What Is Virtual Land?
Much of what we do in physical reality is also available in the digital realm. Real Estate is one of these things. In the real world, you can invest and add real estate to your portfolio. You see a property you like and go through the steps to acquire it. In the digital space, properties are NFTs that prove ownership and their transference of them.
This is all made possible thanks to the Metaverse.
You can think of the Metaverse as a digital space to play around in, much like a video game. It takes the video game experience to another level by being able to build communities, connect, build, sell, own properties, etc. Think of it like playing Grand Theft Auto with real people instead of bots. Everything is handled with real money—cryptocurrencies.
Popular metaverses include Decentraland, The Sandbox, and The Uplift World. Many believe that crypto and NFTs are the keys to creating interoperable metaverses.
Virtual lands existed before Web 3 too with games like The Sims and World of Warcraft.
With older video games like The Sims and World of War of Warcraft, you couldn't sell virtual plots yourself. Since they are closed platforms, you were forced into their economic ecosystem. The value is accrued to the platform itself rather than the users. Now with these NFT virtual plots, you have true ownership!
Why Buy Virtual Land?
Just like physical land and properties, it opens up many possibilities. When you own a property or properties in a metaverse, you can do things like host events, concerts, town halls, meetups, and parties. For brands, artists, entrepreneurs, comedians, musicians, etc. virtual land presents an interesting glimpse into their world.
This means you can turn your virtual properties into passive income sources. You could charge for an event where attendees receive an NFT as a reward. You could also rent your space in an Airbnb fashion. What about having a museum filled with your NFTs for sale? You can do that too.
The possibilities are endless in this space with virtual and augmented reality too. Many want a more human experience rather than a Zoom call.
Our lives are becoming increasingly digitized. Everything we do is online, so virtual land, crypto, and NFTs are the next evolution.
What makes these properties valuable in the first place? These pieces of property (parcels) are finite, making them more valuable to hold. When you can build an aesthetically beautiful property with a purpose—you're golden.
Your NFT property is like a deed of ownership. You won't be dealing with a notary office here. Instead, your NFT shows that you own the property via the blockchain. Your property has an address and is secured by a smart contract.
How to Buy and Sell Virtual Land
Buying and selling virtual land is a lot easier than buying and selling physical land. Do your research and find a metaverse you'd like to purchase some virtual land. You can buy directly from a metaverse marketplace or on the secondary markets.
You'll need a crypto wallet that supports NFTs to interact with the blockchain. A popular choice is Metamask.
You will need the corresponding cryptocurrency to purchase land on a particular metaverse. For example, for Decentraland you'll need MANA, for The Sandbox you'll need SAND, for The Uplift World, you'll need WAXP. You can buy these cryptos on exchanges.
Browse which virtual property you'd like to purchase. When you've found something that catches your eye, click “Buy”. It'll take a few seconds for the transaction to go through after you've “signed” for it. Once it does, you are now the proud owner of a virtual property!
Selling virtual land is easy to do too. You would just need to head to a marketplace like OpenSea and list your NFT. When someone purchases your virtual land, then the crypto will be sent to your address.
Investing in virtual lands doesn't come without its set of risks. For starters, if you're looking to make a quick ETH, you may want to think again. Your virtual land won't be worth much to begin and you'll need a willing buyer.
Some metaverses aren't even fully populated so they'll feel like digital ghost lands.
While many of these metaverse platforms claim to be decentralized when you read the fine print, you may notice how centralized they can be. This means that a platform owner could restrict access to your land and/or ban you from the platform. The platform could also cease to exist, leaving the property owner with their head in their hands.
Property in the physical world is protected by restrictions and regulations. Virtual land is not.
Some metaverse platforms are DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). Rather than having a central figurehead dictating the shots, decisions are voted upon by the DAOs' members. While DAOs allow for everyone's voice to be heard, they also can increase virtual land property costs and make things more convoluted.
Virtual real estate transactions are facilitated via smart contracts and the blockchain. Once all parties involved agree on the consensus protocols, the code is hard-written into the blockchain. While smart contracts enhance security, they also diminish flexibility. If anything in the transaction needs to be amended, it will need to go through a vote from the DAO.
Any new technology will have bad actors attracted to it and the Metaverse with virtual land is no different. These scammers will create links and send them to the uninformed hoping to gain access to their private keys, wallet, and virtual land NFTs. Once the crypto assets are in the bad actors' possession, it's pretty much a done deal.
To protect yourself from scammers, be sure to use two-factor authentication (2FA). If it smells like a scam, it most likely is.
Explore Virtual Lands
Time will tell on the future of virtual lands and the Metaverse. We will see ones that are more decentralized and others centralized. As we live out our lives more and more online every day, it only makes sense that a metaverse and its virtual land would exist.
What do you make of all of this? Have you bought any virtual land yourself? If so, how do you intend to use it?
The best way to learn is to dive right in. Find a metaverse today and start exploring virtual land today.