The future is once again knocking on our doors, and this time it comes in the form of virtual reality. Imagine owning high-demand real estate. You can picture it to be however you want it to be: pristine, untouched, and spacious. The only caveat is it is real estate you can’t touch. Virtual real estate has finally become a thing, and while people have been forking out thousands on virtual pieces of land, none of it is even ready for a virtual visit.
The company at the head of the game is Decentraland. Decentraland has created Genesis City, a large piece of virtual land, as large as Washington, D.C. to be exact. If you’re an avid cryptocurrency investor, you can buy a slice of virtual real estate pie for a ridiculous amount of real money. Just picture a plot of land roughly the size of an average 1,100 square foot apartment. Something of that size is currently going for as much as $200k. There’s currently no stopping the momentum of Decentraland’s project, and the genius of it all is probably in their timing.
If this were released even just a few years ago, Genesis City probably would’ve been a bust. But given the promising advances in the VR world in the last couple of years, people have become more open to the idea that a virtual world could actually be a feasible one. Decantraland had its ICO (initial coin offering) in August of last year, offering whoever was interested in buying a parcel of land. Users were able to use their MANA or their own cryptocurrency for land at 10 x 10 meters apiece. Of course, you could buy more if you wanted to. Within a span of mere 30 seconds, Decantraland’s ICO raised an unbelievably incredible amount of $26 million from various individuals and companies, private investors, and VR enthusiasts. It was a shocking representation of where the mentality of a massive amount of people was at in this point of history.
Decentraland is right at the heart of it all, and it seems to know the pulse of this group like no other. Decentraland’s plans are ambitious to say the least. They plan to create a virtual metropolis in Genesis City. Currently, the virtual landowners are in talks of zoning and districts within Genesis City. There will be entertainment zones and gambling zones and who knows what else. The map of Genesis City is constantly changing at this point, but the overall goal is to have a place that people would want to visit virtually. After all, that will be the true test of success for the idea of a virtual reality escape.
Pretty soon, users and landowners will be able to hang out with friends in Genesis City. You’d be able to go to shows, listen to music, gamble, start businesses, and any other activity you could ever imagine doing in a big city. There really are no limits at this point, but there are people who are speculating it as more of a game than anything. Decentraland has stressed that it isn’t just a real-life version of Sim City. Sim City has a story built around it, after all. Decentraland likes to refer to Genesis City as more of a platform that you could build on top of without any limits. At Genesis City, virtually anything is possible.
Just realize that in order to participate, you’d need to hand in your real money. At this point, there’s no guarantee on any returns if you decide to make the investment. There’s not even a guarantee that you’d ever get to see Genesis City at all. Decentraland has not set up a release date for Genesis City at this point. Even given this set back, people are still willing to risk it all—even for just the idea of it. Back in January, a piece of LAND cost someone about $2k to own. These days, if you wanted a piece of land, you’d have to pay at least $175k. It’s a real buy and sell market, so if you wanted to capitalize on your early investments, you could easily make your money and more by selling what you own virtually.
Are people really willing to bet on the future of virtual reality? It seems the answer is yes at this point.