Digital real estate. Tokens and land in meta universes rise in value
Global hype around virtual worlds provokes demand for domestic assets and plots of land in blockchain projects of the "Metaverse" category
At the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, the topic of meta worlds was widely discussed. During the event, a special press conference was organized, at which the WEF initiative "Defining and Building the Metaverse" was presented.
More than 120 people were involved in creating the project. On one of the panel discussions, the first two documents of the initiative were discussed; with their reference to them, the questions of accessibility, control systems and consumers' role in the metaclasses of the future were parsed. During the forum, a working prototype of the WEF's own metacommunity - Global Collaboration Village - was demonstrated.
As often happens, global tendencies resonate with what is happening on the crypto market. A December CoinWire survey of more than 10,000 people interested in cryptocurrencies showed significant interest from people in the industry in metaclasses in general. More than 60% of respondents think that technology can reshape the mechanisms of social interaction and entertainment.
The survey participants also believe that the spread of meta-villages will change the scenarios of interaction with finance, business and education spheres. More than half of those who have invested in some form of investment in companies claiming developments or patents related to metaclasses confirmed that they also own crypto assets.
Coins are getting more expensive
There are at least three major meta sites with domestic asset capitalizations in the hundreds of millions of dollars: The Sandbox, Decentraland and Otherside. The growing excitement around virtual spaces is provoking demand for the projects' coins. In the first month of this year, domestic cryptocurrencies of leading meta-currencies are already showing growth of tens of percent, creating a trend of price increases and less capitalized assets of the "Metaverse" category.
Decentraland's domestic currency (MANA) has doubled in just two weeks. The coin began to rise in price since January 13, when the developers announced several technical innovations in the project's official Twitter account , and showed itself as one of the most profitable crypto-assets for investment, growing in the first month of this year.
MANA's price jump provoked short-term interest in the project. According to the DCL Metrics website, the number of unique and new users increased noticeably on January 16, but at the time of the publication of this article, both categories had returned to the figures of the beginning of the month.
The Sandbox's native token (SAND) showed an increase of more than 80% during the same period, while the universe's internal currency Otherside (APE) has roughly doubled since the beginning of the year. The growth of the latter is attributed to the hype surrounding the launch of the NFT collection giving access to the new Dookey Dash game from Yuga Labs, the company behind Otherside. Passes in the form of non-exchangeable tokens (NFTs) were issued to image holders from Bored Ape Yacht Club and Mutant Ape Yacht Club, and their daily secondary market turnover after launch exceeded $27 million.
Some crypto projects do not imply the creation of meta-villages as such, but aggregators classify their coins as "Metaverse". As a rule, these are developers of Play-to-Earn (P2E) games or other indirectly related virtual worlds services, whose assets, like digital plots of land, are traded on the open market in the form of NFT.
As in the case of the example with coins related to the field of artificial intelligence, a common narrative emerges around a certain group of cryptocurrencies, and their developers try to release updates at a favorable period in the market, fueling interest in the services and provoking demand for their internal tokens. Coins of such projects as Internet Computer (ICP), Axie Infinity (AXS), Theta Network (THETA), Enjin Coin (ENJ), WEMIX (WEMIX), and others demonstrated a significant price growth during January.
As for parcels of land in metavillages, this form of investment has been quite successful in the past year. According to a report from marketplace Parcel.co, despite the turmoil in the crypto market, virtual real estate transaction turnover in 2022 increased by 180%, surpassing $1.4 billion, up from $0.5 billion in 2021.
The leader in land sales was Project Otherside, whose own meta-universe was launched last May. A large-scale marketing campaign from Yuga Labs and a common storyline tie Otherside with the acclaimed NFT-collections BAYC and MAYC provided the excitement around the lands. Analysts estimate that within three months of launch, digital land bidding on Otherside reached $900 million, and overall the project picked up 75% of turnover last year.
Otherside's market leaders in 2022 sales include The Sandbox (11%), Decentraland (5%), NFT Worlds (8%), and Somnium Space (1%). The market leaders also had the largest sales: 333.33 ETH in Otherside, 100 ETH in The Sandbox, and 81 ETH in Decentraland. Plots in several less-capitalized meta sites still in development are also traded as an asset on NFT marketplaces. Their secondary market turnover over the past year is estimated at $60 million.
The growing adoption of VR technology and the development of virtual worlds has spurred demand for virtual land, the report's authors write. This has sparked sales both within the crypto community and from global brands. The market's future prospects remain optimistic, as the field of meta-universes attracts more attention and investment. According to analysts, in 2023 the market's focus will be on games in the Web 3.0 segment, the digital fashion industry, and various scenarios for the use of virtual plots.
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