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Here’s the Secret Behind Digital Real Estate NFTs


The metaverse is on everyone’s lips these days. Within the virtual world, owning metaverse land is now the hottest trend! These have become a favourite among investors, with some digital real estate NFTs fetching millions of dollars. Even brands like Adidas and celebrities such as Snoop Dogg have their own virtual land. Someone even paid $450,000 to be Snoop Dogg’s virtual neighbour!

You could also have that rare privilege. Or you can simply purchase a plot to set up a virtual shop. Whatever your reasons, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about metaverse land!

The Sandbox land parcels with various buildings
Digital real estate NFTs are the hottest new investment in town! Credits: The Sandbox

What is the metaverse?

Metaverse is a digital world created by bringing a combination of virtual reality (VR), video, augmented reality (AR), and mixed reality (MR) to our day to day lives. Essentially, it is a virtual 3D world where you can roam around as your digital self—or an ‘avatar’. What’s remarkable with metaverses is that it lets you do nearly everything you do in real life. Meet friends, attend concerts, play games, shop and sell items, work, and much more—all from the comfort of your home.

Interestingly, metaverse, as a concept, has existed for a few decades. While the growing use of blockchain technology and NFTs made virtual worlds more popular, it was Meta’s move into the metaverse that took it mainstream. Now, brands like Nike, Adidas, D&G, and Balenciaga, among others, have also hopped on the bandwagon. 

So, how do you become a part of this fast-evolving sector? A lucrative option is to buy virtual real estate in any of the popular metaverses. 

What is digital real estate and why should you buy it?

Put simply, digital real estate is the online counterpart of physical real estate. So, just like in the real world, virtual land is a unique, fixed plot of land in the metaverse. In each virtual world, you can find real estate divided into parcels. These parcels are NFTs that you can collect, buy, or sell using the metaverse’s native token.

Virtual real estate came under the limelight after a virtual house, called ‘Mars House’, was sold for a hefty $514,000 in March this year. Created by digital artist, Krista Kim, Mars House is known as the world’s “first NFT digital house”. Since then, especially due to the metaverse hype, virtual land has made headlines with record-breaking sales.

In June, for example, Decentraland sold a plot of virtual land for $900,000. At the time, it set a record as the most expensive virtual real estate on Decentraland. More recently, a plot of virtual land on The Sandbox metaverse fetched a whopping $4.3 million—the highest for any virtual land. Of course, not all virtual lands are highly valuable. The value depends on its proximity to key districts, popular areas, great views, important roads, and more. 

The Sandbox metaverse map
Some plots in virtual worlds have sold for hefty sums. Credits: NonFungible.com

But, why would someone buy a piece of land that they can’t physically access? More importantly, why are they paying thousands of dollars for it?

What can you do with virtual land?

Although digital real estate exists only in the online world, you can do pretty much everything with it as you would with a physical plot. On your plot, you can build virtual houses, shops, museums, and casinos, among others. You can even merge adjacent parcels to create an Estate or a larger District with two or more owners.

Virtual real estate is also a great means to earn an income. For one, you can host concerts or parties and charge an entry fee. Rapper Travis Scott, for example, hosted a virtual concert in Fortnite that was attended by close to 28 million people! Decentraland recently arranged a music festival with Paris Hilton, Deadmau5, and 3LAU, among others. Alternately, you can host ticketed games or allow brands to advertise on your plot. 

Travis Scott performing in Fortnite's virtual concert
You can hold music concerts on your virtual real estate like Travis Scott did! Credits: Fortnite

Furthermore, for a regular income, you can even rent your real estate to others. For instance, you could rent it to developers to build on it for a monthly income. You could also set up an art gallery and rent the space to artists to host their exhibitions.

Ultimately, there is so much you can do on a virtual land—that’s exactly why individuals, brands, and celebrities alike are investing in this new space.

Buy your own metaverse land

Now that you know all about virtual worlds and metaverse land, it’s time to get your own virtual real estate! But first, you need to choose a metaverse. There are plenty of virtual worlds you can pick from to buy or sell digital real estate. Here are some of the most popular ones of the lot:

Decentraland

Decentraland is hands-down the most popular metaverse available today. This fully decentralized, community-owned metaverse on the Ethereum blockchain offers 90,601 parcels of LAND. Each parcel is an NFT and measures 16 meters by 16 meters. Its native token is MANA, using which you can make purchases in the metaverse, including LAND parcels. Moreover, MANA owners get governance rights in Decentraland. 

