A Deep Dive into Real Estate NFTs in the Metaverse


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Non-Fungible Tokens (NFT) are booming. An NFT is a digital content that is linked directly into the blockchain. NFTs may be images, videos and even audio. Non-fungible means they cannot be exchanged or replaced by an identical NFT. Each NFT is unique on its own.

What started as very bored apes has evolved. According to Chainanlysis Inc., what began as a $100 million market in 2020 has reached $40 billion in 2021.

Jeffries estimate NFTs’ markets to exceed $80 billion by 2025. Virtual real estate was a contributing factor to the NFTs markets. Let’s explore the NFTs’ flow in in 2021.

NFTs transfers

source: Chainanalysis

NFTs trading volume 2021

source: Chainanalysis

According to Chainanalysis, the retail market held the largest volume in 2021. While pixel art NFT and various NFT projects remain popular, what types of NFTs will survive in 10 years from today? What are the expected trends for NFTs in 2022?

NFT artists such as Beeple and Pak earned their reputation in the NFT world. Their collections were sold for millions of dollars to NFT art collectors.

The MetaMask Token Scam

Naturally, highly valued items attract cybercriminals. In the crypto universe honeypots are already being spread to lure in the blinded from the dusty blockchain roads.

A great example of a honeypot was a MetaMask token (dubbed $Mask). In December, the scammer was able to inject malicious code into DEXTools app front end of the Uniswap WETH/MASK.

The pair appeared as a verified token and lured in investors as the token made headlines in twitter.

metamask scam

The smart contract was set to block selling once liquidity reaches $1 million. The hacker was able to withdraw hundreds of ETH from Uniswap to Tornado Cash. Tornado cash is a popular coin mixer.

metamask eth scam

NFTs Security

In the NFTs world scammers use various techniques. Wash trading is a way of where the original owner inflates the price by purchasing the NFT from multiple accounts. The NFT will appear to have high demand, which will pocket the scammer a very high return on investment.

Recent scams stole existing artwork of known artists and list then as NFTs without the artists’ consent. Due to the lack of regulations such scams may continue.

Opensea is the largest marketplaces for NFTs, based on the Ethereum blockchain. Some of the most popular NFT projects (bored apes yacht club and CLONE X) are all auctioned in opeansea.

Opensea recently acquired Dharma, a cryptocurrency lending platform and a crypto wallet. While the size of the deal was undisclosed, it is estimated to range between $110 to $130 million.

Dharma facilitated transactions between its clients’ bank accounts and decentralized exchanges. Despite its success, Opensea recently admitted that 80% of the minted NFTs via the free creation tool were ‘were plagiarized works, fake collections, and spam.’

opensea fraud

Auctioning art NFTs without the artist’s consent is beginning to plague the NFTs markets. One solution that attends the concern is authenticating the NFTs at the minting process.

GurdianLink and CXIP Labs offer different methods of ensuring the NFTs’ authenticity. Verifying NFTs authenticity may become more popular in 2022 in an effort to reduce NFTs scams.

Real Estate NFTs

Virtual Real Estate in the metaverse have yet to fully gain institutional interest. There are 4 dominating metaverse platforms in today’s market:

The Sandbox

The Plein Group recently purchased land in the Decentraland metaverse for $1.4 million (approx.) The transaction was valued for 510,000 MANA, the native cryptocurrency of the metaverse platform.

The transaction was for 65 Decenterland parcels (over 150,000 square feet in real life). An art museum, a hotel and stores are just some of the plans for the land. According to CNBC, the price of virtual lands rose +500% in the past several months.

What Affects the NFT Real Estate Value

Virtual real estate is estimated to reach $1 billion at the end of 2022. BrandEssence Market Research is expecting the metaverse real estate market grow at a compound annual rate of 31% from 2022 to 2028.

Real Estate NFTs, at least at the time of this writing are highly priced based on location. Like the real word, prime areas are worth more money.

