Every once in a while, it’s interesting to check in on the progress of St. Cloud’s real estatedoppelganger, the real estate metaverse, to see if it is becoming more popular (hence,).
Will There Be St. Cloud Metaverse? Not Yet, Anyway
Dated: August 17 2022
Every once in a while, it’s interesting to check in on the progress of St. Cloud’s real estate
doppelganger, the real estate metaverse, to see if it is becoming more popular (hence, real). It has
definitely been progressing, but not in a uniformly positive direction—certainly as opined by
controversial billionaire investor Mark Cuban.
At the beginning of this month, real estate news purveyor therealdeal.com published a less-than-
encouraging update on the technological phenomenon’s progress. Its “reality check” revisited how the
year began, as the “both simple and surreal” digital environs of the metaverse greatly benefitted from
Facebook’s rebranding as “Meta Platforms, Inc..”
Since everyone knows that Facebook is a real thing, by “leaning into the virtual world” with such
abandon, Facebook’s technologically adept governors were sending a billion-dollar signal that they
believed the future was headed in the virtual world’s direction. Additional evidence was the volume of
investor dollars already spent “trading for land on six platforms, including Decentralland and The
Sandbox.” True, most of the purchases were denominated in cryptocurrency—but crypto itself was being
validated by multiple Wall Street entities.
For a while, buying up parcels of the limited amount of real estate in virtual environs became more
and more popular. Such purchases would enable far-seeing investors to rent, lease or sell to others who
might want to build virtual malls, entertainment venues, or—well, any revenue-generating use their
imaginations could come up with. Soon enough, they reasoned, the currently empty virtual boulevards
would be crowded by the avatars of a virtual goggles-wearing public, eager to shop for virtual (and real)
goods and entertainment.
But this exciting frontier may have run into some real-world speed bumps, among which were the
death-defying plunges in the value of cryptocurrency and NFTs. More particularly, as therealdeal.com put
it, the falloff in virtual land values was so precipitous that it evoked “premonitions of the blue screen of
doom.” Land prices which had averaged $16,300 in March, were now going for $3,300—an 80% drop.
Total sales volume swooned as well: 16,000 total transactions in November finished June with barely
Also unhelpful was the publication of last week’s businessinsider.com interview with celebrity
investor Mark Cuban. The article summarized data suggesting that “the metaverse is nowhere close to
materializing”—and “interest appears to be waning.” Cuban put it more succinctly. “Buying metaverse
land,” he said, “is the dumbest s--- ever.”
Should a mock metaverse version of St. Cloud ever materialize, it’s pretty clear that it won’t be
anytime soon. In the meantime, I hope you’ll call on me when more real real estate matters are in the
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