My Journey to Buying Land in the Metaverse
Being a professional practitioner in the real world means having an office or a practice. And in the Metaverse that’s no different. So, to prepare the start of my own Metaverse practice, I needed to buy real estate in the virtual world.
Where to Buy Land in the Metaverse
As of January 2022, these are some of the projects out there right now for buying land:
- The Sandbox – Minecraft-style game with Unity Engine, without VR
- Decentraland – Unity Engine game, without VR
- Somnium Space – Unity Engine game, with VR
- Victoria VR – Unreal Engine, with VR
- Blocktopia – Unreal Engine, with VR, very commercial
Two main factors were important to me when choosing to buy my land; The game should be run by the hyper-realistic graphics of the Unreal Engine and must support VR. Those were my main factors, but that’s down to personal preference.
Why did I want nice graphics and VR? Because not only would it allow me to conduct therapy in the virtual world, it would allow me to use the space as a gateway and a billboard – maybe as the foyer to my practice, but not as a real therapy room.
The therapy room will be separate and is connected to my land via a hotspot or a link.
In What Virtual World in the Metaverse Did I Choose to Buy Land?
The world I finally chose to place my practice in is Victoria VR. At this point in time, there is no playable version of Victoria VR. It’s like buying a flat in a house that is yet to be built. It’s a big risk and it could cost me some hard-earned money, but there is also opportunity.
What was special in my situation is that I participated in the first round of sales, so the whole project is not very well-known at this point – only Metaverse enthusiasts know about it . The land in Victoria VR is also limited, so one can assume that the investment is likely to rise in value over time. Victoria VR is also one of few projects right now that is using the Unreal Engine – and Unreal is known to be the builder of most of the top selling video games. In contrast, the Unity Engine always looks a bit like Lego.
The risk for me now is whether Victoria VR can really set sail. If the team is only making big announcements, but will not be able to ship a working product, I lose my investment. But if the opposite is true, I got a real bargain!
Why Virtual Land of the Other Virtual Worlds Can Also Work
There are other options out there. Yes, most of them don’t use VR but they are working on it. Decentraland wants to update to a VR version in 2022. It is also already populated and it is working. Yes, it is a browser game and there are some crashes here and there, but it has proof of work. You can’t use it as a therapy room, though, as it is not private. Everyone can access your building and there are no real emotions and facial expressions that you can see. But as I said earlier, as a billboard – a beacon to find your service – it is enough. But are you ready to pay 13,000$ for a far-out piece of land that will not have a lot of traffic? Or are you willing to pay 2.3 million for a better-located space in the center? These are the prices of the cheapest plot on the market right now and the most expensive plot of land sold so far. To me, that sounds a little overpriced!
Other places are, at this point, not really an option for me. Somnium Space doesn’t seem to work properly, probably because it isn’t well constructed. Reviews on Steam describe it as boring and the government as unfair. I have not tried it myself but I found this article from a guy who worked with them for a long time and since then I don’t think this platform can provide what is necessary to me.
So why not The Sandbox? It’s just too Lego-like for me. Personally, I don’t like the optics, but I know that some people like it.
There are constantly new virtual worlds appearing. That means some of them will survive and there are new opportunities coming, but many of them will also go down. I’ll be sure to update the list from time to time.
It’s important to remember that the Metaverse is about interconnectivity, so you can jump from one virtual word to another. It doesn’t have to just be Victoria VR or Decentraland.
What Process Did I Follow to Buy Land in the Metaverse?
Before I decided that I wanted to find out more about Victoria VR, I’d tried to buy land in Decentraland, but it was just too expensive for me. I watched some videos on YouTube about Victoria VR, went to the website, and even read the whitepaper. It sounded all quite interesting, and knew there was an Initial Token Offering (ICO) coming up..
So, the first thing I did was to buy some Victora VR currency. All of these Metaverse layers – these virtual worlds – have their own crypto currency. In the case of Victoria VR, it’s called VR. Not very creative (the currency of Decentraland is MANA), but recognizable. I bought some VR and tried to find out what to do with it. Then I found out that the initial land sale would be over Christmas, and that’s where it all began…
How to Get Whitelisted to Buy Land in the Metaverse
The team in charge of Victoria VR don’t allow anybody to just simply buy land. They want the real fans to get a hold of the real estate first – people that will use the land, to give all members of the community a great experience. If you just throw the land on the market for everyone to grab, it is quite possible that a big chunk will go to investors that have only money on their mind, or even bots. To prevent that, there is a process one has to go through. I hated this process, but really do appreciate it.
