People Are Paying Insane Amounts Of Money For "Real Estate" That Doesn't Actually Exist

Whatever you do, don't call it a "game", Genesis City is a "platform"

Whatever you do, don't call it a "game". Genesis City is a "platform". Decentraland/YouTube

If we’ve learned anything over the last year or so, it’s that blockchain-based exchanges have gained some serious momentum. In the wake of the meteoric rise of Bitcoin (and its subsequent slump), other virtual trades have been flourishing across the web. And one of these is for LAND.

People have been handing over stupendous amounts of real cash for a plot of land in Genesis City. But there's one catch: It’s virtual real estate, and you can’t even visit it yet.


This latest skirmish into the world of virtual currency and trade revolves around a company known as Decentraland. They have developed a virtual world, around the size of Washington DC, in which people can buy chunks of land, and buy they are. According to Bloomberg, some of the most desirable plots (known as LAND) are going for as much as a $200,000 per 102 square meters (1,100 square feet).   

According to Decentraland’s website, there are plans to develop the virtual real estate into a bustling metropolis that people can visit in VR, with those owning plots already helping to devise a city layout. Whether it is a hedonistic Las Vegas experience of gambling and shopping or a spot of painting for the more sober folks, it seems that Decentraland will be able to accommodate a wide variety of people.

As the creators say: “Your imagination is the limit: go to a casino, watch live music, attend a workshop, shop with friends, start a business, test drive a car, visit an underwater resort, and much, much more.”

If they’re to be believed, then you’d be able to do pretty much anything you want, although we’re not too sure we want to know what is being taught at “D-Land University”, or what the dioramas at the “D-Land Museum” might end up depicting.


Regardless, it appears that people are investing in the project, with no guarantees that they will see a return. In a similar way to how Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies catch on, the limited amount of LAND coupled with its seeming popularity has led to a virtual real estate boom, with those early investors being the ones making money.

When it first opened to buyers, a plot of LAND was selling for around $2,000. Within two months, some of the more desirable plots – those in the (predicted) high-traffic areas – were selling for up to $175,000, writes Futurism. Reportedly, the creators made $26 million from selling land within minutes, though project lead at Decentraland, Ari, has since claimed in an email to us that this money has been reinvested into the project.

Whether these late investors will be able to cash in is yet to be seen, particularly considering that people still aren't able to visit their LAND yet, and the developers haven't even given a date for when things might be open. 


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