After Facebook changed its name to Meta, the concept of metaverse quickly became popular around the world.
According to a recent analysis by MetaMetric Solutions, a Metaverse data provider, real estate sales in these virtual Cosmos exceed $500 million in 2021 alone.
Moreover, this figure is expected to double this year to $1 billion. After all, in January alone, sales reached $85 million.
Crossing the Metaverse
Facebook became Meta last October with the aim of expanding its business beyond the social network. This began a real race, especially for the big companies around the Meta universe.
According to MetaMetric, sales of land in simulated real-world environments increased nearly nine-fold to $133 million in the month following the announcement.
Although growth has slowed since then, sales in January 2022 were 10 times higher than in January 2021.
A report by BrandEssence Market Research predicts that the real estate market in the metaverse is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 31 percent from 2022 to 2028, CNBC reports.
Land sales are primarily centered on four platforms: Sandbox, Decentraland, Cryptovoxels and Somnium. Sandbox dominates the market, with 62% of available lands across all four platforms.
In addition, according to a Republic Realm report, approximately 75% of all land sales in 2022 are in the sandbox.
In December, 166,464 sandbox lots were sold for $12,700 in Ether (ETH). Each plot measures 96 x 96 meters. At the same time, 90,600 lots were sold on Decentraland for $14,440, with a size of 16 x 16 meters.
Business in the virtual world
As in the real world, the areas where big brands, companies or celebrities "settle" in the virtual world are often more expensive.
This is evidenced by the fact that one user paid $450,000 to become a neighbor of rapper Snoop Dogg in the virtual world.
For Andrew Kiguel, CEO of tokens.com, the real opportunity in the metaverse is the business opportunity. He told CNBC that he is talking to accounting firms, investment banks, podcasters and mutual funds to build influence in the meta-universe.
"We're even talking to companies about placing digital billboards in virtual conference rooms where people can meet," he says.
According to Kiguel, Tokens.com has purchased 12 waterfront properties in Somnium, which it believes will increase in value due to their scarcity and visual appeal.
Is the metaverse a pyramid? Or is it a generational issue?
While excitement about the metaverse is high, some people see the concept as nothing more than a "cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme".
This is because terrain in the metaverse is not as scarce as terrain in the physical world. Therefore, an unlimited number of attributes can be created in these virtual worlds.
Again, there is no limit to the number of platforms that can sell these virtual lands.
"Meta-universe land sales, often a pyramid scheme, have been around for more than 20 years," says Edward Castronova, a media professor at Indiana University. "The meta-universe is the 'Eldorado' of Internet startups. They chased him into the jungle and died."
The problem, however, as Kiguel points out, is that some generations have trouble putting a value on digital things. But the younger generation has no problem with this.
"Like NFT, blockchain technology makes certain things digital, irreplaceable and scarce. You can hold, store, display and sell."