Virtual Land, Real Money: New Investors Heat Up Metaverse Real Estate Market

The metaverse is continuing its growth, with the internet’s latest iteration drawing the attention - and dollars - of investors large and small. One metaverse provider, known as The Sandbox, has been dividing its virtual land into parcels known as LAND. Represented as a non-fungible token (NFT), plots of the virtual real estate have been selling for around $10,000 each, according to blockchain data.

Global companies such as Facebook and Nike have begun to develop their metaverse presences, and other players are taking notice. Most recently, PricewaterhouseCoopers Hong Kong has purchased LAND in a bid to extend its market presence into new realms. While their presence is currently a mix of forward-thinking and experimentation, many see the investments as an early adoption of the latest step in online business presence.

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“We will leverage our expertise to advise clients who wish to embrace the metaverse on the full range of challenges presented by this emerging global digital phenomenon,” PwC Hong Kong Partner William Gee said in a statement.

While the metaverse is still niche in terms of user numbers, with DappRadar reporting that The Sandbox welcomed just 4,500 users in the past 30 days, many companies are not making the mistake of dismissing the new technology or waiting until it becomes mainstream.

“The metaverse is open for business,” The Sandbox COO Sebastien Borget said in a statement. “We welcome PwC Hong Kong to experience how The Sandbox fosters new immersive experiences and ways for brands to connect with customers.”

LAND prices have been increasing steadily since late October 2021, around the time Facebook rebranded to Meta and fully embraced the metaverse concept. Since then, a single LAND has increased from an average of $3,000 in early November 2021 to $10,000 in late January 2022. The native token of The Sandbox - known as SAND - has seen similar growth, trading around $0.80 prior to the Facebook announcement to a high of $8.40 on November 25, and was trading around half that in late January.

With the market for digital real estate continuing to grow, businesses seeking to get in on the ground floor of the latest evolution of the virtual world would do well to consider taking advantage of the relatively low prices, which are unlikely to stay that way if the metaverse takes off and is embraced by a wider audience.