A growing number of investment firms are betting big on digital real estate in the metaverse—an emerging virtual market. But according to PYMNTS, the metaverse is more than a market:
By one definition, a metaverse is any virtual world in which people can create avatars and have them interact with others. If you’ve ever played a massively multiplayer online roleplaying game, or MMORPG, like Fortnite or World of Warcraft — or seen Steven Speilberg’s “Ready Player One” — you’ve got the general idea.
But game universes are not really true metaverses — the word was first used in Neal Stephenson’s seminal cyberpunk novel “Snow Crash” — which are, really, templates like a map, in which you can buy “land” and create anything from virtual buildings and marketplaces to interactive games and movie screens.
What we’re witnessing is either a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity to build a new city not limited by the laws of physics and an early start on immersive, community-driven digital experiences not bound by location, or it’s a big brand circle jerk in a pixelated elitist playground.
Owning land now in the metaverse is like owning real estate in New York 200 years ago, says Andrew Kiguel, the CEO and co-founder of tokens.com – an investment firm specializing in cryptocurrency and metaverse real estate acquisition. Houses, shops, concerts, fashion shows–like the one the Tokens.com is hosting on blockchain-based metaverse Decentraland – are all available for you, as your avatar, to enjoy.
Social Media Is Already A Trillion-Dollar Market
The next interaction of social media will be the metaverse, says Kiguel. Facebook, a multi-billion dollar company rebranded to Meta–the largest rebrand in history. This move signaled that it was making moves to leave the old ways of interacting and doing business behind and moving into the realm of multi-worlds. The virtual land boom is spurred, in part, by the rise in popularity and public knowledge of unique digital assets known as NFTs or non-fungible tokens, which you can purchase, trade, and be rewarded for in the metaverse. Gaming is migrating to the metaverse via NFTs and using play-to-earn to entice new users.
Tokens.com Paid $2.5 Million For A Plot Of Land In Decentraland’s Fashion District
Each metaverse platform has a limited number of land plots. A metaverse doesn’t just continue to grow; they have a certain district and size, which is programmed into how they work. This creates scarcity and also ensures not a single corporation or individual buys up all the land in that area, otherwise, it reduces the value of their own holdings.
Web 2.0 vs. Web 3.0
Communities ultimately decide what happens in the metaverse. Essentially, Web 2.0 is all about users entering spaces already created. Users of Web 3.0 participate in how things are going to look and what they are capable of experiencing, from an amusement park, an art gallery, a concert, or storefront. It’s up to them to decide what to interact with or build, which separates it from being a corporate-driven commerce social media platform, says Kiguel.
Investing In The Metaverse: Idiotic Or Genius?
Wandering around the metaverse feels a bit like lucid dreaming. The visual experience is both absurd and familiar. You can “interact” with your environment and the other avatars, but you remain comfortably detached. Kiguel says that some people have a difficult time wrapping their minds around something that is digital. They think “if it’s not physical, it’s not real to me.” The new generation, however, thinks differently. “With respect to what we’re doing, think about when you scroll through Facebook or Instagram, and every fifth block is an advertisement. Someone is paying those corporations money to advertise. In the metaverse, all we’re doing is pre-purchasing space that visitor traffic is going to look at and see. We can use that as advertising space in realms where millions of people will be wandering around.”
- What are the most common arguments against purchasing digital land?
- What will it take for people to comprehend the concept of owning digital land?
- Is there any going back from here? Will the metaverse implode or cease to exist?