A few years ago, investing in virtual real estate sounded somewhat absurd. Today, the story is very different. Now, you can buy slots of virtual land in digital worlds like Decentraland (MANA), and with the metaverse on the horizon, investors are piling in.
Read on to learn more about the metaverse and how you can invest in virtual real estate to get in early on the potential metaverse land grab.
What is the metaverse?
The metaverse is now often explained as an alternative digital reality that combines virtual reality, augmented reality, and extended reality where human beings will be able to work, play, and digitally live.
The metaverse is a term and concept that has been in existence for over three decades but it wasn’t until recently, after Facebook announced its plans to become a metaverse company, that the idea of the metaverse shot up in popularity.
As a result, more and more investors are exploring investment opportunities in this fast-growing new space. Buying virtual land in leading digital worlds is one of these opportunities.
So let’s dive in and explore what virtual land is and why investors are jumping on it.
What is virtual land & why are investors buying it?
Real estate is one of the world’s most popular asset classes, and now it also exists in the digital realm.
Virtual land is intangible land that exists in virtual worlds. Just like physical land, it’s also sold as plots and can be purchased using the specific land’s currency. Today, there are several virtual worlds that allow you to buy virtual real estate. Decentraland is arguably the most popular of them.
Virtual land in the budding metaverse has been selling for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
In June of this year, a piece of land sold for more than USD 900,000 in Decentraland. And that’s just one example. In light of the growing interest in the metaverse, the potential ROI (return on investment) on virtual land looks promising for crypto-savvy speculators.
Secondly, investors are able to put their virtual pieces of land into use and earn an income from them: if you own a virtual land, you can host exclusive events or parties and charge those who want to attend.
For example, American rapper Snoop Dogg hosted an exclusive party on The Sandbox’s non-fungible token (NFT) platform to reconstruct his real-life mansion. Attendees needed to have an NFT, which acted as a pass and gave them access to the event.
Thirdly, investors can generate regular income from their virtual lands. For example, you could build a virtual house using NFTs on your virtual land and rent it out for a monthly income. Or set up an NFT art gallery and rent the space to up-and-coming crypto artists to showcase their work in the metaverse.
How to buy LAND in Decentraland: A step-by-step guide
Decentraland is a blockchain-based virtual reality platform that enables users to purchase land, play games, host events, and interact with each other in multiple ways.
It’s the largest virtual universe in the NFT space that has its own tokens – MANA and LAND. Each piece of LAND on Decentraland measures 16 meters by 16 meters and is represented as an NFT. The number of pieces of land on Decentraland is capped at 90,000 which helps create scarcity. Anyone can buy, rent or sell land on Decentraland either via OpenSea – an NFT marketplace – or through Decentraland’s official Marketplace.
Now that you know what Decentraland is, below is a step-by-step guide on how you can buy land in Decentraland directly from its Marketplace.
Step 1: Go to the Decentraland Marketplace
To begin with, you will need to visit Decentraland’s Marketplace and sign in or sign up if you aren’t already.
Once signed in, browse to ‘Parcels and Estates.’ Then, click on ‘View All’.
Step 2: Select a parcel of LAND
The next step is to browse through the available pieces of land and select your preferred choice of land. The advantage of buying land in Decentraland directly from the marketplace is that you get to see the neighbouring areas and the proximity to famous areas.
Once you have selected your piece of virtual land, proceed to click on it to read about it in detail. Here, you will see the price of the land in MANA, availability, and the owner’s name.
Tap on ‘Buy’ to make the purchase.
Step 3: Connect your wallet to the Decentraland Marketplace
To make the purchase, you will need to ensure that your wallet is connected to your account as the land will be sent to your wallet as an NFT once the purchase is successful and completed.
If you don’t have a wallet, you can download wallets such as MetaMask and Trust Wallet. Remember, your preferred wallet needs to have enough MANA or ethereum (ETH) for you to make the purchase.
Additionally, you need to have some extra tokens to take care of the gas fee.
Step 4: Confirm your virtual LAND
Once the purchase is complete, you can confirm your LAND on your wallet.
If you are using Trust Wallet, you can confirm the same under ‘Collectibles’ and under the ‘NFTs’ tab in the MetaMask wallet.
Should you buy virtual real estate in the metaverse?
So far, the virtual real estate market has known only one direction, and that’s up. Boosted by Facebook’s push into the metaverse and Web 3.0-focused investors’ interest in all things metaverse, virtual real estate could become a highly lucrative asset class, especially for early investors.
However, just like with any investment you make, you shouldn’t invest more than you can afford to lose.
While there is no denying that the virtual real estate market has grown substantially, it’s a relatively new market and investors should do their due diligence and proper research before investing.