Decentraland surprised the world when they launched their ICO in 2017. Virtual land parcels were up for sale in what Decentraland was claiming would be the beginnings of the metaverse.
At first, land was cheap, going for mere hundreds of dollars. Nowadays, a parcel of land could run into the millions!
While some people think it’s absurd(any company can create and sell virtual land, it’s not finite unlike actual land), it didn’t stop whales from snatching up land parcels and pushing the price of MANA from less than a penny to over $4 in 2021. (MANA can be burned, or spent, in exchange for LAND parcels inside the Decentraland ecosystem – it also traded on exchanges like a typical cryptocurrency.
And virtual land is just the beginning. Clothing, art, and other ‘NFT’ collectibles are selling for eye-popping amounts. The now-famous blockchain artist Beeple sold his collection for a whopping $69,000,000.
What’s the deal with NFT’s? Well, proponents of the metaverse claim that once the infrastructure of the metaverse in developed, owning NFT’s gives you the unique right to equip these items to show off to your friends.
It’s the same reason why people spend so much money on Rolexes or Gucci bags. I guess even in the metaverse, status matters!