A firm describing itself as “the world’s first virtual real estate company” has bought a 500 square meter (5,382 square foot) plot of land in 3D virtual reality platform Decentraland, setting a record for sales of property that doesn't physically exist.
Decentraland is a metaverse (a phrase you'll be hearing a lot if the company formerly known as Facebook has anything to do with it) where people can buy land, create and visit buildings, parks, and meet up with their friends – or avatars thereof.
The idea of paying for space within a virtual world is nothing new. Gamers have paid for virtual items, for example in World of Warcraft, for years. However, this is a pretty big investment for a company to make, and it seems they think they'll be able to make returns on it.
"We believe Ready Player One will be representative of the future of both business and real estate," Metaverse Group, who made the purchase, write on their website. "And thus the creation of Metaverse Property to support the new frontier of virtual reality."
“We are happy to make history by closing the largest public metaverse land acquisition to date,” Andrew Kiguel – CEO of Tokens.com, of which Metaverse Group is a subsidiary – said in a statement. “These assets will complement the existing portfolio of metaverse real estate already held at Metaverse Group.”
Metaverse Group – which claims on its website that its global HQ is in Crypto Valley in Decentraland itself, though its phone number area code is in Ontario, Canada – sells itself as the "first virtual real estate company in the world, offering exposure to the burgeoning industry of virtual land via the metaverses". They offer buying and selling of "virtual real estate", as well as rentals.
The area they have purchased for a record $2.4 million will be used for hosting fashion shows, among other e-commerce uses.
“Fashion is the next massive area for growth in the metaverse," Sam Hamilton, head of content at the Decentraland Foundation said. "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.”