It’s very simple to sign up on Decentraland and its user base is only growing. Currently, the platform has nearly 300,000 monthly active users and 18,000 daily active users. You can purchase any available LAND from either the Decentraland metaverse or OpenSea. According to NFT Stats, at the time of writing, one Decentraland NFT costs an average of $20,700. Last month, a virtual real estate plot here fetched $2.4 million!

Cryptovoxels

Cryptovoxels is an Ethereum-based metaverse that resembles Minecraft. Here too, you can buy land parcels and build nearly anything you want. Within this virtual world, you have an ‘Origin City’ owned by ‘The Corporation’ and parcels of land owned by individuals. Here, the land is called the Cryptovoxels Parcel (CVPA), with a total supply of 5,919. You can purchase it from its in-world marketplace or secondary marketplaces like OpenSea.

Cryptovoxels virtual world
A glimpse into the Cryptovoxels universe. Credits: Cryptovoxels

Lands in Cryptovoxels is comparatively cheaper—costs an average of around $9,000 according to NonFungible.com (at the time of writing). Once you buy land, you can create and remove blocks, add features such as gifs, images, audio, video, voxels, and more. However, unlike Decentrland, Cryptovoxels does not have an in-world currency.

The Sandbox

The Sandbox is another popular virtual world. Here, you can trade a range of digital assets and gaming experiences. Moreover, it offers tools such as VoxEdit and Game Maker to create your own voxel NFTs (called ASSETS) and 3D games. This virtual world offers a total of 166,464 LANDs, with each 1×1 LAND measuring 96 metres by 96 metres. You can buy LAND using The Sandbox’s virtual currency, SAND from its marketplace.

The process of developing buildings in The Sandbox metaverse
You can build and customise structures on your LAND in The Sandbox

On The Sandbox, LANDs are primarily used by game designers to build and publish games. LAND owners not only get governance rights but can also stake SAND to earn passive rewards. As per the data from NonFungible.com, LAND costs about $13,900 on average (at the time of writing).

Somnium Space

Ethereum-based Somnium Space is available in both 2D and VR and offers one of the best VR virtual world experiences. While it had originally started as a centralized platform, the developers are now on the path to making it fully decentralized. Like The Sandbox, this platform too offers several tools like UnitySDK to develop avatars and properties. 

Here, you can use the ERC-20 token, CUBE to buy virtual estates called PARCEL. These are limited in supply with only 5,026 in all. At the time of writing, Somnium Space PARCELs cost an average of $14,780.

3D visualisation of Somnium Space universe's map
Map of the Somnium Space world. Credits: Somnium Space

Steps to buy metaverse land

Once you pick your metaverse, here are the steps to get your own digital real estate:

  • Firstly, you need a crypto wallet to safely store your cryptocurrencies and NFTs. MetaMask is the most popular choice and is accepted by almost all metaverses.
  • Next, you have to get some cryptocurrency from an exchange to purchase the virtual land. Make sure the currency you pick corresponds with your metaverse of choice. Remember, while Decentraland’s native token is MANA, for The Sandbox, it’s SAND. 
  • Once you buy crypto, transfer it to your wallet.
  • Next, sign in to your metaverse of choice by connecting your crypto wallet.
  • Go to the marketplace and browse the land on sale. 
  • Make sure to read all about the parcel and understand the location well before buying. Alternately, you can purchase the NFTs from OpenSea.
  • Once you have finalized a virtual land, click ‘buy’.
  • Your land will be now stored in your wallet! You can view it in your wallet as well as on the metaverse.

While virtual real estate has the potential to generate high ROI, it’s important to understand the risks involved. Their value can greatly fluctuate with those of cryptocurrencies, which are highly volatile. Besides, unlike physical land, virtual real estate will no longer exist if the platform you invested in suddenly fails. Thus, make sure to do your due diligence before diving in.

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All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFTevening.com are not recommendations.

This article is educational material.

As always, make your own research prior to making any kind of investments.

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