The Metaverse continues to dominate the market, to the point that some investors are comparing the new digital realm like Decentraland (MANA) and The SandBox (SAND) to Manhattan in the 1800s.
All the while, some estimates report that the burgeoning metaverse will rocket the virtual reality market to $16 billion by 2026.
Metaverse: Decentraland and The SandBox as the Manhattan of the 1800s
According to one report, it appears that some companies investing in the metaverse are comparing Decentraland (MANA) and The SandBox (SAND) to Manhattan in the 1800s.
“We think the Fashion District purchase is like buying on Fifth Avenue back in the 1800s … or the creation of Rodeo Drive”.
The phrase was uttered by Lorne Sugarman, CEO of Metaverse Group, which just last month made a $2.43 million purchase of lots in Decentraland, the Ethereum-based 3D universe where some land can be monetized in MANA.
The Fashion District is an area of Decentraland where users can buy virtual clothes from real brands like Ralph Lauren, Gucci or Prada. Each plot in Decentraland is an NFT and measures 16 x 16 metres. The plot is priced in MANA, the platform’s native token.
The SandBox seems to appeal equally, to the point that Republic Realm bought for $4.3 million, a 24 x 24 digital land lot, with each lot the equivalent of 100 metres in the SAND metaverse. Janine Yorio, co-founder and CEO of Republic Realm commented on its purchase as follows:
“We bought a city, or the equivalent [of one]We paid so much for it because we want to do something big, something very immersive. […] We want to buy land and build things on it. The only way the metaverse becomes interesting is if there are things to do and people to see and places to go when you get there”.
Metaverse, Decentraland DAO and the surge in the virtual reality market
Continuing with the interview, Sugarman reported that he believes Decentraland real estate will be able to maintain its scarcity because the virtual world is a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). In this regard, here are his words:
“Because Decentraland is a DAO, or a community, if they were ever going to release new land, they would have to get all the currency holders, as well as all the landholders, to vote that they had agreed to that. The community isn’t going to want us to harm our value and our land and currency so I don’t believe that’s something that would happen. But if that were going to happen, it would have to be for a very good reason”.
The burgeoning metaverse industry, with its promise of erasing the boundaries between the physical and virtual worlds, was estimated to be still very much emerging.
According to Omdia’s data, the metaverse is expected to grow the consumer virtual reality market from $6.4 billion in 2021 to $16 billion in 2026. The main use for 90% would remain the gaming sector.
Specifically, manufacturers of virtual reality headsets, on which these immersive uses are based, are estimated to achieve sales of 12.5 million units in 2021, for an already global installed base at 26 million devices by the end of this year. This will continue to grow, reaching 70 million units by the end of 2026.
The case of Metaverse: an artist’s Instagram account shut down by Big Tech
The Metaverse is so much in the spotlight that even Mark Zuckerberg decided to name his ex-Facebook company Meta at the end of October 2021. A story that is now so well known that it hides something tragic.
On Instagram, an Australian artist who had called her profile by its current Facebook name had her account closed without explanation.
Thea-Mai Baumann told her story to The New York Times, explaining that her @metaverse account, which she had been using for her work since 2012, was taken over by the tech giant a few days after the company declared its new name.
It was only after a month and the magazine’s intervention in asking the social network for an explanation that the artist was able to see her active account again, with an apology attached for the “misunderstanding”. Now Thea-Mai Baumann wants to turn the affair into an artistic project denouncing the arrogance of Big Tech.