Virtual real estate can set you back $200K

Decentraland raised $26M in 30 seconds during initial coin offering last year

Etheremon on Decentraland (Credit: Decentraland)
Etheremon on Decentraland (Credit: Decentraland)

A plot of land in Genesis City can go for as much as $200,000 — though interested buyers will need virtual-reality headsets to visit it.

The blockchain-based real estate is made of 90,000 digital plots, Bloomberg reported. Not much is built in this high-stakes “SimCity,” though the Washington, D.C.-sized world is already divided into themed neighborhoods, including one inspired by “Blade Runner” and Las Vegas. There’s also, of course, a red-light district.

Genesis City was created by Argentinian coders Esteban Ordano and Ari Meilich as part of a larger digital world called Decentraland, which uses the Ethereum blockchain. Decentraland got an early vote of confidence — during its initial coin offering last year, it raised $26 million in 30 seconds.

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Resellers can hope to make $30,000 on a Genesis City plot, though the record is $200,000 (the seller of that piece of “land” bought it for $13,000). Ryan Kunzmann, who works for a property management website, purchased 62 plots — about 1,100 square feet each — for $15,000. He made back his investment by selling eight of the plots. He hopes to turn part of his holdings into a virtual museum or art gallery.

“Once virtual reality becomes a mass movement, and we’re heading in that direction, we’ll come to a critical mass of users that will need a platform to discover content,” Meilich told Bloomberg. [Bloomberg] — Kathryn Brenzel