Metaverse: Virtual Real Estate Plot Sells for Record $2.4 Million in Decentraland

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A patch of virtual real estate in the online world Decentraland sold for a record $2.4 million (roughly Rs. 17 crore) worth of cryptocurrency, the buyer crypto investor Tokens.com and Decentraland said.

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 this year, as the pandemic caused people to spend more time online.

Interest surged last month when Facebook changed its name to Meta 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), a kind of crypto asset.

Crypto enthusiasts buy land there as a speculative investment, using Decentraland's cryptocurrency, MANA.

A subsidiary of Tokens.com, called the Metaverse Group, bought a patch of real estate for 618,000 MANA on Monday, which was around $2,428,740 (roughly Rs. 18 crore) at the time, a Decentraland spokesman and a statement by Tokens.com said.

Reuters also saw the land's purchase recorded on the NFT marketplace OpenSea.

Decentraland said it was the most expensive purchase of a plot 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 be used to host digital fashion events and sell virtual clothing for avatars.

It is made of 116 smaller parcels, measuring 52.5 square feet each, making the land 6,090 virtual square feet in size.

Andrew Kiguel, CEO of Tokens.com, said the assets would complement the real estate already held by Metaverse Group.

In June, a plot of virtual land in Decentraland sold for 1,295,000 MANA, worth $913,228 (roughly Rs. 6.7 crore) at the time. The buyers built a virtual shopping centre to sell digital clothing, but Reuters has visited this site multiple times since and not seen any shoppers.

MANA is highly volatile. It has gained around 400 percent this month according to Coinbase, spiking after Facebook's name change.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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Avalanche Overtakes Dogecoin, Shiba Inu in Market Value After Deloitte Deal

Ethereum-rival and popular Layer-1 blockchain platform Avalanche has been creating a stir in the cryptocurrency market, managing to surpass the likes of Dogecoin and Shiba Inu to make it into the list of top 10 cryptocurrencies in terms of market capitalisation. A number of factors have helped propel Avalanche to scale to a new all-time high but the biggest push behind its most recent rally is the announcement of a collaboration with “big four” professional services firm, Deloitte. The announcement notes that Avalanche will work with Deloitte in building a more efficient disaster-relief platform on the Avalanche blockchain.

Avalanche's native token AVAX topped an all-time high of $146 (roughly Rs. 10,867) on Sunday, November 21, adding over 20 percent in value within a 24-hour period. As per data from CoinGecko, AVAX has surged nearly 47 percent in seven days, a massive 83 percent in two weeks, and more than 133 percent over the last three months. The blockchain currently has over 350 projects built on it and more to come — making Avalanche a strong contender for Ethereum's dominance as the leading smart contracts platform. Avalanche also has a few advantages over Ethereum. It is more easily scalable, faster, and more cost-effective than Ethereum.

The collaboration with Deloitte is a testament to its preference over Ethereum too. As per a Deloitte press release on the collaboration, the “Close as You Go Service” aims to simplify “disaster reimbursement applications for victims of natural disaster, by aggregating, and validating the documentation required for funding.”

“The security and fast consensus of the Avalanche network quickly gathers, processes and authenticates required documents, improving the accuracy of federal disaster claims because of the nature of how code governs the process,” says Emin Gün Sirer, founder of Avalanche Labs. He goes on to mention that since Avalanche boasts of being a carbon-neutral platform, its eco-friendly goals align well with that of Deloitte too.

Earlier this November, Avalanche supporters also launched a new fund called Blizzard, which received an impressive $220 million (roughly Rs. 1,638.79 crore) in seed investing from such contributors that include Three Arrows Capital — a company that has supported Ethereum in the past but has moved to Avalanche due to high gas fees.


Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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