, a digital showroom.
“Nike created this bespoke world with the backdrop of its world headquarters and inside Roblox’s immersive 3D space, building on its goal to turn sport and play into a lifestyle,” the company says, in an official statement.
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are the route fashion labels are taking to enter the metaverse. It is all a big opportunity for dressing up avatars in the metaverse, with research suggesting that one in five metaverse gamers on Roblox change their avatars daily. Gucci sold a digital version of its Dionysus bag on Roblox for about $4,100. In fact, that’s more expensive than the real-life bag, which has a price tag of around $3,400.
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Another luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana sold a nice-piece NFT collection last month for $5.7 million. This digital collection called Collezione Genesi was sold on UNXD, a digital luxury marketplace. One of the NFTs, called, The Dress From A Dream in gold colour, sold for $820,000. That’s 225.5 Ether coins, thank you very much.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley say that the virtual luxury market could be as large as $57 billion by the year 2030. That is a massive opportunity for the luxury brands, and NFTs are the easiest way forward.