How to Buy Land in the Metaverse
| — Metaverse Land might sound mystifying – but at its core, it’s a type of NFT that needs to be secured in the same way|
— What’s special about Metaverse Land NFTs is the incredible things they enable: they’re an application layer that allow owners to create more or less any digital experience – be it gaming, education or entertainment focused – and monetize it.
— Each Metaverse has a different native cryptocurrency linked to the platform that you need if you want to buy Land on the platform.
— Buying Land in the Metaverse might be logistically easier than buying real estte IRL, but it still has its complexities. Here, we explain how to buy land in the Metaverse
Whether you’re a game developer or a traditional property mogul, land in the Metaverse is the intangible asset everyone is after this year. We get it! So here we explain how to buy land in the Metaverse, so you can focus on exploring.
As digital property becomes a hot commodity (and as the land grab increases), you might be wondering how you can get your plot. First things first, let’s take a quick look at what Metaverse land actually is and what it means.
What Is Metaverse Land?
There’s almost a taste of irony calling Metaverse land digital real estate, but essentially that’s what it is at the core of it. Metaverse land refers to plots of “land” on Metaverse platforms that are in limited supply (much like property in the real world).
Each plot of Metaverse land is a non-fungible token (NFT or ERC 721 token) and includes a record of its coordinates, its owner and a description of its content. What makes Metaverse Land so desirable is how you can use it: it’s really an application layer that enables owners to build – and monetize – virtual experiences. A growing range of tools, such as The Sandbox Game Maker, are simplifying this process, meaning that barriers to entry for game and digital experience designers have never been lower. In short, the possibilities offered by Metaverse land have democratized the space leaving it open to all levels of developer.
Why Own Land in the Metaverse?
OK so now we’ve discussed what Meataverse Land is, but you might be wondering about the “why”. Why consider buying Metaverse land if you can’t physically live in it or touch it?
Incredible commercial opportunity
Let’s start at the top – the number one reason people are snapping up Metaverse Land is the commercial opportunities it offers.
As life becomes increasingly digital, regular users are seeking experiences that take place digitally, from games and events to learning opportunities and immersive experiences. And like real life, we’re willing to pay for them.
Metaverse Land offers a venue that’s designed for developers and anyone crafting a digital experience to create – and monetize – their idea. And with more and more users flooding into the various Metaverses that exist, the audience and potential participants for those experiences is growing all the time. This is why huge brands are rushing to get involved.
If an idea can be adapted to a digital environment, buying (or renting, if buying isn’t an option yet) land in the Metaverse is the logical next step for turbocharging its reach – and experiential possibilities.
Even if you don’t want to own land yourself, the economic possibilities of the Metaverse are already in full swing – just look at the expanding list of job opportunities currently unfolding, which allow regular people like you and me to pay real-world bills via jobs that exist in a virtual environment.
Changing norms, evolving opportunities
It doesn’t take much to see that the outlook is virtual. As Web 3.0 and blockchain enable us to “own” our digital life in a real sense, increasing numbers of people flock to be a part of the pivot to a digital existence. And why wouldn’t they? Now, among other things, you can even monetize your gaming experience instead of paying for the priviledge – there have never been greater incentives to spend your time digitally. So it makes complete sense that business is moving in this direction too – and understanding the mechanics for yourself will put you in good stead to make the most of the change.
What Variables Determine the Value of Land?
Because each plot is an NFT, any land you own has its own unique token ID and can be put up for sale on a marketplace. But, like real-world property, what people are willing to pay for it depends on a few important variables. Understanding this is important to grasp the underlying economy of the Metaverse, so let’s cover the main considerations here:
- What will the land be used for? For buyers, land may be merely an investment. But for something more specific, such as developing a digital experience, whether a plot of land has the correct functionalities will be key to its price.
- What is the potential for growth of the host platform? Assessing this means looking at current use cases, what brands are present on the platform and the project’s market cap.
- The position and specific features of the land is also a huge factor: is the surrounding neighbourhood desirable for your use case, and in line with your objectives?
