Digital land in Decentraland sells for $913K… to a virtual property developer

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A virtual plot of real estate situated within the Ethereum-based open-world game, Decentraland, has sold for more than $913,000 — valuing the intangible property on par with the average price of a real world house in Brooklyn, New York.

Virtual real estate is sold in the form of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) dubbed LAND in Decentraland, with the digital plot being sold to virtual real estate-focussed investment firm, Republic Realm. The plot actually represents 259 parcels of digital land, with the transaction settling for 1,295,000 of Decentraland’s native MANA tokens — worth roughly $913,000 at the time of sale.

On Twitter, the investment firm emphasized its commitment to building on the virtual real estate and adding value to Decentraland’s metaverse.

Decentraland allows players to explore its crypto-powered metaverse, offering an experience akin to a blend between Minecraft and Second Life but with true ownership over in-game items and a player-driven in-game economy.

Republic Realm is a division of online investment platform Republic, which has secured backing from notable investors including Binance, Galaxy Digital’s Galaxy Interactive, and AngelList. The division accepts investment from accredited investors on an invitation-only basis, limiting its backers to 99 entities.

On its website, Republic Realm asserts that “people are spending increasingly more time in virtual worlds,” adding:

“At the intersection of emerging technology like virtual reality and blockchain, developers, investors, and hobbyists alike are creating a vibrant digital real estate market.”

Related: As NFT market cools, a chance to learn lessons from its explosive growth

According to data provided by NFT data aggregator, NonFungible, the sale is the largest in the history of Decentraland in dollar terms, beating out a roughly $704,000 transaction that was recorded on May 28.

However when measuring LAND trades by their price in MANA, Republic Realm’s buy is the eighth-largest in the game’s history, with one virtual plot having sold for 2.7 million MANA during November 2018 (roughly $211,000 at the time).

In February, rival crypto gaming metaverse, The Sandbox, recorded a virtual land sale worth roughly $2 million, making it the largest sale of crypto-powered digital real estate in history.

NonFungible ranks Decentraland as the fourth-largest NFT project by weekly sales volume, hosting $1.3 million worth of NFT transactions over 335 trades for the past seven days. Decentraland ranks sixth for all-time volume, hosting $64.6 million worth of trades over nearly 126,000 transactions.

Pioneering NFT project CryptoPunks currently dominates NonFungible’s rankings, driving roughly $4.15 million over 72 transactions this past week, and $356 million over its 13,749 all-time sales.

However, according to fellow NFT data aggregator, CryptoSlam, CryptoPunks is the fourth-largest NFT by weekly volume, sitting behind Axie Infinity’s $23 million in transactions, NBA Top Shot’s $16.7 million in trade, and Bored Ape Yacht Club’s $7.3 million worth of weekly sales.