An estate in virtual world Decentraland just sold for nearly a million dollars

A set of land in virtual world Decentraland has sold for a record-breaking $913,808 worth of MANA, the game’s Ethereum-based cryptocurrency. 

Digital real estate investment firm Republic Realm acquired a non-fungible token (NFT) of the virtual estate, referred to as a LAND token, for nearly 1.3 million MANA. While the sale is the highest LAND sale in dollar terms, there have been previous sales that involved a higher number of MANA, when the token wasn’t worth as much. 

“We can’t wait to announce our big plans for this estate,” the platform tweeted. “Our commitment to building and developing the metaverse is stronger than ever.”

Non-fungible tokens are collectible items that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of digital files, such as audio or video files, and even virtual land.

Investing in digital real estate

Republic Realm is a New York-based firm that invests in digital real estate in virtual worlds. According to the company’s profile on Decentraland, this isn’t the firm’s first real estate purchase on the platform. The company owns a plot of land named after itself, as well as several “parcel” properties — the smaller squares on the map. 

Launched in February 2020, Decentraland is a virtual reality game built on the Ethereum blockchain, which allows users to buy, sell and build on virtual land plots. Users can purchase land, goods and services in packages called LAND, which can be bought with MANA, an ERC-20 token. LAND ownerships are recorded in smart contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. 

With this sale, Decentraland has broken a record it established only a few weeks ago, when blockchain protocol Boson Protocol acquired one of its plots for over $700,000

Decentraland is one of several “play-to-earn” games, where users play to earn rewards like tokens, which they can then trade on an open marketplace. Other popular games include Sandbox and Axie Infinity, which are also Ethereum-based. 

The price of the MANA token soared during the NFT boom earlier this year, but has fallen in recent weeks, coinciding with a fall in NFT transaction volumes.