Virtual homes, land and shops in metaverses are quickly becoming hot-ticket items for investment firms.
Republic Realm, a metaverse real estate firm, paid $4.3 million for a plot of land in virtual world Sandbox, representing the largest public virtual real-estate deal to date, the company told The Wall Street Journal. The company purchased the virtual plot from video game company Atari.
The purchase broke the previous record set by investment firm Tokens.com last week, which reportedly bought a $2.5 million piece of land in Decentraland, another popular virtual world.
Despite the risks involved due to the volatility of cryptocurrencies, investment firms are diversifying their assets among several virtual worlds. Republic Realm told The Wall Street Journal it owns 2,500 virtual land plots throughout 19 virtual worlds, with two specific investment vehicles focused on virtual real estate, including a mall, a community of 100 virtual residences and a private island.
This isn't the first boom in virtual real estate. Businessweek chronicled a rush to buy land in Second Life that minted millionaires in a 2006 cover story. That market, incredibly, is still functioning, though it appears rentals are more popular than outright purchases these days.