In Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash, he imagined a virtual world called the Metaverse.
In the book, the Metaverse was the world’s dominant social network. Millions of people logged in daily, using VR to interact with friends, meet new people, and conduct business. One of the major features of the Metaverse was that users could buy and develop virtual real estate. There were public bars, private homes, businesses, and exclusive clubs.
Fast forward to today, and much that Stephenson imagined in his 1992 classic has come true. Digital social networks like Facebook have become some of the largest companies in the world. And more recently, his vision of digital/virtual real estate is becoming reality.
What is digital real estate?
Virtual real estate as such has actually been around for a while. One of the first examples was Second Life, a video game released in 2003, which allowed users to buy and develop real estate. The game was very advanced for its time, and even had its own currency and complex economy. However, interest in Second Life eventually faded. For a while, nothing came along to replace it.
However, with recent advances in blockchain technology and adoption, interest in virtual real estate has dramatically expanded.
A blockchain land-grab
A new generation of blockchain-powered virtual worlds is being developed. Virtual real estate assets are “tokenized” as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), and ownership is recorded on a blockchain. This tech enables the creation of scarce, completely unique assets. It also allows users to easily buy, sell, and trade digital real estate using cryptocurrency.
Using blockchain-based NFTs provides the following features and benefits to digital real estate:
True digital ownership: holders are the true and perpetual owners of their digital items, unlike assets in a game that can be shut down or abandoned by its developers. With blockchain, every item in a digital world can be tokenized, allowing holders to decide how they want to trade, sell, or gift their items.
Security and immutability: items based on scarcity and demand usually invite fraud and theft, but these risks are minimized on blockchain because it is a distributed ledger that has to be validated by every blockchain participant.
Trading: digital items can be easily tokenized and traded in primary and secondary markets that are managed and facilitated by blockchain technology. Participants can buy and sell items freely, without concern that a platform will restrict their ability to trade.
Cross-application interoperability: Blockchain provides capacity for digital worlds to utilize shared assets. Assets, avatars, lands, and any other elements can be used in other environments that allow it. These items are no longer confined to a limited digital ecosystem.
The result is that there’s a virtual land grab going on, and real estate prices in some virtual worlds are quickly rising. Here are a few of the most popular Metaverse-like digital worlds today.
How to buy virtual real estate assets
Virtual worlds have their own unique economies and marketplaces. For example, Decentraland has its own marketplace where you can buy virtual items, such as clothing and real estate. Purchases are made using Decentraland’s own native digital currency, MANA.
There are also marketplaces, such as NonFungible.com and Rarible.com, that list virtual real estate and other NFT offerings.
We highly recommend exploring the various digital worlds before even considering making a purchase. Explore the environments, see what they have to offer, see if any pull you in. Then you can start to consider buying a plot of land or a building. Make sure that you’re buying through a trusted source!
Of course, remember that digital real estate purchases are highly speculative and prices fluctuate widely. Never purchase more than you can afford to lose.
Our digital real estate fund
Republic is launching a unique offering for accredited investors. Learn more about investing in digital real estate at www.republicrealm.com.
This piece is provided by Republic Compound LLC d/b/a Republic Real Estate and is for informational purposes only.
This notice does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any security. Republic Realm Inc. (the “Fund”) is considering offering shares solely to accredited investors pursuant to Rule 506(c) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the “Act”). This notice has been prepared by Republic Realm Manager, LLC, the Manager of the Fund, solely for informational purposes based on its own information, as well as information from public sources. This notice has been prepared to assist potential investors in evaluating a potential investment in the Fund’s private placement offering and in making their own evaluation of the offering. No offer to sell any securities, and no solicitation of an offer to buy any securities, is being made in any jurisdiction in which such offer, sale or solicitation would not be permitted by applicable law. This does not constitute an offer to sell, nor a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities by any person in any jurisdiction in which it is unlawful for such person to make such an offering or solicitation. Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of the Fund or passed upon the accuracy or adequacy of this website. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.