The idea of the Metaverse has garnered keen interest from a wide variety of global audiences. More specifically, people seem to be fascinated by the possibility of experiencing things and exploring places through VR (virtual reality) devices. The hardware sector dominated the metaverse market in 2020. It is predicted that there will be over 34 million VR headsets installations worldwide by 2024 and the European AR/VR market will expand from $2.8 billion in 2021 to nearly $20.9 billion in 2025.
Many have also started purchasing land in the Metaverse, leading to a boom in the Metaverse’s real estate industry. A BrandEssence Market Research report indicates that the metaverse real estate market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 31% every year from 2022 to 2028. According to MetaMetric Solutions, real estate sales from the four main metaverse platforms touched $501 million in 2021. It is projected that metaverse land sales could reach almost $1 billion in 2022.
Pivotal projects like Blockchain Relics have started harnessing the power of NFTs, VR, and real estate in the Metaverse for valuable causes like historic and cultural preservation.
If you’re wondering what role NFTs play in the VR and real estate projects of the Metaverse, you’ve come to the right place! This article will explain everything you need to know about NFTs, the Metaverse, the value of NFTs in the Metaverse, and the top 5 NFT-based projects to look out for in the VR and real estate segment of the Metaverse.
What are NFTs?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are blockchain-based cryptographic assets with unique metadata and identification codes that differentiate them from each other. They cannot be exchanged or traded at equivalency like cryptocurrencies, as NFTs are one-of-a-kind assets that are uniquely valuable compared to other NFTs.
The distinct design of each NFT offers the potential for various use cases. They can digitally represent physical assets like artwork and real estate, allowing the buyer to hold ownership rights to the original item. An NFT also contains built-in authentication, serving as proof of ownership and giving the owner “digital bragging rights” over the represented item.
Since NFTs are based on blockchains, they can remove intermediaries, simplify transactions, and create new markets by connecting artists directly to their audiences and enabling identity and IP management.
What is the Metaverse?
The word “Metaverse” was initially used by Neal Stephenson in “Snow Crash,” his 1992 sci-fi novel, where he referred to it as an all-encompassing digital world existing in parallel to the real world.
Many experts think of the Metaverse as a 3D model of the internet — a place where you and other people spend your digital lives as avatars. Others argue that the Metaverse, in the truest sense of the term, doesn’t exist yet. It isn’t clear whether it can actually evolve into something similar to what Stephenson first depicted.
According to Mathew Ball, a venture capitalist, angel investor, and writer in the Metaverse space, the Metaverse serves as a 3D version of the internet and computing at large.
He submits that when the internet and computing initially emerged, interactions were mainly text-based, i.e., through messages, usernames, emails, and email addresses. Slowly these interactions grew to become more media-based, with photos, videos, and live streams. The next logical elevation of UI and UX is the adoption of 3D.
Ball suggests that if using a mobile phone is like having a computer in your pocket with the internet always available, then the Metaverse is like always existing within a computer and inside the internet.
Value of NFTs in the Metaverse
As previously discussed, NFTs allow individuals to purchase or sell one-of-a-kind digital assets on the blockchain. Through various network processes, the ownership of the NFT is established on the blockchain without a doubt, thanks to blockchain technology that provides immutable confirmation of ownership.
In the Metaverse, NFTs allow users to have complete control over their unique assets, replicating the ownership of assets in the real world.
Metaverse participants require an avatar, which usually imitates their image, traits, and tastes in the real world. Due to their unique nature, NFTs can be used to represent the unique aspects of an individual’s avatar in the Metaverse.
NFTs have also been widely used in the world of art. For instance, if an individual purchases an NFT for a Monet painting, they can prove ownership over it in the Metaverse, making it a valuable addition to their virtual identity. NFTs of valuable paintings are also displayed in Metaverse museums, allowing anyone to access and experience them virtually while it remains under the ownership of the museum authorities.
With projects like Decentraland, individuals can buy LAND in the Metaverse, which will be supported by proof of confirmation as NFTs secured by the blockchain.
NFTs are also used to create exclusive environments in the Metaverse and enhance the digital community and its social experiences. Metaverse participants can use premium NFTs to gain access to the wealthiest and most affluent communities, staking rewards, exclusive perks, and high-end collectibles in the digital world.
Metaverse NFT projects to look out for in the Space
Blockchain Relics is a first-of-its-kind project that empowers everyday people to participate in the recording and preservation of history, culture, and heritage. The platform is a museum of the future that creates NFTs for real-world monuments and historical buildings, making them readily accessible through a novel approach — 3D scanning and NFT technology.
Blockchain Relics combines remarkable technologies like AR, 3D scanning, and the blockchain to preserve history and offer a lens through which it can be shared as a futuristic experience. BCR uses cutting-edge artistic creations to represent and recreate history in a way that seamlessly connects the past with the future.