- Is the plot accessible? As with any property, accessibility is key to its utility, and this is something buyers in the Metaverse need to take into account, by looking on the native map to get an idea of where your potential new property is.
- Scarcity: Yes, our old friend supply and demand has a universal backstage pass whenever something is being bought or sold, and the Metaverse is no different. The availability of similar plots of land will have a huge impact on the price of what’s being sold.
- And finally, the value of the native token/floor price: Each Metaverse has its own native token which will be the currency to purchase land directly from the platform, so the value of this token is a crucial determinant of price for primary sales. If purchasing on the secondary market, the floor price of land – ie the absolute lowest price at which you can enter the project at a given moment – will determine what buyers are willing to pay across the board (Often denominated in ETH)
Ok so if all that sounds good and you’re ready to take your first steps, let’s talk about what you’ll need to do to buy land in the Metaverse.
First, create and set up your wallet
No matter how you approach your first land purchase, the first step is setting up your wallet. Metamask is commonly recommended as it connects easily with most marketplaces.
Once you’ve set up your Metamask wallet, it will integrate fully with your browser, making it easy to be used to connect with the platform. (Quick NB: Make sure you’ve got funds in your wallet.)
From here, what you need depends on where you want to buy your land, and the type of purchase – primary or secondary – you’re making. Let’s take a closer look.
Different Metaverse Projects and Their Specifics
Right! So now you know the ins and outs of how to assess an opportunity in the Metaverse, and you’ve set up your MetaMask wallet – let’s get to grips with the ins and outs of the main projects, so you can decide which one might be right for you. Here, we list the biggest projects in the space, their currency and native collectibles (land and other NFTs to be used in the platform), followed by a guide for where to buy land in each one – so you can navigate the ecosystem with confidence.
The Sandbox is one of the biggest players on the scene, with a market cap of just under 5.5 Billion Dollars at the time of writing. One of the key reasons for this is its broad public appeal and visibility, which might be credited to the big names the platform has attracted: Snoop Dogg and DeadMau5 are just two landowners currently driving interest, with resident brands like Adidas, Binance and CryptoKitties also exerting gravitational pull.
Another key element of the business potential of The Sandbox is that it offers employment opportunities, something that was central to its vision of the project.
With a commitment to creating a community-controlled universe, and a vision that puts economic opportunities front and center of the project, it’s not hard to see why The Sandbox is leading the pack when it comes to the Metaverse.
Sandbox Details: Land and Currency
Let’s start with some basics. Each plot of digital real estate within The Sandbox is known as a LAND, with a cluster of these known as an ESTATE.
The native currency used in the Sandbox is known as SAND, which you can buy directly through Binance, by swapping it for ETH on Uniswap, or through Ledger’s partner Moonpay. (NB: You’ll need some ETH in your wallet for the transaction fees when you buy LAND no matter what).
One of the specifics of The Sandbox is the way its land is being released. Rather than release everything at once, land on The Sandbox is being released over time through drops. This has made it a sought after commodity – but also has implications for the buying process.
When we talk about primary land sales, it generally means buying land directly from the host platform, and paying in its native currency – in this case, SAND.
This sounds straigtforward, however, on The Sandbox you can’t simply go and buy land directly from the platform – there won’t be any right now. Instead, if you’re chasing a primary purchase, you’ll need to wait for the next land drop – these are normally announced a few weeks in advance, and sell out FAST. Here’s where you can stay up to date.
Incidentally, you can also make purchases of LAND and collectibles through The Sandbox’s own marketplace, where you can buy both LAND and a host of items to be used on the platform on a peer-to-peer basis. And since the marketplace is native to platform, you can, of course, pay in SAND!
To acquire LAND and collectibles for The Sandbox, your other option is buying via secondary markets – again, on a peer-to-peer basis. You’ll find LAND NFTs on sale on OpenSea marketplace, where you’ll pay in ETH instead of SAND.
Maybe you have your sights set on Decentraland and if that’s the case, we can hardly blame you. With a current market cap of just over 6 Billion Dollars, it’s the largest Metaverse project on the scene right now. And it’s structurally different too: while most Metaverse projects aim to become completely decentralized in the future, Decentraland is already a fully-fledged DAO run by its community, which may be a factor in its success.
