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The Un-Real Estate Boom: Buying Property in the Metaverse

*Originally Published By The Fashion Law
In the six months since Facebook, Inc. rebranded to Meta Platforms, Inc., the idea of the “metaverse” has catapulted from a little-known science fiction fantasy to the forefront of popular culture. Despite this surge of interest, there is still limited consensus on what the term means and what its implications will be for consumers, various industries, and the economy as a whole. At least one area of the economy has already become a focal point of the metaverse: real estate.

The concept of the metaverse can be traced back to science fiction author Neal Stephenson whose 1992 novel “Snow Crash” depicted an immersive, virtual reality-based successor to the Internet. And while this may still seem like little more than science fiction, the metaverse is much closer to reality than many realize. For almost two decades, digital platforms like SecondLife and Entropia Universe have allowed users to immerse themselves in digital worlds where they can socialize and build durable communities. More recently, popular games like Roblox, Fortnite, and World of Warcraft have further blurred the line between virtual and physical worlds, showing that consumers are ready to spend big on virtual goods and even attend events, like live concerts, in a purely virtual environment. 

The metaverse of today (or the near future) represents the next step in this evolution. It is a persistent and immersive digital ecosystem that allows individuals to seamlessly transition between their physical and virtual worlds, and it will likely rely on next-generation consumer electronics with augmented or mixed reality capabilities that can serve as a “gateway” into these virtual environments. It will feature advanced avatars. It will be built on blockchain technology, allowing for decentralized infrastructure and autonomous governance. And its full potential will likely require interoperability between virtual environments. 

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