The Plein Plaza project is located near the Genesis Plaza. The Genesis Plaza is located at the heart of Decenterland. It is used to welcome users into the metaverse. Although the ability to teleport is available, such locations are considered attractive.

Owning real estate next to a known figure also increases the value of the land. In the Sandbox, a user paid $450,000 to own land next to Snoop Dog, a well-known figure in the entertainment industry.

According to research by Republic Realm that owns more than 3,000 Real Estate NFTs in 24 metaverse platforms, the average price of a parcel in the main metaverses increased from $1,265 to $12,684.

Approximately 25,000 individual crypto wallets own metaverse real estate. It is a relatively small amount when compared to bitcoin owners. While some suggest it is a new market, others warn that it may crash at any time.

Real Estate NFTs Auction

Institutional banks have yet to step into the metaverse due to lack of regulations. The banking industry in the metaverse has its market but due to the fear of the unregulated territory they remain on the fence.

One company however is utilizing NFTs real estate transactions, in the real world. Propy enables real estate to be sold in live auctions. The highest bidder receives the property deed via an NFT.

The rights are minted as an NFT, the NFT owner then owns the property via a Limited Liability Company (LLC) that houses the NFT.

Propy is due to sell a home in Florida on Thursday (10 February 2022). At the time of this writing there are more than 6,000 bidders are waiting for the auction. To participate in the auction a large amount of ETH is required in the crypto wallet.

As the world is transitioning into a digital realty, it will not be surprising to see real estate auctioned directly inside trading platforms providers such as eToro and Saxo Bank.

NFT Credit Card

One bank however has already partnered with a metaverse platform, Polka City. POLC (polka city native cryptocurrency) holders will be able to create free bank accounts on EQIBank.

In addition, asset owners will also receive EQIBank debit cards for free through the EQIFI platform. The card can be used to withdraw money from ATMs, purchase goods etc.

The most interesting part is that the debit card also comes in the form of NFT. Polka City (based on the Polkadot blockchain) users can have the card available as an NFT and in real life. The card is allowing Polka City users to spend the earned POLC in the real world.

The price of the NFT card is 6,000 POLC. Owning the card as an NFT also generates a return of 50 POLC per week as passive income.

EQIFI is a decentralized protocol for pooled lending and borrowing for ETH, ETC-20 tokens, stablecoins, USD and more. The protocol is providing a platform for DeFi products that are operating with EQIBank accounts, loans, wealth management and more.

Passive Income NFTs

Polkacity also offers investors to earn a passive income by simply holding the metaverse NFTs. For example, owners of ATMs in Polka City earn a passive income of 19 PLC per week (20% APY) and 50% of ATM fees.

Although it was already sold out, owning a sport stadium in Polka City is generating the holder with 3,125 POLC per week (0% APY) and 50% of all profits earned in live sporting events in the platform.

The risks of these ‘metaverse investments’ is a devaluation in the platform’s native currency and possibly the shutdown of the platform itself.

Mortgage services for buying metaverse land or real estate are also available. TerraZero, Metaverse mortgages often work in the following manner. The client receives the land or real estate as a long (initially) and pays a fixed amount of crypto for a predetermined term. Upon paying the mortgage the land or real estate ownership is transferred to the ownership.

Failure to pay the mortgage allows the lender to take control over the property.

Wedding Rings NFTs

Several weddings were already held in the metaverse. What is more unique however is the exchange of vows as well as the wedding ring as a smart contract in the blockchain.

The innovative approach to traditional weddings may become extremely popular overtime.

With the rise of NFTs and acceptance of the metaverse, startups may focus on organizing metaverse weddings and the minting process of the marriage license as an NFT.

While it is still a relatively new concept, over time its popularity may increase. It does make us wonder how the NFTs can be terminated in an event of a divorce. Nevertheless, marrying on the metaverse with dedicated NFTs may be a rising trend.

As NFTs will integrate into our daily lives, coupons, bus fares and even academic degrees may transition into non-fungible tokens in the near future.

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