Digital art has been one of the key driving forces behind Decentraland’s project, which has already seen big players in the art scene like Sotheby’s set up shop and drive interest.
If you’re looking ot buy in Decentraland, there are some specific details you should be aware of, so let’s break them down here.
Decentraland Details: Land and Currency
Each basic token of digital space on Decentraland is called LAND. A basic plot of land is 16m X 16m, and this is known as a parcel. Many parcels merged together are known as estates.
Decentraland’s native currency is called MANA, which can be bought through major exchanges like Kraken and also via Ledger Live (it can also be managed using Ledger Live).
One option for buying land on Decentraland is doing so via primary sale on the Decentraland Marketplace. Here you can use the native token MANA to make your land purchase. The beauty of doing this is that you can use the map to navigate around Decentraland, checking out the position and context of your potential new property.
Fun fact: If you buy directly from the Decentraland Marketplace, you can buy waaaay more than just land parcels too! There are crazy amounts of exciting assets that you can use in the Metaverse. It’s like a supermarket for the platform.
So how does this process work? If you’re buying your LAND via the Decentraland Marketplace, begin by hitting the “Get started” or “Start exploring” button and connect your wallet. Sign in to your wallet and you’ll be taken to a page to create and customize your avatar (the fun part before the exploration starts!) Accept the Ts and Cs, and go through the guided tutorial. Now you’re free to play and participate in the game (including using your MANA to buy Land!).
If you’re starting out, follow the “Buy Land” prompt to make a purchase. From here, you’ll be directed to the Decentraland marketplace where you can browse Lands that take your interest. Pick Land you want to buy and enter your bid – it will be up to the current owner whether or not to accept your offer.
You can also make your purchase on a secondary marketplace such as OpenSea, where you can pay in ETH instead, via your Metamask wallet. So if you’re thinking of opting for Decentraland, the purchasing venue will be a big factor in figuring out what you need to get started
With a market cap of just under 1 Billion Dollars, Somnium Space is another key player in the growing Metaverse ecosystem. Virtual reality is a key element of this platform, making it ideal for building digital games and immersive experiences, which is likely to be a stand out element for the developers who choose this platform.
Somnium Space has an interesting way of tackling the supply of space available. The Metaverse uses “Phases” to generate and offer limited amounts of land – these are released in Parcels, with multiple parcels known as an Estate. In the current Phase 1, for example, 3000 land Parcels were made available for sale. At different locations and with different sizes, users can choose which parcel suits their preference and make the purchase.
Somnium Space Details: Land and Currency
The native currency on Somnium Space is CUBES, and land tokens are known as LAND.
Primary and Secondary Sales
All LAND parcels on Somnium Space is sold through OpenSea, and can be purchased using ETHor Somnium CUBES. The unsold land can be viewed by using the interactive map on the Somnium platform. From here, you can click on properties you’re interested in to find out about details and price.
You can buy Land through the NFT marketplace OpenSea. Land parcels here are auctioned using Ethereum or Somnium’s native currency Somnium CUBES.
The Non-Negotiable: Securing Your Metaverse Land
One last thing you need to know about your Land on the Metaverse: Security is essential. Leaving your Metaverse Land unsecure is almost like leaving your car unlocked and keeping the key in the glove compartment for safe-keeping. It’s not only leaving the Land vulnerable to access, but it could be stolen along with all of the digital assets in it.
Like any NFT, the best way to secure your Land is by using a system that’s immune to hackers and malware; in other words, using a combination of “hot” (online) and “cold” (offline) storage.
We talk about how to fully secure your NFT assets here but in a nutshell, one of the most important things to remember is that if someone has your “keys” or access to your wallet, they have access to all of the assets in it, including your virtual property. So make sure you secure those offline.
So go forth and explore the Metaverse, and all the amazing opportunities it offers! Who knows, maybe one day you’ll be a virtual real estate agent and you’ll be looking back on this day grateful that you got the experience before the industry was even born. In the Metaverse, anything is possible!