BCR uses 3D scanning technology and drone photography to scan monuments that will be digitally rendered for AR, VR, and NFT representation. These 3D-scanned renders are broken up into several parts that are then converted into NFTs using blockchain technology. Users can collect and put these NFTs together in blocks to build complete monuments.
Blockchain Relics has also partnered with the non-profit group, Global Air Drone Academy, to provide free drone and photogrammetry STEM classes to middle- and high-school students in the Richmond area. The aim is to empower today’s youth to understand the tech behind Blockchain Relics, so they are equipped to participate in the 3D scanning of monuments and the preservation of history while kick-starting a career in drone photogrammetry.
Metacity is the first free-to-earn NFT real estate platform in the world.
At present, Metacity has only 70 NFT plots vacant for people to various businesses. The Metacity project is inspired by Minecraft.
Inside Metacity, participants can use crypto coins to create any character or artwork as an NFT. Metacity also has a game cross-play, where players can exchange NFT items between games like Minecraft and Metacity.
Participants can earn coins by starting to play games for free and then buying NFT plots on the Minecraft server. It isn’t currently possible to buy NFT plots, but this feature will be updated soon.
People are enjoying Metacity because of its free NFT drops, which means participants can earn NFTs and resell them whenever they want.
Somnium Space is a 3D blockchain platform that is incredibly accessible and filled with mind-boggling experiences and opportunities for experimentation with various aspects of the Metaverse. Somnium is unique because it allows users to imagine and customize their avatars and surroundings fully.
Somnium presents itself as an open, social, and persistent VR platform that combines a place where users can live with communication, entertainment, e-commerce, and more.
Somnium has taken on a multi-chain approach that includes Solana, opening up new opportunities for the Metaverse and allowing users to access activities like building an NFT gallery, using a VR avatar to visit VR concerts, dancing with a full-body tracking kit, and creating NFT-based worlds and experiences for everyone to enjoy.
Somnium’s Metaverse economy is based on CUBE, which is used to support transactions and transfer assets. CUBE has now become one of the most stable coins among the Metaverse options available at present.
Somnium has attracted support from crypto heavy-hitters like Gemini, Microsoft, and OpenSea, to name just a few, placing the project in a league of its own. Blockchain Relics also has a parcel in Somnium Space for community led activations — a truly powerful integration in the VR-Metaverse space.
Sensorium Galaxy is a digital Metaverse developed in partnership with some of the top artists, producers, and media companies in the world. Although it is currently in beta, Sensorium Galaxy consists of several worlds — each acts as a hub for a specific set of experiences.
The premier world of Sensorium Galaxy called PRISM serves as the entry point for entertainment and music where Metaverse participants can get access to exclusive VR performances from top artists like David Guetta, Steve Aoki, Armin van Buuren, and more.
With cutting-edge AI and VR technologies and top-tier entertainment content in a VR galaxy, Sensorium promises a unique multisensory experience extending to its other worlds like MOTION that will host mindfulness and self-exploration towards higher levels of knowledge.
Sensorium Galaxy includes boundary-pushing applications like:
- AI-driven avatars (with some of the first social AI DJs in the world)
- Blockchain-based monetization streams
- Advanced game and social mechanics
- Extensive entertainment, interactivity, and immersive features.
However, the Sensorium Galaxy is not just limited to these experiences. The worlds detailed as the Sensorium Metaverse will soon expand to other locations where users can explore and enjoy!
Property’s is a leading, innovative real estate collection game in the NFT and Metaverse space. It brings together the mechanics of the most popular global games to provide a never-seen-before experience — on and off the Metaverse. Each NFT in the Property’s Metaverse is a collectible card displaying a piece of real estate inspired by various cultures and economics.
The Property’s game is part of the Sandbox user-generated world which is just beginning to take shape. Property’s promises social interactions, adventures, gaming, content, music, events, art, and shopping — a fully immersive experience in a limitless world on Sandbox.
The number of projects in the NFT and Metaverse space is increasing day by day. While projects like Metacity, Sensorium Galaxy, Property’s, and Somnium Space focus on enriching VR experiences today, others like Blockchain Relics (BCR) have a powerful vision for the future, too.
BCR’s flagship release is a scan of the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, VA, that was made famous during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020-2021. Named one of the most significant pieces of protest art in the world, it represents a challenging and transformative time in American history. Today, the site of the Lee monument lies bare, but its significance has been preserved in the form of 1022 unique digital assets created by BCR and made available across web3 platforms. By collecting and interacting with the Lee monument, holders can help preserve this artifact for future generations and help shape history with their own unique perspectives.
Amidst the sea of numerous projects entering the space, each individual has endless opportunities to engage with the Metaverse and its offerings. The real challenge now is to choose and follow projects that align with your vision for life a few years down the road — the NFT and Metaverse revolution is close at hand and will change the way we interact with people and our surroundings in the soon-to-be-virtual world.