IF YOUR wallet is feeling a little bulky, you could always lighten the load by buying up virtual property.
It's one of many opportunities that the metaverse provides to throw away cash on largely pointless commodities.
The metaverse is a loosely defined virtual realm made up of connected 3D virtual worlds where people can work, play or do business.
Visitors to the social spaces can buy goods and services, such as property, much like they would in the real world.
And while that largely takes the form of a few square metres of space that fetch a buck or two, prices can go into the millions.
Vast metaverse estates are fetching big prices as investors buy up land in the hopes of making a tidy sum.
Traded in cryptocurrencies, they are owned as NFTs. Much like with real property, owners splash out in the hopes they'll be worth more in future.
However, just like their real-world counterparts, the value of the plots can go up or down. They are considered a risky investment.
The Sun has put together a list of some of the most outrageously priced real estate that has changed hands in the metaverse so far.
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$4.3m – The Sandbox
Republic Realms is a metaverse real estate company that splashed out $4.2M on land in virtual world The Sandbox.
The acquisition included 100 private islands that have exploded in value in the months since.
CEO Janine Yorio told CNBC that her company initially sold the islands for $15K each last year.
"Today, they’re selling for about $300,000 each, which is coincidentally the same as the average home price in America," she told the outlet.
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The company's digital land purchase back in November last year was the largest land acquisition The Sandbox had seen.
Republic Realm snapped up 792 parcels in The Sandbox amounting to 3sq miles of in-game land.
One 24×24 plot, in a prime location, was bought from Atari, with the realtor co-developing some of the land with the company.
Yorio says that neighbours are just as important as location, telling CNBC:
"I think it absolutely matters who your neighbour is. That’s kind of true of almost anything, right?
"It’s like a club and you want to be around people that share similar interests."
$2.4m – Decentraland
Decentraland is one of the hottest metaverse games out there and investors are cashing in on its digital real estate.
Andrew Kiguel is CEO of Tokens.com, and last year a subsidiary of his company — Metaverse Group — dropped a record-breaking $2.4M on land in the game.
Speaking to CNBC, Kiguel says the price of digital real estate has skyrocketed by "400% to 500% in the last few months."
Metaverse Group's land comes in at 6,090 virtual square feet and is made up of 116 smaller parcels around 52.5 square feet each.
Located in Decentraland's Fashion Street district, that's home to brands like Gucci, Prada, Ralph Lauren, the land will play host to fashion shows and digital stores.
The plot was sold on NFT marketplace OpenSea for 618K MANA in November last year.
Decentraland's MANA token was at an all time high of $5.41 in November, but has since plummeted to $3.
The land however, is still a very valuable commodity — especially near areas where players spawn into the game.
Decentraland's plazas (effectively spawn points where players first drop in to the game) aren't for sale, but the surrounding land is prime real estate.
High foot traffic means countless pairs of eyes on your brand, as well as increased opportunities for sales and marketing.
$2.3m – Axie Infinity
Coming in a close third is the sale of $2.5M worth of virtual land in the metaverse Axie Infinity.
The 550 ETH sale was the highest for a single plot of virtual land, according to a tweet from the company.
The transaction was for a plot of Genesis land, one of several types available in the game.
Genesis land is at the centre of the game world and as a result, is the rarest and most sought after.
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Cryptocurrency is a risky endeavour, as is investing in anything digital that can hypothetically have the plug pulled on it with no warning, taking your money with it.
So always do your own research and consider your financial situation before deciding to take the plunge.
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