Many of us are spending a great deal more time living in the virtual world. Whether I am watching my kids play Roblox, experiencing hours of Zoom meetings, or (shocker) watching a great deal of Netflix, we are not engaging in person with nearly as many people.
Is it a shocker that Real Estate would go virtual, too? I was surprised to learn that beyond the normal world of real estate investment, in which we are deeply involved with clients from across the world, there is an active virtual real estate world.
An old friend told me, “I’ve been investing in virtual real estate for the last few months.”
After scratching my head for a minute, I read on.
“There is a risk of loss limited to the investment (very tiny) with basically uncapped upside.”
I had to reread this a couple of times. What he meant is that you could, in the case of real estate that isn’t brick and mortar, lose the entire investment. But that the downside risk is limited to just this.
He then shared an article which I’ll reshare here. Take a read. All about investing in Virtual Real Estate.
I immediately thought of Snow Crash, which is an extraordinary book written in 1992 that describes a virtual world which happens to be full of real estate- bars, restaurants, truly an entirely created world. If you haven’t read it yet, please do. It’s the kind of book that could become a movie now (read here about some recent attempts).
Just like “snail mail” and “in-person meeting” and the various phrases that have to be created when a new version of that thing is created, it strikes me that we’ll have to start delineating between the two- Virtual Real Estate and Real Real Estate. There is no question that kids spending so many hours in conversation in games like Roblox, Adopt Me, Among Us, and other games, prove out that there is an ecosystem using real money, or bitcoin- along with scammers, and every good and bad you can think of.
Add to this the frictionless cost of transacting with e-coins. I recently discovered the ability to make political bets on the Presidential election (I didn’t make the bet, mind you), where the cost of a bet was 5% of the value of the bet if you used cash (ie 5 cents for every dollar bet) versus Bitcoin costs of 1/10 as much.
While I’m certainly dubious about the speculative nature of any kind of investment, I am curious about this one.
My initial hot take was far more negative than where I am two weeks later thinking about it. A world of e-tail that is actually retail stores in the virtual world. I’m thinking about the rich experience one can have in this world, less about the investment possibility. They will go hand in hand, no doubt.
For those of you who are more keen on the real-world applications of bitcoin and e-coins in general- and I hear more and more about them- here’s yet another marketplace to consider. I know, for sure, much more to come. -S