The End of Digital Real Estate?

Land sales in the metaverse have seen a drastic 98% drop from 2021 peak.

2021 was a great time for NFTs and the birth of digital land sales.  The growth of the sector was unparalleled with many platforms such as Decentraland, The Sandbox, Portals, and Solice all providing their communities with the promise of land on the metaverse that can be owned, used, or sold. The future looked bright for those that were early in the game but recent trading volume for the virtual land has plunged right next to the crypto market and its drop.

Virtual trading volume that has been used for tracking sales for 18 projects has shown that trading has dropped by 98%

Digital Real Estate

The slump seems to coincide with the boom of the metaverse and pushing of the platform by companies such as Meta (formerly Facebook). The crypto market itself has been seeing drastic drops and losses since the beginning of the year with Bitcoin being less than a third of the value it had at the end of 2021.

Metaverse land was touted as the next big thing as each project promised multiple uses for the virtual land by the time the project was finished. The promises given created a fervor for the technology and increased sales. The attention to the technology mirrored that of traditional real-life real estate sales.

The belief is that the metaverse is the next evolution of the internet and virtual land is akin to domains of web2. Domain names currently sale for small amounts but many very important domains can sell for the hundreds of thousands to the millions. Web2 domains have been known as “web addresses” with the .com, .net, .org, etc all being worth a certain value due to the name. Digital land creates a virtual area for companies or individuals to build interactive projects for users to interact with , play on, or learn on in a VR or AR capacity. 

Currently there are a few projects that have done well with this digital land method. Decentraland, Upland, and The Sandbox have all created land that has been purchased by major companies, brands, and well-known influencers, celebrities, and individuals. All of this land has been used to provide clients, fans, and other users a way to interact closer with the company, person, or brand. 

Other companies such as Solice have yet to actually provide a proper offering to the community that has supported it.

Some critics of the metaverse have argued that the land is in oversupply and no longer scarce, therefore not driving the interest it should. This may change however if the crypto market recovers and other firms, companies, or influencers continue to build. 

The one thing that may yield even more interest in the metaverse and digital land is the creation of a metaverse that is interoperable and open. Meta and Microsoft have promised this type of metaverse and companies such as Metalinq have thrown their focus into making all metaverses interoperable as well.

The trading of the technology may have slowed but interest continues to grow as many are interested in the evolution of the internet, companies as well as individuals are using the new platform to create new ways for interaction and profit, it remains only a matter of time to see what the metaverse will bring but a technology that does not have an absolute definition means that there are indeed no boundaries or limits.

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