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Virtual real estate plot sells for record $2.4 million

Visitors are pictured in front of an immersive art installation titled "Machine Hallucinations — Space: Metaverse" by media artist Refik Anadol, which will be converted into NFT and auctioned online at Sotheby's, at the Digital Art Fair, in Hong Kong.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

A patch of virtual real estate in the online world Decentraland sold for a record $2.4 million worth of cryptocurrency, the buyer crypto investor Tokens.com and Decentraland said on Tuesday.

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Decentraland is an online environment - also called a "metaverse" - where users can buy land, visit buildings, walk around and meet people as avatars.

Also Read | Breaking down the hype around Metaverse

Such environments have grown in popularity this year, as the pandemic caused people to spend more time online.

Interest surged last month when Facebook changed its name to Meta to reflect its focus on developing virtual reality products for the metaverse.

Also Read | Metaverse pioneers unimpressed by Facebook rebrand

Decentraland is a specific type of metaverse that uses blockchain. Land and other items in Decentraland are sold in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a kind of crypto asset.

Crypto enthusiasts buy land there as a speculative investment, using Decentraland's cryptocurrency, MANA.

A subsidiary of Tokens.com, called the Metaverse Group, bought a patch of real estate for 618,000 MANA on Monday, which was around $2,428,740 at the time, a Decentraland spokesman and a statement by Tokens.com said.

Reuters also saw the land's purchase recorded on the NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Decentraland said it was the most expensive purchase of a plot of virtual real estate on the platform.

Also Read | But, who spends $69 million on digital art?

The land is in the "Fashion Street" area of Decentraland's map and Tokens.com said it would be used to host digital fashion events and sell virtual clothing for avatars.

It is made of 116 smaller parcels, measuring 52.5 square feet each, making the land 6,090 virtual square feet in size.

Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com, said the assets would complement the real estate already held by Metaverse Group.

Also Read | NFT sales surge to $10.7 bln in Q3 as crypto asset frenzy hits new highs

In June, a plot of virtual land in Decentraland sold for 1,295,000 MANA, worth $913,228 at the time. The buyers built a virtual shopping centre to sell digital clothing, but Reuters has visited this site multiple times since and not seen any shoppers.

MANA is highly volatile. It has gained around 400% this month according to Coinbase, spiking after Facebook's name change.


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Printable version | Dec 3, 2021 8:02:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/virtual-real-estate-plot-sells-for-record-24-million/article37656785.ece

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