Options to get whitelisted
In my case, there were several opportunities for me to get whitelisted. One option was to participate at the ICO, but I missed that, so The second option was to participate in the Early Bird Staking. Staking is a fixed deposit with interests in the crypto space. Here it was only possible for all stakers together to stake a few million Dollars and it was sold out in only eleven minutes. That was a frustrating experience, because there were no instructions for how to do it beforehand and the money needed to be transferred through a complicated process. You had to have the right amount in the right wallet at the right time to be in with a chance.
How does staking over NFTrade work?
Staking worked through a platform called NFTrade and every stake was an NFT. To buy one you needed to:
- Send your VR tokens to your MetaMask wallet (other wallets could potentially work)
- Have Etherium (ETH) in your wallet as transaction fee
- Connect MetaMask to the website NFTrade
- Buy the NFT
- Send the VR Token to NFTrade
For the process of buying the NFT, you need to have the price in VR tokens and some Etherium (10-80$) for the transaction fee. The fee depends on the workload of the network at the time of purchase. The workload was really high at that moment. Some people tried to save money and did not realize how short the window of opportunity was.
The next chance was Revolution Staking. This worked differently. It worked through a Victoria VR website. On the website there were some sliders you could move to adjust how many of your VR Tokens you wanted to stake and for how long. The minimum was 30 days and 168 VR (80$) while the maximum was 3650 days (10 years), without a maximum amount of tokens in that case. The average time was 3313 days – that means many people put their money in for 10 years. The total amount of VR tokens staked were 157 Mio VR (78Mio $ at the time).
By moving the slider you could see how much interest you would get per annum (estimated APR). This was a little tricky, because it triggered a lot of greed for me. Because the estimated APR was at 1000%, that meant that putting in 10,000$ would make 100,000$ in one year. That seemed, of course, too good to be true. The estimated APR was falling with every participant,so at the end it leveled at around 10%.
You also get VR land tickets for staking, so it got pretty interesting! The more you had at stake and for longer, the more tickets you got. A VR land ticket is your ticket for a lottery. There were three times when people had a chance to win a whitelist spot. In the second, I finally did.
Getting whitelisted by keeping your money on KuCoin
There was another option to get whitelisted. At the beginning, I thought it would be the hardest way, but it turned out to be the easiest. At this time you could only buy the token on KuCoin. KuCoin is a crypto exchange that is really active in the Metaverse market and is supporting that space a lot. There was a whitelist reward for the one thousand largest holders of VR on the exchange which meant you needed to have the coins on the exchange, fill out a form and wait. They would do three snapshots on all accounts and give one thousand whitelist spots to the top one thousand holders. I got really upset about that, because I thought, “OK, everything for the big whales again”! I did not participate and shipped my money away from KuCoin to the Revolution Staking. Afterwards, they published the accountlist and I found out that not only would I have won, but I would have even been in the top 10!
That would have been a much easier route for me to get whitelisted through, because I wouldn’t have needed to set a big amount of money aside for staking and spend the same amount again for the land buy.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Land in the Metaverse?
There are different tiers of land. Tier 1 is the inner city (a main boulevard kind of building), while Tier 4 is a rural area, much further out.
- Tier 1 (inner city) is 20,000$ or 44,851 VR
- Tier 2 (outskirts) is 10,000$ or 22,425 VR
- Tier 3 (suburbs) is 3,000$ or 6,728 VR
- Tier 4 (countryside) 500$ or 1,121 VR
How Do You Pay for Land in the Metaverse?
The first step is to receive your whitelisting confirmation. In my case it worked like this: early one morning I looked at my phone and saw an email saying that I’d won a whitelisting. It mentioned the specific type of land I’d been whitelisted for – only Tier 2 and nothing else. I’d heard that some people received emails to say they’d been whitelisted to multiple tiers, meaning they could buy in both or choose their preferred tier.
The next step is to send the coins to a specific wallet address. I made sure to check that the address was the correct one from the Telegram group, so I wouldn’t get scammed. Then I had to go through the process of changing my money into VR tokens. I moved Cardano that I had lying around to KuCoin, because KuCoin was the only exchange for VR at that time, then I changed Cardano into USDT (Tether), because USDT/ VR was the only currency pair at the time to exchange. Moving Cardano from one exchange to another is also much cheaper than USDT (Tether). The next step, then, was to change USDT to VR. After I did this, I sent the VR to my Metamask wallet and from there to the address.
It is essential to use the same Metamask wallet address for sending that you’ve used for staking. Only that way they recognize that this is your money.