Virtual real estate, or VRE, as it is sometimes called, is a broad term that encompasses everything from NFT-backed digital buildings/spaces to entire online, metaverse-based worlds.
These digital assets can be bought, sold, or even rented in a somewhat similar fashion to physical real estate.
It’s tempting to claim that VRE came into being via things like the metaverse or even blockchain technology, but this isn’t strictly true. If you look back far enough to Web 2.0 or Web 1.0, you’ll find the basic elements of virtual real estate already being developed, shared, and even traded.
Back in the era of text-based games in the late 70s and ’80s, the phenomenon of multi-user dungeons had all the hallmarks of VRE. Just in a much more simplified fashion.
Later in the 90s and 2000s, you had the first digital graphical worlds that had plenty of internal space for players to explore. Games like Moria and even WoW began to grow enormous followings and player bases.
Over time, as the technology became more advanced and the consumer demographic grew, businesses began to see the profit potential of theoretically limitless digital space that is nonetheless bought, sold, and leased out to people.
The Future of VRE
Now, thanks to projects like Second Life, Facebook’s Meta, and others, newer, more hyper-consumer-focused enterprises have taken the lead in shaping the future of VREs.
Through the creation and adoption of technologies like the blockchain, crypto, and NFTs, a world of possibilities has opened up to VRE ventures. Consumers can now create and mint immutable digital properties via NFTs that are unique, stored on the blockchain, and pay for the privilege via digital cryptocurrencies.