“This is rad”. Paris Hilton’s Twitter feed was filled with such responses when she announced that would ring in 2022 by playing an electronic set for digital revellers on her very own virtual island on Roblox. Reuters reported that Paris Hilton has created an island in the online virtual world, called Paris World. “For me, the Metaverse is somewhere that you can do everything you can do in real life in the digital world,” said Hilton. Paris World visitors can explore digital replicas of her Beverly Hills estate, including the dog mansion, and explore the island in a luxury sports car or Sunreef yacht.
We might have seen real estate booming in many cities across the world in a post-pandemic world but there’s also a big real estate boom that’s shaking up the virtual world. Snoop Dogg’s partnership with The Sandbox is one such big deal. The Sandbox started selling LAND NFTs with Snoop Dogg. One of these transactions saw a user shell out $450,000 (About Rs 3.37 crore) to buy a virtual plot next door to the rapper’s virtual abode. Visitors to the Snoop Dog Sandbox page can create an account and buy the Snoop Private Party Pass (only 1000 will be sold), a limited token that gives them a feel of the rapper’s lifestyle.
The digital real estate boom has seen prices soar over 500 percent in the last few months. A CNBC report attributes this to Facebook’s all-in move on virtual reality that prompted a change of corporate identity and branding it ‘Meta’. Facebook’s aggressive play is evidence that the Metaverse is likely to be the next iteration of social media. The avatars or cartoon-like characters in these virtual worlds might remind you of multi-player video games but the big game changer could be 360-degree immersive, virtual worlds where virtual reality gear like Meta’s Oculus could be in the mix.
Buying virtual real estate might actually be easier than buying property in the real world but many investors are still playing the wait-and-watch game. Crypto asset managers like Grayscale are bullish about the Metaverse, or an interconnected alternate virtual world. Grayscale has pegged this as $1 trillion business opportunity in a recent report titled “The Metaverse. Web 3.0 Virtual Cloud Economies,” where it analysed the potential for early investors. It suggests that the Metaverse could be the start of the new paradigm—Web 3.0— with radically new social interactions and the power to galvanise the internet economy. Does all this mean you could be virtual neighbours with your favourite Bollywood or global star? You’ll find out soon enough.