With huge companies like Samsung and Adidas buying into virtual real estate, the big question is: “Is this the next big thing?” A lot of us have already missed out on the bitcoin train, and maybe even more, have absolutely no clue what to do about the current NFT wave.
Now the Metaverse comes along, an actual virtual reality that has tools to enable people to build entire personalities and lives that run simultaneously with their physical activities, interact with other people, do business, make investments— and apparently buy land.
Putting aside the general regret at not having cashed in on the Bitcoin wave, we have put together a step-by-step guide to educate you on how to do something you may have never thought of 20, maybe even 10 years ago—invest in and buy virtual land.
The two largest Metaverse platforms, Decentraland and The Sandbox, where metaverse land is marketed and purchased, are built on the Ethereum blockchain technology. This means they are exchanged (bought and sold) with Ethereum and made available as NFTs.
As of March 2022, Decentraland was reported to host an estimated 600 million active users monthly and six thousand unique users daily. The platform allows users to play games and take part in non-commercial activities without a cryptocurrency wallet. However, you will need one to earn, buy, and sell on Decentraland.
In this article, we will walk you step-by-step through the process of purchasing virtual real estate from Decentraland in a manner that is both comprehensive and easy to follow. To accomplish this, we will help you understand the following:
- Selecting a Metaverse platform
- Setting up your NFT or cryptocurrency wallet
- Connecting Your Wallet to Decentraland
- Buying Ethereum via Binance and moving it to your cryptocurrency wallet
- Choosing Your First Piece of Virtual Real Estate
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Step 1: Select a Metaverse Platform
Choosing a metaverse platform is a necessary first step to investing in real estate within the metaverse. Your purpose for purchasing land will decide what platform you choose and what you eventually do with your purchase.
While we will be talking about Decentraland in this article, there are other Metaverse platforms available where virtual real estate is marketed, bought, and sold, including:
- The Sandbox
- Somnium Space.
These four platforms, combined, hold over two hundred and fifty thousand parcels of virtual real estate.
Decentraland is built on ETH blockchain technology, and land is marketed on the platform as NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) with coordinates that correspond to a specific location on the network, so no two parcels are the same.
The Decentraland world is broken down and ordered into districts, each differentiated by its unique content. Users are able to go around various regions in order to engage with one another, view material, and share it.
These districts act as an advanced targeting tool, enabling creators and companies to convey their content more effectively to a very defined audience. You can only make NFT purchases on Decentraland using Ethereum or MANA (the platform’s native currency).
The Sandbox holds the highest number (more than fifty percent) of parcels (known as "LAND" on the platform) amongst the four platforms, totaling a little over one hundred and sixty thousand. The price of land on this platform costs upwards of $11,000 per parcel, with quality properties selling for between $20,000 and $30,000 per parcel.
You have the option of acquiring or renting virtual rooms for a variety of purposes. There are residential homes, places to conduct business, places to display artwork and hangout spots of varying sizes. Users and creators on the platform can purchase LAND and then have a whole experience on it.
Sandbox users also have the ability to make money off of these experiences by using NFTs and Sandbox's native utility token, SAND.
In the Cryptovoxels world, you can purchase land and then construct structures using various blocks. Monochrome blocks are free, and colored ones may be bought with native $COLR tokens if you have them. Users on this platform spend time editing content, developing avatars, and engaging in online conversation.
Creators and companies are able to buy virtual land where they may construct spaces to display their services, products, or NFT purchases. The current market price for a lot of land at Cryptovoxels is an average of $5,000, although depending on size and location, this number can reach $10,000 and above. Any asset purchase is recorded on the ETH blockchain with unique coordinates.
The gamers of Somnium Space are responsible for the construction of Somnium Space. The digital real estate on Somnium is segmented into three distinct-sized parcels: extra-large, medium, and small. For the construction of your own personal space, you have the option of purchasing either shoreline or roadside land.
You are able to import things like avatars and earn with your virtual properties through the platform. Virtual assets are represented by tokens and purchases are recorded on either the Solana or ETH blockchain. A parcel goes for an average of $11,500.
Those who are interested in acquiring parcels but have limited means still have the opportunity to purchase smaller plots, which are often offered for between $2,000 and $4,000.
Step 2: Set up your wallet
Users are required to create an Ethereum wallet in order to keep their cryptocurrencies and newly purchased digital assets safe before they make purchases or buy land on Decentraland. Decentraland recommends MetaMask, a cryptocurrency wallet that can be integrated into your web browser.
Follow the steps in this link to get the MetaMask Chrome extension so that you can create an Ether wallet using MetaMask. After providing a password, you will be given a 12-word Secret Recovery Phrase to use in case you forget it.
It is a MetaMask requirement that you hide your recovery phrase securely and do not reveal it to any other person. In the event that you lose your password and need to recover your wallet for some reason, you will be required to enter the recovery phrase.
However, if someone ever learns your recovery phrase, they will have access to your MetaMask wallet and funds.
Step 3: Link Your Crypto Wallet to Decentraland
After adding the MetaMask chrome extension to your browser, you will be able to link your wallet to Decentraland by following a few easy steps, which are as follows:
- Navigate to Decentraland and click Accounts in the top-right navigation corner.
- Select your ETH wallet and click "Buy."
- Follow the steps to add a payment method.
- Paste your MetaMask address with the amount you'd like to transfer.
Step 4: Purchasing Ethereum via Binance and moving it to your wallet
After setting up a wallet and linking it to Decentraland, you have to own either MANA or Ether (ETH) in your cryptocurrency wallet in order to buy virtual real estate or bid for it in Decentraland.
You can either choose to make your purchase by buying Ethereum or MANA, which are both traded on Binance. Using your Binance account, you can use a credit card or debit card to buy MANA or ETH and transfer it to your MetaMask wallet.
To purchase MANA and ETH on Binance:
- Deposit money into your Binance account.
- It is unlikely that there is an exchange where you can directly trade your USD for MANA at this time, so you will first need to acquire a cryptocurrency that is listed in a currency pair with MANA, such as Ether (ETH).
- Then trade it in for the native token that is used by Decentraland.
- Once you have logged in, click on the link that says "Markets" or "Exchange."
- Search for the currency pairing that you want to use (MANA/ETH).
- In "Buy", choose the quantity of MANA or ETH you need to complete the transaction.
- Carefully read the information, prices, and fees.
- Make the purchase.
Step 5: Choose Your Virtual Asset
You only need to navigate to the Decentraland Marketplace to finish this step. Once it is open, go to the section labeled "Land" and look for a piece of property that you would like to acquire.
Follow the directions in the game to get through the transaction once you have identified an asset and begun the process of acquiring it.
After the transaction, it only takes a quick peek at your wallet to see your new virtual property listed!
If you execute these easy steps in order, you will find your newly purchased Metaverse land listed in your crypto wallet. We hope that you were able to learn from this guide and that you will start purchasing virtual properties on Decentraland (or any other preferred platform).
Stay tuned for more helpful metaverse tutorials and articles!