A patch of virtual real estate in the online world Decentraland sold for a record US$2.4 million, the buyer, cryptoinvestor Tokens.com, and Decentraland said on Tuesday.
Decentraland is an online environment — also called a “metaverse” — where users can buy land, visit buildings, walk around and meet people as avatars.
Such environments have grown in popularity since the COVID-19 pandemic started causing people to spend more time online.
Interest surged last month when Facebook changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc to reflect its focus on developing virtual reality products for the metaverse.
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).
Crypto enthusiasts buy land there as a speculative investment, using Decentraland’s cryptocurrency, MANA.
Tokens.com subsidiary Metaverse Group bought the plot for 618,000 MANA (US$2,428,740 at the time) on Monday, a Decentraland spokesman said.
Decentraland said it was the most expensive purchase of virtual real estate on the platform.
The land is in the “Fashion Street” area of Decentraland’s map, and Tokens.com said it would use it to host digital fashion events and sell virtual clothing for avatars.
It is made of 116 parcels of about 4.9m2 each, making the virtual land 565m2 in size.
Tokens.com CEO Andrew Kiguel said the assets would complement the real estate already held by Metaverse Group.
In June, a plot in Decentraland sold for 1,295,000 MANA (US$913,228 at the time). The buyers built a virtual shopping center to sell digital clothing, but Reuters has visited this site multiple times since and not seen any shoppers.
MANA has gained about 400 percent this month, Coinbase data showed, spiking after Facebook’s name change.
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